US-based Hyperloop One has announced that it will target about $12 billion of cargo transportation business in the Gulf region once it is operational.

Hyperloop – the futuristic mode of transport – involves using magnets to levitate pods inside an airless tube, creating conditions in which the floating pods shuttle people and cargo at speeds of up to 500 miles per hour.

At two thirds the cost, three times the speed and with 3.5-4 times the benefit of high speed rail, Hyperloop backers say it will have a tangible impact on current and future businesses and society.

Delivering a speech to the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit in Abu Dhabi, Nick Earle, senior vice president of Hyperloop One’s global operations, said the company will aim for about a third of the GCC’s cargo transportation market.

In the GCC, the cargo transportation market was worth approximately $35 billion in 2016, according to McKinsey & Co.

Of this, Hyperloop One has an addressable share of around $12 billion, excluding short-haul, intra-city shipping and low-value commodity freight such as oil and chemicals, metals and minerals and agriculture and food products, he said.

He added that Hyperloop One would compete for 100 percent of air freight in the GCC, which is a $7 billion market, 22 percent of the surface freight – which is approximately $3 billion in road and rail freight and 13 percent of the maritime freight, equating to roughly $2 billion.

Earle said terrific momentum has driven the project’s development, with new images recently revealed demonstrating the progress made at the DevLoop, the world’s first and only full-scale Hyperloop test track.

Travelling at speeds of 1080km/h, Hyperloop will enable travel between cities in the GCC in under an hour, enabling disruption that will create new opportunities in manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain distribution.

“As the only company in the world building an operational Hyperloop system, Hyperloop One is focused on creating a new mode of transportation to move people and cargo,” said Earle.

“Hyperloop One changes everything. We’re committed to enabling disruption to create new opportunities in manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain distribution. Hyperloop will drive significant value for a wide range of businesses and reinvent transportation as we know it.”  More

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