What would ultra-fast (but expensive) transcontinental shipping solve?

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Say we now have the technology (actually, we do) to ship a payload as heavy as 800kg from New Jersey to London in only 3 hours. And the cost is well over 100,000 USD per delivery. What would that realistically solve?

Oh and huge bummer: no human payload possible (yet).

No military application please.
 

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  • #2
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Other than military-related, I can think of medicine. If it is as expensive, then no wonder it's seldom utilised. I think most problems that are solved by a three hour shipping time are also solved by a ten hour shipping time.

Does it have to solve anything right now, though?
 
  • #3
jbriggs444
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Say we now have the technology (actually, we do) to ship a payload as heavy as 800kg from New Jersey to London in only 3 hours. And the cost is well over 100,000 USD per delivery. What would that realistically solve?
Only one that comes to mind is getting the off-site backup tapes delivered to the recovery data center.
 
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Only one that comes to mind is getting the off-site backup tapes delivered to the recovery data center.

Wouldn't be the backup right next to the main server?
 
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jbriggs444
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Wouldn't be the backup right next to the main server?
Not if you want disaster tolerance. You do not want a fire in the machine room to take out the server along with the backups.

Of course, data replication and a hot standby data center is a preferable, albeit more expensive, way to go.
 
  • #6
russ_watters
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It would enable Phil Collins to play concerts in Philadelphia and London on the same day.
 
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  • #7
jbriggs444
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It would enable Phil Collins to play concerts in Philadelphia and London on the same day.
Oh and huge bummer: no human payload possible (yet).
Phil Collins is an android?
 
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  • #8
russ_watters
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Phil Collins is an android?
I'm not sure of the OP's constraints with this hypothetical. I suppose he has a technology in mind that isn't human friendly and is absurdly expensive, but once upon a time we had a technology that was probably 1/5 the cost and was human friendly. So I decline to adhere to the OP's constraints.

Also, I'd need more study to determine if Phil Collins is an android.
 
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  • #9
256bits
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I can think of medicine
Just don't get bitten by an exotic snake, and you can save the 100G for a big boat.
 
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  • #10
Vanadium 50
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I think the OP needs to be clearer. Is it really only New York to London, or could you go from any point to any other? And what is he including in this time?

Today it's less than 7 hours in flight JFK-LHR. So 3 hours saves you 4. In real life, you're sending something from, say, White Plains to maybe Swindon. So say 90 minutes on the road each way, and 30 minutes on each end to deal with paperwork and such, and it's 11 hours. The OP proposes to cut this to 7. There's not much that can be done in 7 that can't be done in 11. Possibly F-18 for PET, which has a 2h half life.
 
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  • #11
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The "cost is no object" scenarios I have seen have involved shut-down facilities (power plants, factories) that normally run 24x7. These often have "cost per hour of shutdown" numbers far beyond what you or I experience in our everyday lives. Large power plants are typically said to cost the owners $1 million per day when shutdown.

So when they need a part delivered to re-start they will pay to expedite.

I saw one instance where the plant owner wanted a certain well-regarded expert on site "now" to troubleshoot a system problem the plant staff couldn't seem to solve. They sent a jeep through a blizzard to his house out in the country on Saturday night, to drive him to the airport to board a leased corporate jet to bring him cross-country to the plant. I think the flight was in the $10-20,000 range. A good talking point at raise time :wink:.

As @Vanadium 50 notes, the air time is only part of the story, so whether a few hours savings in time are worth $xxx,xxx dollars depends on the situation. Tens of thousands of dollars, I would say yes, but hundreds of thousands? Maybe but it would have to be a special circumstance.
 
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  • #12
Borek
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Time is crucial when it comes to organ transplantation, no idea if it is worth the money though (nor whether a kidney counts as "humans").
 
  • #13
Buzz Bloom
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I interpret this thread as seeking personal opinions. My opinion is that the very wealthy will find a useful way to use ultra-fast transport of goods for their personal benefit independently of cost.
 
