Urban Cargo Flow
End-to-end solution for the urban transport of goods in the future
Designed by Frederic Kreutzer
About the project.
Urban Cargo Flow is a concept that addresses the transportation of cargo in urban areas.
In this concept, most of the transportation takes place underground. Standardized freight volumes as in long-distance logistics are inexistent for urban areas. Part of the concept is therefore a standardized freight container, the Smart Freight Container. It is rotationally symmetrical, has defined external dimensions and machine-readable e-paper displays with QR codes. This makes the container traceable, a basis for a flexible, highly automatable freight system.
The tunnelvolume per meter of the Urban Cargo Flow Tunnel is 2/3 less than that of a typical subway tunnel and therefore much more cost-effective. Tunnel and vehicles maintain as large a distance as possible to avoid air friction at boundaries and thus frictional forces (Hagen-Poiseuille law). Urban Cargo Flow has two types of trains as main transport vehicles: The Urban Container Freighter can load two Smart Containers. The Rotation Load Vehicle is a flexible solution for the fast delivery of small goods (24 pos. 60x60x30cm). Both trains are suspended from the rail, electrically driven and powered by two motion modules each. Battery modules serve as a buffer.
A central design aspect was good aerodynamic performance, which works symmetrically without loss in both directions of motion. The Rotation Load Vehicle has a flowing cylindrical outer shape and a recess in the center of the vehicle, allowing good aerodynamic flow around the vehicle. A bypass opening at both ends of the Urban Container Freighter guides air past the side of the vehicle. A hard edge at the rear separates the flow behind the vehicle. Surface shuttles complement the system as surface transport solution and deliver smart containers around the vertically connected unloading stations. Urban Cargo Flow is thus an end-to-end solution for the urban transport of goods in the future.