DP World, the Dubai-based logistics company, has completed the assembly of the world’s first container High Bay Store system (HBS) at Jebel Ali Port.
BoxBay is a joint venture by DP World and German industrial engineering specialist SMS group GmbH. The terminal operator said the technology will "dramatically change the way containers are handled in ports with smart innovation," while real-life test operations are due to start before September.
"We are proud to be able to transfer this disruptive technology into operation very soon. With BoxBay more capacity can be managed faster on the same footprint. In addition, this technology with its CO2-neutral operation is trend-setting," Mathias Dobner, chairman and CEO of BoxBay, said.
The patented High Bay Store is an automated container handling system that stacks containers up to eleven stories high. It delivers more than three times the capacity of a conventional yard with enhanced performance, so the footprint of terminals can be reduced by up to 70%, and enables any container to be accessed individually without moving any other. Traditionally containers are stacked one on top of the other, which means many containers have to be moved to access containers lower down in the stacks.
This week, the final major component of the system, a truck crane, was assembled on site, according to an announcement. The automated truck crane is used to lift containers on and off external trucks. Containers for the landside operations move in and out of BoxBay on underground conveyor belts before being lifted to their slot in the rack by stacker cranes.
The HBS proof of concept provides 792 container slots. A full industrial HBS yard behind the two under construction berths of Jebel Ali Terminal 4 would be able to handle more than three million containers per year. The stacker cranes and truck handling cranes will be operated in full automation. The shuttle carrier will start testing with a driver at first during the pilot operation phase.
BoxBay is designed to be fully electrified and will be the only container yard that can be powered by solar panels on its roof, added DP World.
"With speed, efficiency and digital fitness being key aspects of the port and terminal business, we intend to deliver ‘life inventory’ to our importers and we are confident BoxBay will play a significant role revolutionising container storage in the years ahead," commented Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World.