Global trade enabler DP World is stepping up container handling productivity at its flagship Jebel Ali Port by adding 1.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) to Container Terminal 3 (T3).
The expansion is in response to emerging market demand and increases the port's capacity from 18 million TEU to 19.5 million TEU. T3 now has a capacity of four million TEU and will be the world's largest semi-automated terminal.
The first batch of 37 new ship-to-shore cranes and 47 automated rail mounted gantry cranes are already operational and servicing customers. The 720,000 sqm facility was inaugurated in 2014 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive officer, DP World, said: "Increasing the handling capacity at Terminal 3 is in response to the high levels of utilisation at the port and with the recovery in volumes the medium-term outlook remains positive, particularly with the lead up to Expo 2020. Our priority is to ensure that we can serve our customers efficiently and deliver the benefits of scale that the new fleet of ocean going mega vessels offer. The new cranes and retrofitting reflects the investments we make in infrastructure, equipment, technology and training of our teams. Today, Jebel Ali has the capability to accommodate 10 mega container ships simultaneously and we are on schedule to increase this number significantly."
"Volumes are rising again in our UAE Region and we expect Expo 2020 and the opening up of new markets to drive medium-term growth. The on-going improvements to capacity and productivity at Jebel Ali send out a clear message to our customers that their favourite port in the region remains focused on providing them with the first rate service and efficiency they expect from us."
The upgrade includes raising the heights of seven existing quay cranes by retrofitting them to meet the requirements of the new mega container vessels. The major refurbishing work will improve efficiency and productivity while prolonging the lifespan of the cranes.
Shore-side expansion work will cover all the port's functioning Container Terminals, T1, T2 and T3.
DP World, UAE Region handled 7.7 million TEU in the first half of 2017, growing 4.3 per cent year-on-year. Jebel Ali Port is expected to see container traffic increase over the coming years in the lead-up to Expo 2020.