Joint venture to create stackable container handling system

Boxbay. Credit: DP World

Global port operator DP World, together with engineering specialist SMS Group, have launched a joint venture to change the way containers are handled and stored in ports.

The high bay storage system (HBS), known as BOXBAY, is underway to be ready in time for the Dubai Expo 2020. A pilot project is also scheduled to be carried out in Jebel Ali Terminal 4.

The fully automated patented design and rack structure system allows for containers to be stored up to 11 stories high. Each container will be placed in an individual rack allowing for direct access by stacker cranes. Handling speed will be increased, along with greater energy efficiency as well as safety, while operating costs and container reshuffling time will be reduced.

DP World will also be working with SMS Group subsidiary AMOVA to incorporate their high storage handling capabilities for metal products, that weigh up to 50 tons each in racks up to 50 m high, into the BOXBAY model.

The HBS is expected to have a space utilisation of 3,000 teu per hectare and up to 75% reduction in space requirements for container yards. With the container storage capability being 11 tiers high, compared to conventional container terminals, it would create an estimated 200% capacity increase.

The HBS is also expected to meet ultra large container ship (ULCS) offloading demands, with peak performance simulations of 3.3 million teu annual capacity high bay storage. Yard planning will no longer be required with the equipment control system and single integrated management system.

The fully automated and electrified system also reduces repair and maintenance costs, as well as staffing and maintenance by an estimated 20%. A solar power plant will be installed on the roof, reducing the CO2 carbon footprint of the BOXBAY, it emits minimal light and noise to nearby residential areas as no yard lighting is required (aside for reefer and repair and maintenance).