Logistics

Sustainable eCommerce Delivery: Magway

UK based company Magway is developing a sustainable eCommerce delivery concept, utilising underground pipe networks to transport packages.

Sustainable eCommerce delivery options are going to be one of the critical battlegrounds for sustainability in online retail. While many are counting on advancements in electric vehicles, there are more progressive ideas which look to completed revolutionise the eCommerce logistics industry.

Magway is a UK based company who have conceptualised an eCommerce delivery network based on the use of pipes. Individual eCommerce packages transported through pipelines, powered by highly efficient linear synchronous motors.

Magway sustainable eCommerce delivery of parcels being transported under road in pipes
Magway Sustainable eCommerce Delivery. Source: https://www.magway.com/

Initially focused on the UK market, Magway is looking to utilise existing pipe technology. The pipes can be buried, elevated or run above ground, with the small 0.9m diameter meaning a reduced initial capital cost and disruption.

Benefits include:

  • Sustainable eCommerce delivery network
  • Reduced road congestion
  • Improved air quality
  • Increased delivery reliability and predictability
  • Reduced cost- 70%+ savings compared to the road network
  • Capable of fulfilling 90% of eCommerce parcels
  • No driver limitations
  • Live tracking of parcels

Magway have estimated the system has the potential to fulfil 90% of online orders, plus all online groceries. This 90% equates to roughly 12 million plastic crates flowing through the underground sustainable eCommerce delivery system every week.

Traditional logistics is often inefficient, with a 1-ton truck being used well under capacity to deliver a small volumetric weight of packages. The benefit of Magway is enabling a consistent capacity level, with custom-designed smaller vessels achieving 60-70% volume as a payload.

Magway beta eCommere delivery capsule on test track
Magway sustainable eCommerce delivery beta product. Source: https://www.magway.com/

While trying to imagine this system connecting an entire country, a key benefit would be the modular aspect. This modularity allows the construction of numerous sections that could eventually combine into a network. The idea of initially connecting a major airport with a distribution centre seems a logical first step towards a sustainable eCommerce delivery network.

Although hard to picture such a new and advanced concept in action, it certainly feels more achievable than other equally ambitious schemes.

Further Reading- Sustainable Last-Mile Delivery: Flipkart India. Read More