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CTAC 2020: BoxBay readies for go/no go decision

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The proof of concept for the High Bay Storage (HBS) system BoxBay has begun rack testing at DP World’s Jebel Ali Terminal 4. 

As of 30 November 2020, 1,500 container movements had been conducted in the automated HBS facility, according to DP World.

Speaking during CTAC 2020 Ronald Van der Meer, Project Director HBS, DP World, provided an update saying that over the next six months enough data will be gathered for a go/no go decision to be made on the proof of concept.

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When it comes to roll our Van der Meer said this would be “like a brand-new terminal that takes around three years [to construct]”.

He said they people are already making enquiries about acquiring their own system.

Erection of the HBS construction was completed in August and the testing of the HBS system began in October 2020.

The journey this year has of course been affected by COVID-19 somewhat and Van der Meer said, “Covid-19 has given us some problems in the commissioning because of the need for the experts to be on site. The commissioning of the truck crane is a little behind schedule.”

Truck cranes came from Konecranes and is not part of the new HBS design because Van der Meer said as it was already on the market there was no need to develop it in-house.

BoxBay is a joint venture by DP World and German industrial engineering specialist SMS group GmbH.

DP World says that when the concept reaches full industrial roll out it will be able to deliver more than three times the capacity of a conventional yard with enhanced crane performance.

Ultimately, this means the footprint of a terminal can be reduced by up to 70% and removed the need for yard shuffles to access containers.

DP World has more than ten terminals where BoxBay provides a solution to capacity issues that may be being faced.

In addition, BoxBay can used in both greenfield and brownfield sites as it is suitable for retrofits of older terminal locations which cannot grow due to the lack of spaces.

Going forward Van der Meer said, “There are still lessons to learn but up till now we have not faced any big problems.”  

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