Virgin Hyperloop One and DP World have announced the launch of a new company that will push the technology into the cargo industry. DP World Cargospeed is a new project that will see the pair look to build Hyperloop-enabled cargo systems to transport "palletized cargo." It's not much of a departure from what Hyperloop One has always said it would do, but the new company will be responsible for making it work.
DP World, which already invests in Hyperloop One, is a Dubai-based port owner that controls terminals all over the world. It has holdings on major freight routes in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and would gain a lot from a fast-transit network of its own. Much like co-founder Shervin Pishebar said in 2016, Hyperloop One could connect Europe and China to create a "new Silk Road."
There's clearly demand for it, too, since shipping products from China to the west can take several weeks at the present time. Cutting journey times down and saving money would benefit pretty much every manufacturer and exporter in the world. DP World could, theoretically, receive products from China by sea, and then zoom them to Europe in a matter of hours.
The announcement is pretty dry and procedural, except for one thing that chairman Richard Branson let slip to CNBC. The billionaire said that "wether we actually keep the name Hyperloop is something that we're questioning." It seems like Branson has an eye on distancing the company from other Hyperloop teams, and certainly using the Cargospeed name would play into that narrative.