Innovative Transportation Solution Moves Containers Across South America in 30 minutes

Martijn Graat
Martijn Graat

What if I told you there was a way to get a container from one side of Northern Colombia to the other in 30 minutes, including taking it off a ship on one side and loading it on another ship on the other side?

The current route for containers going from Asia to Western Europe is through the Pacific and the Suez Canal, but what if it was possible to use the Atlantic route without being limited by the size of the Panama Canal?

Zegratran, an innovative and sustainable high-capacity transportation company, is solving this challenge by developing an alternative to the Panama Canal.

Innovative Transportation Solution Across Northern Colombia,

The Zero Gravity Transportation (Zergatran) solution combines automated shipping cranes, cutting-edge maglev propulsion technology and 80 miles of tunnel, creating a new transportation mode with a capacity of ten million 40ft containers per year. 

The tunnel will span the entire width of Northern Colombia, running from coast to coast, parallel to the Panama Canal. Zergratran will create a hundred berths on the Pacific and a hundred on the Atlantic side, where large and small ships will be loaded and unloaded by automated cranes. The cranes will place containers on sledges that will autonomously move to and through the tunnel. On the other side, the container moves to the right ship and is loaded again. This enables them to fully cross dock a full-sized containership from one side to the other, loading the containers on larger and smaller vessels to be transported to their final destination.

The new shipping corridor is called Puerta Internacional Las Americas (PILA).

The video below gives a clear impression of what this will look like.

Zero-emission Transportation. Supporting Global Sustainability 

The containers will move autonomously through the tunnel on sledges that will be propelled based on the same magnetic levitation technology that drives the superfast bullet trains in China and Japan. The containers will move at speeds of up to 250 miles an hour. Mag-lev solutions are highly energy efficient. The relatively low amount of energy it will take to move the sledges can be generated via solar and wind solutions, creating a zero-emission transportation solution.

The solution will also cut thousands of miles out of the journey of containers moving across the oceans while simultaneously creating the opportunity to load these ships with cargo on both the Atlantic and the Pacific sides, increasing the fill rates of ships. Containers can be individually directed from one vessel to another on the other side of Colombia, creating a cross-docking solution across the South American continent. Currently, 60% of ships return to China empty. This more efficient use of shipping capacity will result in significant savings in carbon emissions.

Containers Zipping Through the Tunnel Within Eight Years

The Government of Colombia has already approved the initial Zergratran plans, and Zergratran has taken the first steps to realise this innovative freight solution. The project is comprised of three main phases.

The first phase is a pre-feasibility study, looking at financial, geological, and technical feasibility, which could take 6-12 months. The second phase is a feasibility study, sourcing the materials, planning, and construction, which will take 9-18 months. The final phase is construction, which could last six years. You could ship containers using the Zergratran system in 8 years!

In the meantime, Zergratran is looking for investors that believe in creating a better world by creating sustainable transportation solutions. PILA is the first infrastructure project that creates an impact and long-term benefits on the overall economic, social and environmental levels. Check the Zergratrans website for more information.

Zergratran Route
The Zergratran Solution

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