DP World and industrial engineering specialists SMS group's joint venture have developed a new technology they say will ‘revolutionise’ the way that containers are handled in ports.
"This new container handling technology allows cities to use their expensive and sensitive land and waterfront areas more effectively," joint venture chief executive Dr Mathias Dobner said.
"Our system will significantly increase the productivity of handling ships on the quay. This means that quay walls can be shortened by a third. [It] will greatly improve the financial performance of container ports, and well as their overall appearance," he said.
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 m. And AMOVA is the first company to transfer the proven 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 eleven-story rack, creating 200% more capacity than a conventional container terminal, effectively enabling the same storage 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% utilisation in a terminal yard.
DP World said that the system brings big gains in speed, energy efficiency, better safety and a major reduction in costs. Costs are further cut by the ability to shorten the time taken to load and unload mega-ships by as much as 30%.
DP World Group Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said "As a world first in our industry we are tremendously excited by [the system's] potential ... Our engagement in new technologies is a major priority ... Innovation is part of our DNA and at the heart of our success."
The new, intelligent container storage system will be applied for the first time ever at Jebel Ali Terminal 4, in time for the Dubai Expo 2020 world fair.