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Fully automated container storage system makes first successful trial

DP World has completed testing of the Boxbay fully automated container storage system at its Jebel Ali terminal in Dubai, accomplishing more than 63,000 container moves since the facility was commissioned earlier this year.

The facility, which can hold 792 containers at a time, exceeded expectations, delivering faster and more energy-efficient than anticipated, the Dubai-headquartered terminal operator said.

The solar-powered system stores containers in slots in a steel rack up to eleven high. DP World claims Boxbay delivers three times the capacity of a conventional yard in which containers are stacked directly on top of each other, reducing the footprint of terminals by 70% and energy costs by 29%. Boxbay delivered 19.3 moves per hour at each waterside transfer table to the straddle carrier and 31.8 moves per hour at each landside truck crane.

Boxbay is a joint venture between DP World and the German industrial engineering specialist SMS group. The system moves containers in, out and between slots with fully electrified and automated cranes built into the structure and can access them without moving any others.

“This test proves that Boxbay can revolutionise how ports and terminals operate. The technology we have developed with our joint venture partner SMS group dramatically expands capacity, increases efficiency, and makes the handling of containers more sustainable,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.


  1. Hats off to DP World for setting up an incredible fully automated system for storing Containers. This is indeed a revolutionary system which uses solar power for storing containers in steel racks and electrical cranes for moving a single container box in and out without disturbing other containers. Saving cost upto 30% is another important achievement of thus storage system. Well done and congrats to DP World team.

  2. Thank God a huge company was able to save costs and take hundreds of jobs away from the little guy

    Ok. Put that effort into Maintaining human jobs, build energy efficiency vehicles for us to drive!
    We’re faster no matter what! Why put half the west coast out of work and crash the economy ? People matter! This is ridiculous! Yay automation!? Who says that?! Be real people! It’s likes using self check out, selfish and stupid! Where do you expect your kids to get summer jobs if people are using automated machines to check out?! It’s all bad.. are you waiting for a government check so you can stay home and let machines do all the work?
    Ridiculous. People first! … just period

    1. Because to the company people don’t matter. Robots don’t buy anything or put back revenue back to the local economy. But that is why is work in places like a Dubai where the rich are richer and the poor are now without a job.

  4. Leave that crap in Dubai. The moment someone forgets to unhook a container from the chassis, them and the truck will be stuffed in a metal shelf. Let people work Got dayum. You already sent all the manufacturing jobs to China.

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