Chinese firm Guangdong iBosst has launched a project to develop Intelligent Logistics Express (ILE) cable rail system covering urban and rural areas of China.
The aim is to offer same-day delivery of goods nationwide and one-hour citywide delivery at half the cost of traditional transport modes.
The first 15km long ILE was completed in Guangdong Province in May. The technology focuses on low-altitude static cable rails, which provide the infrastructure for an “expressway” to run along soft wire-rope tracks carrying small robot containers with a capacity of up to 100kg.
The cable rail system is part of the company’s plans to build an integrated platform for smart express logistics, encompassing value added services in warehousing, payment, finance, etc, iBosst’s chairman Ma Yasheng said.
Guangdong iBosst estimates the current construction cost of the smart logistics express at USD 22,000 per km, but that would be reduced to less than USD 15,000 per km when mass produced. However, the firm has not disclosed when the ILE is likely to enter service on commercial basis.
At an official launch event in Guangzhou, Mr Ma heralded the new system as a milestone in China’s push to become a global technological innovator. He said that “ILE is a world’s first and a triumph for Chinese creativity. “. He added that the system showed “proof of concept” and talks were already underway to construct similar networks in other Chinese locations, with foreign buyers also interested. Mr Ma also claimed that Intelligent Logistics Express had obvious advantages over other systems (e.g. drones), such as far superior carrying capacity and fewer operational safety concerns.