High-speed freight and passenger transport system expected to become a reality by 2030
Hyperloop technology is developing rapidly and will be implemented sooner or later, says a top official at DP World.
In an interview with CNN, DP World chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said that the high-speed transportation system for goods and passengers is expected to become a real estate by 2030.
While repeating a question about timescales for the Virgin Hyperloop, Bin Sulayem said the technology could be implemented soon.
“It’s not decades, it’s years,” said Bin Sulayem, who is also president of Virgin Hyperloop. when asked how long it takes for the first passengers to travel with Hyperloop.
Speaking to Becky Anderson of CNN about Connect the World, he said this high-speed transportation system is expected to become a reality even before 2030.
“I hope. So I’ll see it first in India, or right now in Saudi Arabia. We hope when we get economies of scale and you have longer routes and it’s popular probably because of the speed of a plane, you’ll pay the price of a truck,” Bin Sulayem said.
DP World, an international logistics company in the Emirates, is responsible for moving 10 percent of world trade. It operates a network of ports and data-driven logistics companies around the world, including Jebel Ali, Dubai’s flagship port.
The Dubai-based company is displaying a large-scale hyperloop cargo pod and cut-away passenger pod as part of its Flow pavilion at Expo 2020. Upon arrival at the pavilion, visitors will see a full-scale replica of a commercial cargo pod, measuring nearly 10 meters in length. Once inside the pavilion, guests can sit in an open-plan passenger cabin, complete with production intent, to see what a future hyperloop journey will look like.
“I hope visitors can imagine the not-too-distant future where they will be passengers on a commercial hyperloop system in the Gulf region and beyond,” said Josh Giegel, CEO and Co-Founder of Virgin Hyperloop.
Disruption of the supply chain
The chairman of DP World also discussed how the pandemic has affected global supply chains.
“Today you are lucky to find an empty container. Today, from $7,000 per container from the west coast of America to China or the Far East, it is now $30,000. These are outrageous costs, but people need products and supply chains need to meet them. And people are now going to decide, do we really have to make everything in the Far East, does that make sense? I believe the pandemic has taught us something and given us opportunities.”
Trade war between the US and China
Bin Sulayem also spoke of tensions in the US-China relationship and emphasized that his company was a partner of both countries.
“China has actually been our most important trading partner for a long time. And the United States is also a great trading partner and ally. Today I believe that the cold war between America and China is not as hard as it was during the Trump administration. We are friends with both. And we are business people, we are not politicians.”
Speaking about the industry disruption caused by the pandemic, he said it will take time to return to normal practices.
“We have had to deal with it in the short term, in the long term it will stick with us for a while. Look at China, China is locked up. And every time there is an incident, a Covid case, an entire port is locked. And it will remain that way for a while,” he says.