The world’s first container High Bay Store (HBS) system has been assembled at Jebel Ali Port and is due to be tested shortly by BoxBay, a joint venture formed by DP World and Germany’s SMS group. The patented HBS is an automated container handling system that stacks containers up to eleven stories high. According to BoxBay 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. It also enables any container to be accessed individually without moving any other.
An 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.
The HBS proof of concept trial unit provides 792 container slots while a full industrial HBS yard, located behind the two berths under construction at Jebel Ali Terminal 4, would be able to handle more than 3 million containers a year. When testing starts in September the stacker cranes and truck handling cranes will be operated in fully automatic mode. The shuttle carrier however will start testing with a driver at first during the pilot operation phase.
BoxBay’s HBS 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, said: “With BoxBay more capacity can be managed faster on the same footprint. In addition, this technology with its CO2-neutral operation is trend-setting.”