Thursday, July 2, 2020

New High Bay Storage System Set to Revolutionise Efficiency of Container Freight Terminals

New Technology Will Speed Up Box Movements, Reduce Accidents and Cut Yard Footprint
Shipping News Feature

DUBAI – The world's first container High Bay Store system (HBS) at Jebel Ali Port which we revealed in December was being constructed for port and logistics group DP World, has finished assembling and set to start real life tests before September. BoxBay is a joint venture by the UAE outfit and the German industrial engineering specialist SMS group who say the technology is set to dramatically change the way containers are handled in ports in the future.

The system renders the traditional stacks of containers, up to now the standard way of reducing footprint, as both slow and less efficient as the automated container handling system stacks containers up to eleven stories high within the purposely designed racks. The traditional method stacking of boxes means many containers have to be moved to access containers lower down in the stacks.

The patented High Bay Store system 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% cent, and enables any container to be accessed individually without moving any other. BoxBay is designed to be fully electrified and will be the only container yard that can be powered by solar panels on its roof. Mathias Dobner, Chairman and CEO of BoxBay, commented:

"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-settingˮ.

The project’s proof of concept development 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 with a shuttle carrier starting testing using a driver at first during the pilot operation phase.

The project became ready to roll this week when the final major component of the system, a truck crane, was assembled on site. 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. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, said:

"This is a major milestone delivered in our exploration of new and innovative technologies that add value for our operations and customers. In these challenging times, we are bringing container high bay store to the world's supply chains, demonstrating our strengths as a global provider of smart logistics solutions. 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".

Photo: It may look like the world’s biggest and most complex birdcage but the HBS system could well be set to rid many global ports of their traditional stacks of containers.