Londoners travel underground, so why not send deliveries underground too?
Magway, a British engineering startup is hoping to do just this. The founders plan to shake up the UK’s e-commerce delivery industry with an underground network of tunnels.
How will Magway work?
Much like pipelines used by water, gas and electricity companies, this new system of tunnels, about 3 ft wide, would be installed and used to transport packages from distribution centres to consolidation centres.
Co-founder Phill Davies says that each pipe would be able to carry 72,000 carriages every hour. Each carriage could hold up to four parcels. Once completed, the network of tubes could deliver more than 600 million packages a year in London.
Using magnetic force, the carriages would be propelled forward at just shy of 40 mph. The system would be safer than road transport and would not be dependent on weather conditions. This would in turn help to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.
Magway also states that the system would be more efficient and cost-effective for businesses and would improve customer service.
Investment in Magway exceeds expectations
The startup looked to raise funds using crowdcube, a crowdfunding investment site, back in November 2019.
The initial goal was £750,000, which would be used toward the pilot system within London. The opportunity to invest closed this January, with the total investment of £1.58 million.
Anna Daroy from Magway says that this incredible response “shows that people, particularly younger generations, are prepared to back innovative businesses, such as Magway, in their drive to change existing, outdated modes of transportation, and in doing so, help improve air quality and the wider environment.”
Magway hopes to complete a 1.2 mile test tunnel in the not too distant future, with the network being ready to function within the next three years.
So watch this space. In the future we may see drone delivery taking off (pun intended), and we may also have goods shooting along below our feet.