  • #14
Vanadium 50
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Time is crucial when it comes to organ transplantation

Bit if your organ is in Wichita and your patient is in Białystok, shaving time off the NY-London leg doesn't help so much.
 
  • #15
Borek
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Bit if your organ is in Wichita and your patient is in Białystok, shaving time off the NY-London leg doesn't help so much.

There's not much that can be done in 7 that can't be done in 11.

Surgeons won't implant a liver that was kept outside of a body for longer than 12 hours, so the difference between 7 and 11 can be crucial. These are exactly time scales where 3 hours matter.
 
  • #16
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I very much doubt one can get from Wichita to Białystok in 12 hours even with a 3 hour "boost".
 
  • #17
256bits
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Time is crucial when it comes to organ transplantation, no idea if it is worth the money though (nor whether a kidney counts as "humans").
At times the hospitals would send hearts to Florida ( I forget the name of the place ) that would process the organ for the valves. Heart in a bag, surrounded by ice in a box. Shipped them with commercial airlines - Delta airlines, or American the next morning. The harvesting was done during the night - not sure of the time frame between deceased to harvest.

One time, an organ harvest (I think it was a kidney) was to go down south US. Donner/recipient not a match. Kidney sent to another location, and the same thing. I think the kidney was in transit for some 3 days if I recall.
 
  • #18
BillTre
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There is a difference between tissues and organs.
Organs are big organized lumps of tissue. In the body they require vascular support (blood flow) to survive. Once removed they will be iced. I don't know how long they will be viable, but it could easily vary for different organs.

Tissues, like skin, tendons, heart valves, and veins can be removed up to 24 hours after death and still be medically useful. Keeping the body cold prior to removal is helpful. the removed tissues are kept in bags on ice. I am guessing that they can last quite a while after removal from the body.

I do corneas. they are a very simple tissue (one layer of cells). They can also last 24 hours in a dead body. The cells in the cornea are not vascularized and have a slow metabolism, which probably helps them last that long. Once removed from the body, these cells can last for several days (on ice in a special medium).
 
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  • #19
Borek
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I think the kidney was in transit for some 3 days if I recall.

As @BillTre wrote these times are different for different organs. organdonor dot gov gives 4-6 hours for heart and lung, 8-12 for liver and 24-36 for kidneys.
 
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  • #20
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The OP lists a transportation cost of $125 / kg. Playing around with this air freight calculator, it says a 1 kg package currently would cost $137-150 to ship from London to NY. (https://worldfreightrates.com/freight). so this would actually be cheaper, as well as faster for low bulk, high value cargo


Think about it this way, in general there is little demand for a radically new high cost/high speed shipping as because it was heretofore unavailable, supply chains either manufacture or inventory time sensitive items locally. Introduction of some new superfast transport would cause companies to reevaluate the tradeoffs between local production and / or warehousing and having items shipped with the new method.
 
  • #21
russ_watters
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The OP lists a transportation cost of $125 / kg. Playing around with this air freight calculator, it says a 1 kg package currently would cost $137-150 to ship from London to NY. (https://worldfreightrates.com/freight). so this would actually be cheaper, as well as faster for low bulk, high value cargo
You're skipping the economy of scale for that -- we don't know the impact of skipping the economy of scale for the OP's shipping method. A larger/heavier package is more than an order of magnitude cheaper.
 
  • #22
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Is it really only New York to London,

Almost all major cities. Denver and up. C'mon I can't go any lower.
 
  • #23
Vanadium 50
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C'mon I can't go any lower.

C'mon, I can't read your mind.
C'mon, if you want to have a discussion, you have to tell us what you're thinking about.
C'mon, "guess what I am thinking" isn't a very fun game.
C'mon.
 
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  • #24
berkeman
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Thread closed for Moderation.,,
 
  • #25
russ_watters
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This thread has run its course and will stay closed.
 

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