Port of Dover

Multi-chamber  drive-in racking installation

Design and installation of a drive-in pallet racking system across 6-chambers, which was built to offload and store fruit products from incoming cargo ships, to be held prior to dispatch. The fit-out of this new warehouse facility is part of the wider, Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR).


Client Background:

The Port of Dover is a cross-channel port situated in Dover, Kent, south-east England. It is the nearest UK port to France and is a vital international gateway for the movement of passengers and trade.


Port of Dover



Dover, Kent


Project Summary:

Multi-chamber drive-in racking installation for the storage of fruit products

Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) project

The new warehouse facility -- part of the Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR). Image courtesy of Port of Dover

Drive-in racking installation at the Port of Dover
Supply Chain Excellence Awards - 2019 - Finalists in the 'Logistics Innovation' category

Drive-in racking installation at the Port of Dover


SEC Storage is pleased to announce the completion of a multi-chamber, drive-in racking system at the Port of Dover, one of Europe’s busiest ferry ports and a vital international gateway for the movement of passengers and trade.


Our initial contact with the Port of Dover in 2016 was on an advisory basis in relation to storage solutions for the new, 9,360 sq/m Refrigerated Cargo Terminal, served by two new deepwater berths which form part of the wider Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR). SEC Storage was ultimately appointed following a competitive tender process. The £250m development and regeneration ensure the Port of Dover strengthens its long-term resilience as an international gateway, handling up to £122bn 'or' 17% of the UK's total trade in goods. 


In order to achieve maximum productivity, it was imperative that the system SEC Storage proposed would ensure the loading and retrieval of pallets were as smooth as possible to ensure no lost operational time.


Various storage solutions were originally explored, including the possible use of a semi-automated, pallet shuttle system, however, after an extensive space planning and operational analysis by SEC's Systems Division - Sales Director, Gary Kirk, it was found that the best solution to achieve our client's goals would be a high-density, drive-in racking system.



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The Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) is the single biggest investment ever undertaken by the Port of Dover, with over £250m committed to the delivery of the development.


It is also part of a longer-term plan, which will see the port strengthen its position as an international gateway, handling up to £122bn 'or' 17% of the UK's total trade in goods.


Port of Dover / VolkerStevin

See how the installation came together...

A high-density solution for the storage of fruit products


In a drive-in pallet racking system, the pallets are stored on top of cantilevered rails and configured on a (LIFO) last-in-first-out basis, which makes the loading and retrieval of pallets much simpler, whilst also minimising the risk of damaged goods. The system that SEC Storage installed features bull nose lead-ins and guide rails for use with a single-deep, articulated forklift truck setup and, due to the goods that they are set to store, e.g. fruit-based products, and specifically, bananas, the racks are also galvanised to make them more durable to lower temperature environments.


The other reason for the choice of a drive-in racking system was the need to maximise space, due to the high turnover of cargo that is moving through the facility at any given time. At their previous facility, the Port of Dover utilised a mezzanine floor setup for storage purposes which limited their overall storage capacity, however, within this new build facility there was a mandate to achieve as high a capacity as possible, and a drive-in racking system fulfils this exact goal by making full use of the warehouse cube, i.e. the height and width of the facility.


Overall, SEC Storage was delighted to be involved in the fit-out of this facility and the wider Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR); a development that will play a massive part in the UK's shipping and logistics infrastructure for years to come.




Interested to see how we've optimised other warehouse operations? View our case studies...

Drive-in racking installation at the Port of Dover
Drive-in racking backstop
Guide rail system for a large, drive-in racking installation

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