Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

In Pictures: Jebel Ali’s Terminal 3 a hothouse of experimentation

In Pictures: Jebel Ali’s Terminal 3 a hothouse of experimentation
Jebel Ali’s $850m Terminal 3, which started operations in November 2014, is setting new standards for semi-automation and efficiency.

As the showcase port of DP World, which Drewry Shipping Consultants said was the world’s fourth-largest terminal operator, with throughput of 35.8m teu in 2014, giving it 5.3% global market share, Jebel Ali is a hothouse of experimentation. Terminal 3, the latest to come online, is leading the way.

While DP World operates Navis’ SPARC Terminal Operating System at Jebel Ali Terminals 1 and 2, it uses Opus Terminal at Terminal 3, which will also be used at Terminal 4 when it comes online.

jebelOpus was developed in South Korea, by CyberLogitec, which is based in Seoul, and first deployed at Pusan Newport Company, DP World’s Korean joint venture.

Opus’ Eagle Eye system is described as ‘totally new’ by DP World officials, and offers live information on machines and equipment operating in the yard.

“Terminal 3 will be the new flagship terminal and ‘centre of excellence’ for terminal automation in the DP World portfolio,” Paul Bourke, Global Director, CyberLogitec, and Terminal 3 Project manager, said in 2014.

“We can expect to see DP World set new operational automation precedents, once Terminal 3 is finally fully live and operational.”

craneNine of the 13 ship-to-shore (STS) cranes in the yard are operational with four undergoing commissioning. Six more are expected to be delivered this year. DP World claims they are the biggest STS cranes in the world.

Each quay crane (STS) is over 138 metres tall at full boom extension. They weigh 1.85m kg each and can lift four twenty-foot containers at one time, handling up to 100,000 kg a lift, DP World said.

They have a 69.5 metre lifting height and extended reach, capable of handling the 25 containers-wide new generation of ultra large containerships (ULCs).

Terminal 3 houses 50 automated rail-mounted gantry cranes (ARMGs) in the yard. There is no operator on these yard cranes, as they are operated by remote control, often by Emirati women.

Terminal 3 is semi-automated, rather than fully automated, because truck drivers are at all times involved. ARMGs are “fully automated”, while STSs are “semi-automated”. “Semi-automation is remote control,” said a DP World official.yard

ARMG cranes have the option to lift 20 or 40 ft containers, as the spreader can automatically extend.

DP World officials claim that Terminal 3 operations give off 30% less carbon emissions than ‘normal’ operations, as the yard is electrically powered.

Jebel Ali Port’s Terminal 1 has a capacity of 8m teu, Terminal 2 a capacity of 6m teu and Terminal 3 of 4m teu. Terminal 4’s initial capacity will be 3.1m teu when developed in 2018, later rising to 6m teu, for a then total port capacity of 25m teu.

Jebel Ali Port receives monthly an average of 1,000 vessels, or around 12,000 vessels a year.

The port handled 15.24m teu in 2014, according to data provider, making it the world’s ninth busiest. It was on course to move 15.8m teu last year.