BOXBAY gets German Supply Chain Management Award 2022

BOXBAY, the revolutionary automated, safe and environmentally friendly High Bay Storage (HBS) container stacking system, has won the German Supply Chain Management Award 2022.

DP World developed BOXBAY in a joint venture with the industrial engineering specialists SMS group. The award was presented at a ceremony in Berlin after a jury of industry leaders selected the system at the International Supply Chain Management Conference.

The award praised the system as an ‘exemplary concept’, developed and implemented despite the recent challenges faced by the industry. It offers an innovative solution to some of the key challenges in container port logistics, combining efficiency improvements with environmental goals.

The massive steel structure contains stacking cranes positioned between the rows of container bays. It works like a library – except that each book can weigh 40 tonnes. Each container is stacked in a separate compartment and the stacking cranes slide between them, picking out any container without having to move boxes above or below it. This eliminates the unproductive repositioning typical of conventional storage systems.

Because the steel frame holds the crates rather than stacking the containers on top of each other, the storage system can be scaled to any location. It can be built on 11 levels with a height of around 50 metres, which increases the density of the warehouse without increasing the floor space.

A conventional yard with gantry cranes on rubber tyres can store around 750 TEUs per hectare. However, with BOXBAY this figure can be quadrupled to 3,000 TEUs per hectare.

Thanks to full automation and digitalisation, the speed of transhipment at the berth can be increased by 20%, which is a major economic advantage for the costly container shipping sector. In addition, the system uses solar energy generated by photovoltaic panels on the roof of the storage facility, which enables it to operate without emitting any CO2.

SMS group has initially developed a storage system for metal coils up to 40 tonnes. After testing the technology in the steel industry, it has been further developed for use in port logistics. DP World and SMS built a pilot facility at Jebel Ali Terminal 4 in January 2021. By the end of June this year 2022, 150,000 container movements had taken place under realistic operating conditions, confirming the market maturity of the system.

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