Tuesday, February 5, 2019

DP World Container Terminals Increased TEU Throughput in 2018  

Figures Show Growth Despite Contentious Issues

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Shipping News Feature UAE – WORLDWIDE – 2018 proved a turbulent year for many in the container shipping industry and port operator DP World certainly saw its share of controversy with the fight over its box terminal at Doraleh in Djibouti continuing in the Courts after the government there seized control of the facility. Despite this however the group has turned around more cargo than the previous year and has illustrated the strength of its logistics services by publishing two sets of figures for TEU throughput, both including and excluding the contentious areas and newly revised facilities in which it operates.

The group’s global portfolio of container terminals handled 71.4 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) with gross container volumes growing by 1.9% year-on-year on a reported basis and 2.9% on a like-for-like basis, having excluded those volumes from the assortment of facilities in question in Berbera (Somaliland), Limassol (Cyprus), Paita (Peru), Doraleh (Djibouti) and Saigon (Vietnam).

The Asia Pacific & Indian Subcontinent regions showed the largest growth with 3.1% and 3.2% increases in reported and like-for-like figures respectively. Home turf however was not as prolific with the UAE handling 15 million TEU in 2018, down 2.7% year-on-year. At a consolidated level, overall the terminals handled 36.8 million TEU in 2018, a 0.8% improvement in performance on a reported basis and up 1.4% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis.

Like for like consolidated container volume does not include volumes at Berbera (Somaliland), Limassol (Cyprus), Doraleh (Djibouti), Saigon (Vietnam) and normalises for the consolidation of Santos (Brazil). Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem commented:

“We are pleased to see that our global portfolio has delivered growth on top of our strong prior year performance and despite the uncertainty with global trade. Our Europe and Americas portfolio saw strong growth with continued ramp-up in London Gateway (UK), Yarimca (Turkey) and Prince Rupert (Canada), while performance in Africa remains robust driven by Dakar (Senegal) and Sokhna (Egypt). In the UAE, the softer volumes were due to the loss of low-margin throughput, where we remain focused on high margin cargo and maintaining profitability.

“In 2018, we have made good progress in strengthening our product offering which will enable us to participate in a wider part of the supply chain and offer smarter long-term solutions to cargo owners. Looking ahead to 2019, we expect our portfolio to continue to deliver growth and our focus remains on delivering operational excellence, managing costs and disciplined investment to remain the trade partner of choice. Given the steady volume performance of our portfolio, we are well placed to meet full year 2018 market expectations.”

The end of year review of the group’s activities showed DP World moving into alternative areas of logistics with the purchase of short sea specialist Unifeeder, investment in Hyperloop technology as well as the development of other container handling interests in East Africa as the Doraleh fiasco continues, and its latest venture in seeing containers stacked on racks rather than simply in columns.

Photo: DP World Pusan.

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