With infrastructure costs of some $12m per mile, the Freight Shuttle System (FSS) is hardly likely to take off anytime soon. The cargo sector, as Steve Roop president of Freight Shuttle International points out, is hyper-competitive, low-margin, highly efficient and, above all else, incredibly fragmented.

But what Mr Roop – who is also the lead designer of FSS – has done is bring proof of concept to the table. For all his talk of whizzing produce round at 700mph, Elon Musk has yet to bring a working prototype of his Futurama-style Hyperloop One to the table. And at a conservative estimate of $6bn, its budget far-exceeds the financial punch of the freight industry. Nevertheless, interesting and innovative ideas here for anyone wanting to see the shape of the future.

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