A “HIGH bay” container storage system is to be employed at DP World’s Jebel Ali Terminal 4 in a joint project with industrial engineering specialist company SMS group.

The system will be up and running in time for the Dubai Expo 2020 world fair.

The high bay storage system was originally developed by SMS group subsidiary AMOVA for 24-hour handling of metal coils that weigh as much as 50 tonnes each in racks as high as 50 metres.

Instead of stacking containers directly on top of each other, which has been global standard practice for decades, the system places each container in an individual rack compartment. Containers are stored in an eleven-story rack, creating 200% more capacity than a conventional container terminal, or creating the same capacity in less than a third of the space, according to a joint press release from DP World and SMS group.

Each container can be accessed without having to move another one, enabling 100% utilisation in a terminal yard.


DP World group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said the company’s experience and expertise in moving cargo, coupled with the technology of AMOVA would ensure the system’s efficiency.

“As a world first in our industry we are tremendously excited by its potential and groundbreaking features,” he said.

“Our engagement in new technologies is a major priority and we have become known for seeking ways that transform the way goods are moved across the world.”

SMS Group CEO Burkhard Dahmen, said the company’s subsidiary AMOVA optimised the 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.”

Joint venture CEO Mathias Dobner, said the new technology would allow 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,” he said.

“This disruptive innovation will greatly improve the financial performance of container ports, and well as their overall appearance.”