An intelligent multi-storey container park has been developed by terminal operator DP World and German engineering company SMS. The revolutionary design will be built at DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali Terminal 4, in time for the Dubai Expo 2020 world fair.
The High Bay Storage system was originally developed by SMS group subsidiary AMOVA for round the clock handling of metal coils that weigh as much as 50 tons each in racks as high as 50 metres. AMOVA is the first company to transfer this technology to the port industry.
Instead of stacking containers directly on top of each other, which has been global standard practice for decades, the system places each container in an individual rack compartment. Containers are stored in an 11-story rack, creating 200% more capacity than a conventional container terminal, or creating the same capacity in less than a third of the space.
Thanks to the rack’s design each container can be accessed without having to move another one, enabling 100% utilization in a terminal yard.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World group chairman and CEO, said: “DP World’s experience and expertise in moving cargo coupled with the technology of AMOVA will ensure the system is remarkably efficient and relevant for present and future operations. As a world first in our industry we are tremendously excited by its potential and groundbreaking features. Our engagement in new technologies is a major priority and we have become known for seeking ways that transform the way goods are moved across the world. Innovation is part of our DNA and at the heart of our success.”
Dr Mathias Dobner, CEO of the joint venture, said: “This new container handling technology allows cities to use their expensive and sensitive land and waterfront areas more effectively. Our system will significantly increase the productivity of handling ships on the quay. This means that quay walls can be shortened by a third. This disruptive innovation will greatly improve the financial performance of container ports, and well as their overall appearance.”
Other global terminal operators are understood to be developing similar multi-storey concepts to free up space and increase efficiency. The new Tuas megaport in Singapore to be run by PSA, for instance, is expected to incorporate a similar box stacking method.