DP World and industrial engineering specialists SMS Group have formed a joint venture to optimise handling of containers in ports.
The venture includes the development of a High Bay Storage System, which places each shipping container in an individual rack compartment, instead of stacking them directly on top of each other as is global standard practice. Containers are stored in an eleven-story rack, creating 200 per cent more capacity than a conventional container terminal, or creating the same capacity in less than a third of the space.
Due to the design of the rack, each container can be accessed without having to move another one, enabling 100 per cent utilisation in a terminal yard. The system will improve speed, energy efficiency, safety and is expected to bring 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 per cent.
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 ground-breaking features.”
Burkhard Dahmen, CEO of SMS Group, added: “Our subsidiary AMOVA has optimised this technology in industrial applications for the metals industry over several decades. The application for container terminals is a direct result of our “New Horizon” strategy, in which SMS transfers technology from the metallurgical sector to other industries.”
Dr. Mathias Dobner, CEO of the joint venture, stated: “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.”
The High Bay Storage System was first developed by SMS group subsidiary AMOVA for handling metal coils weighing up to 50 tonnes each in racks as high as 50 metres. It will be applied for the first time to Jebel Ali Terminal 4, Dubai.