Swiss Company to Build Tunnels for Freight Delivery Network

Swiss company Cargo Sous Terrain (CST) said it plans to build an underground freight delivery network that will use autonomous vehicles to ferry pallets and packages between Switzerland’s major cities and towns.

CST's far-reaching electrical vehicles project for package and pallet deliveries  -  courtesy: CST
CST's far-reaching electrical vehicles project for package and pallet deliveries - courtesy: CST

In the first phase of the project, which is supported by leading representatives from the Swiss logistics community, including Swiss Post and DPD, CST plans to build a 70 km tunnel between Haerkingen-Niederbipp and Zurich. The system will then be expanded to stretch from Lake Geneva to Lake Constance, with branches to Thun, Luzern and Basel.

Logistics mole system
The packages and pallets will be transported by electrically powered vehicles on rails at around 30km per hour. The tunnel will be about 50 metres below ground and there will be elevators to bring the pallets and packages up to ground level to the city hubs from where they will be distributed to their final destinations by eco-vehicles. It is envisaged that the city hubs will also provide parcel pick-up facilities.

Tansport units as seen here will be operated by CST if all goes according to plan.
Tansport units as seen here will be operated by CST if all goes according to plan.

According to Swiss media reports, the system will feature a “suspended upper rail for rapid parcel delivery” which will travel at around 60km and cater to the express e-commerce delivery market.

CST released a statement and a feasibility report on the project in late January. Sources say that CST plans to create a joint-stock company within the next couple of years with the ultimate network up and running by 2030.
The project is rather expensive. According to CST it needs 3.5 billion Swiss Francs (3.2 bn euros) to finance the first tunnel stretching over 70 kilometers.
Once fully accomplished, the network will connect Switzerland’s major business centers.

Nol van Fenema

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