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BASEL: February 26, 2019. Panalpina has become a shareholder in Cargo sous terrain (CST), the Swiss-led consortium aiming to transform the country's logistics infrastructure via an underground system of transport tunnels linking the business centres north of the Alps with environmentally friendly distribution in cities and industrial areas. Other shareholders include Rhenus Logistics, Swiss Post, Virgin Hyperloop One, Zurich Airport and Swiss Rail.

CST plans to implement an automated, digitally-directed logistics system in Switzerland by 2045 for the safe, secure and punctual delivery of containers, pallets and parcels.

sous terrainThe first section of the tunnel system is expected to be ready in 2030 and will connect the logistics hub Härkingen-Niederbipp, near Bern with Zurich.

When completed, the network will extend from Geneva to St. Gallen and from Basel to Luzern, with an additional branch from Bern to Thun, via 500 kilometres of tunnels linking over 80 hubs for distributing industrial and commercial goods for about 10 million people.

With one million square metres underground, CST will also become the largest warehouse in Switzerland.

“CST is the most ambitious and advanced logistics project for Switzerland in the next decades and could potentially serve as a role model for the rest of the world,” says Stefan Karlen, CEO of Panalpina. “Our goal is to be at the forefront, to learn and help shape the future infrastructure for freight forwarding and logistics.”

Run on renewable energy, CST will reduce the number of trucks on Swiss roads by 40 percent and city freight traffic by 30 percent.

“Panalpina aims to play an active and decisive role for Cargo sous terrain in co-designing highly automated operational systems to connect metropolitan areas and optimize intra-city logistics,” added Luca Graf, Panalpina’s head of Digital Innovation. “We see the possibility to apply disruptive technologies such as predictive logistics and advanced recycling to achieve this vision.”

The building permit and planning phase of CST will start with the passing of the CST law, expected in late 2020.

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