Logistics to go underground
“The government has announced grant funding to Mole Solutions for a nine-month feasibility study in Northampton. It will assess the viability of transporting goods in driverless steel carts via underground tubes, powered by magnetic waves produced by electricity.” Gemma James. (2015)
It all sounds very fancy and high tech, but what does it mean? Well for many years services like oil, gas, water, and electricity have been delivered to use via underground media, so why not freight? In fact it has been done before by the Post Office years ago in London – so as a concept it’s more than feasible.
So if the idea is sound, why aren’t we already doing it? Well for starters digging tunnels is costly! Very costly, in fact it costs substantially more on average to build underground in comparison to above ground. We can also assume the concept will be met with some resistance from those located on-top or close proximity to these underground routes. Also let’s not forget existing pipes, supply lines and drains scientists will have to locate and avoid.
Meanwhile, roads are getting more congested and more expensive to travel each day logistic vendors are likely to opt for the potentially more environmentally-friendly and reliable underground methods even if the costs are greater. No doubt in the next 25 years the logistics model could look very different from the current model.
Gemma James. (2015). Are underground tubes the future of logistics?.Available: http://www.supplymanagement.com/blog/2015/05/are-underground-tubes-the-future-of-logistics