Using Urban Gondolas As Transporter Of Goods?

Post by Steven Dale

An intermodal urban gondola transfer point for the movement of goods.

Gondola Project commenter, Giorgio Betteto sent along these renderings of his concept for an intermodal urban gondola that can act as a transporter of goods.

It’s a logical concept: Gondolas are already equipped with cargo delivery systems (think about the gondolas used to move your luggage up to a ski resort) and the technology could certainly be used during off-peak times to move cargo through a city.

It makes sense. Take a look:

Image by Giorgio Betteto. Used with permission.

Image by Giorgio Betteto. Used with permission.

Image by Giorgio Betteto. Used with permission.

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  1. I think you'd need a very special situation for this to work well. Most gondola routes are an alternative to existing roads. Why would a shipping company want to spend the time to unload at one point, then have seperate trucks and crew load at a different point? It would be easier and cheaper just to drive the gondola route, and skip two material handling steps. Where I could see this working is where the line is custom-built for moving goods, with passengers being the secondary use. Say, at a shipping port that has limited waterfront land. This could move your containers (probably standard 20' or 40' shipping containers) off to less valuable land to be loaded on trucks or trains. If there's a good reason to move people between these points as well, then you add passenger cars.
  2. You are thinking too big ... I'm working on it too, but the idea shown (that's not Gondola-exclusive) is based on some facts : (european base) - Urban traffic of goods is 34% of total traffic - Vans and trucks are 20% of total vehicle traffic in city - Vans and trucks do 34% of all urban trips , take 35% of road space and generate more than 40% of traffic emissions But, the main problem is that the average speed of a van in a city is even less than public transport, rarely passing the 14 km/h, and this means that someone is paying transport costs (van, fuel , driver, taxes, insurance, etc) that are more than 75% for stay into the traffic and only 25% of "real" work. You bet that there is lot of interest, also because distribution costs are rising when economy and competition press for reductions. These are levers way more strong than environmental awareness... All is referred to the European situation (that not differs significally in the different countries) EU did fund many researches and projects on this subject (one in www.eu-portal.net); don't know if north-american situation is really different .
  3. Matt the Engineer
    Maybe I wasn't thinking big enough. I was imagining loading from a truck to a gondola and back onto another truck - a big waste of time for the shipping company. But automated loading from train, metro, and gondola could get you from a central point all throughout a city or region, saving driving time. You'd need to really plan out your entire system well, so this could get expensive for existing systems. But it's certainly a cool idea.