BoxBay is a joint venture by DP World and the Germany's SMS. Image Credit: BoxBay

Dubai: Jebel Ali Port's latest addition, BoxBay, will dramatically change the way containers are handled in ports.

Traditionally containers are stacked one on top of the other, which means many have to be moved to access those lower down in the stacks. But BoxBay’s 'High Bay Storage' system cuts down time and resources by using an automated container handling system that can stock up to 11 storeys high.

DP World

In this system, the containers are moved in, out and between slots by automated cranes built into the structure. Individual containers can be accessed without moving any others. This mechanism creates 200 per cent more capacity than a conventional container terminal and is designed to be fully powered by solar panels on the roof.

“It 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 per cent and enables any container to be accessed individually without moving any other,” said Patrick Bol, Head Port Expansion and Special Projects at DP World.

BoxBay is a joint venture by DP World and the Germany's SMS.

"Through automation, BoxBay systems aim to achieve a three-fold increase in the transshipment capacity of container terminals,” DP World said in a statement. BoxBay aims to solve capacity bottlenecks in container ports around the world.

The High Bay Store system's proof-of-concept provides 792 container slots. According to DP World, a full industrial yard behind the two under-construction berths of Jebel Ali Terminal 4 can handle more than three million containers per year.

“This is not a cheap solution,” said Bol. “This system requires much more capital requirement upfront however the running cost is less.”

The operation cost is about 30 per cent less than the normal and that the initial cost will be passed on to the terminal operator.

Bol said that this system is not only for the DP World Terminals but is also available for third-party purchases many of whom are already showing interest in buying. He also hinted at the big purchase announcement in November without giving out many details.

BoxBay goes for sustainability
Small terminal footprint.
No local CO2 emission, with a green energy supply and zero CO2.
Fully electrical driven with power regeneration.
Energy-saving operations with advanced controls.
Energy recuperation.
Solar panels on the roof supply energy for operation.
In sunny regions solar energy is sufficient for self-supply of complete HBS.