TRL underpins its strategic aim in helping businesses to develop new, innovative technologies and services that can shape future mobility and benefit society. Partnering with MAGWAY (www.magway.com) to provide its deep expertise in independent trial design, monitoring and evaluation, the TRL team is excited to be engaged in exploring the real possibilities of this new logistics venture.

Addressing the multiple environmental and infrastructure challenges caused by the explosive growth in e-commerce deliveries, Magway has won co-funding support from Innovate UK via its Emerging and Enabling Technologies competition. Adding to Magway’s seed funding round and other match funding from industry partners, the £0.65m Innovate UK grant enables the build of an operational demonstrator to illustrate how a full-scale system will operate. Magway’s project consortium partners comprise of Ocado, Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, Space Syntax, Force Engineering and TRL.

Magway is a “delivery utility”, delivering parcels between distribution centres and consolidation centres via underground pipelines similar to those used by water, gas and electricity companies. The solution could significantly reduce the volume of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) from the road network which should  substantially decrease the resultant emissions, accidents and costs associated with the maintenance of roads. At the same time, it enables e-tailers to better service customers, improving flexibility and reliability at a reduced cost for outwards orders, as well as returns. Magway combines technology from high-voltage distribution and high-speed transport systems and design from professional cycling and motor sports. It aims to install multiple pipelines across the UK and internationally. The initial link alone, proposed from Milton Keynes to Park Royal, has the potential to transport more than 600 million parcels a year. If the expected benefits can be validated, a full-scale roll-out could eliminate millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, save millions of pounds worth of road maintenance costs and transform the road network as we know it today.

Rob Wallis, CEO of TRL said: “TRL is continually seeking to innovate, evaluate and help safely deploy new mobility solutions that can improve society. Magway’s delivery utility pipeline is an exciting proposition with potential to deliver amazing benefits for businesses, and ultimately society. In our experience, innovation can sometimes be very hard to deliver, but working with the creative insights of the team at Magway and the wider project consortium is a real opportunity to create new thinking for the freight logistics sector.”

The concept is presented in Magway's video.

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