In Switzerland, there are plans to make the logistics system more efficient through their latest project, Cargo Sous Terrain. It is a network of underground tunnels that’s predicted to start moving cargo by 2031. The government recently forecasted that there would be about 37% more traffic on the roads within 30 years. Thus, finding a more efficient way to move shipping units can help take the added strain off the transport system.
Cargo Sous Terrain is a pollution-free and fully autonomous system that will transport smaller loads of cargo. In this zero-emissions system, each tunnel is 6 meters wide, while the floor is segmented into three lanes. The unmanned cargo pods moving along the lanes run at a constant speed of 30km/h.
Each pod will hold one or two shipping pallets. Meanwhile, some of the pods will be temperature-controlled to hold fresh produce and similar items. The Cargo Sous Terrain’s system runs on renewable energy, as the solar panels on top of individual hubs help meet energy requirements.
Starting point to the destination
The first section of the system will connect Härkingen – Niederbipp to the outskirts of Zürich, with numerous stations at important locations. These locations will have hubs, where containers will be brought via truck and collected. The containers will be put on an elevator that takes them down to the tunnel. After which, they will be put on one of the lanes.
From there, the cargo will move toward its destination. At the destination, it will be put on an elevator, which will bring it up to the hub. From there, containers will be put on a truck and delivered to their respective addresses. This process will continue 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to allow efficient and speedy delivery of goods to customers.
While the company hasn’t started digging into the building process, Cargo Sous Terrain is surveying and looking at locations for the first network of 10 hubs. Currently, they’re prioritizing high-traffic locations that face high levels of congestion due to cargo transport. If operations go according to plan, it’s likely to take a huge burden off the transport system.
YouTube: Cargo sous terrain – The Future of Freight Transport
Photo credits: The images used are owned by Cargo Sous Terrain and have been provided for press usage.