Tuesday, February 4, 2020

From Millions of Containers Handled to a Small Environmental Project All Part of Port Management

As Annual TEU Figures Published Life Goes on as Usual Around the World
Shipping News Feature

UK – DUBAI – WORLDWIDE – Two pieces of news from DP World which illustrate the scale of the port and logistics group's operation from the largest facts and figures to the smallest detail.

As a whole the group reports it handles 71.2 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) across its global portfolio of container terminals in 2019, with gross container volumes flat year-on-year on a reported basis, and up 1.0% on a like for like basis. Like for like Q4 volumes rose 2.1% thanks mainly to growth driven by Asia Pacific and Africa. Flagship port Jebel Ali handled 14.1 million TEU in 2019 down 5.6% year-on-year due to a decline in low margin cargo.

Consolidated throughput from all terminals where the group has control as per International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) came out at 39.9 million TEU, an 8.6% improvement in performance on a reported basis, and down 0.5% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis, with Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem observing:

"2019 has been a challenging year with the trade war between China and US and regional geopolitics causing uncertainty in the market. Despite this, our portfolio has delivered growth which once again demonstrates the resilience of our business. We saw robust growth across Asia and Africa driven by Pusan (South Korea), Qingdao (China), Manila (Philippines) and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).

”In Europe we saw continued ramp-up in London Gateway (UK) and Yarimca (Turkey) while Prince Rupert (Canada) and Callao (Peru) continued to deliver strong growth. In the UAE, volumes were down due to the loss of low-margin throughput, where we remain focused on high margin cargo and maintaining profitability.

”In 2019, we have focused on delivering an integrated supply chain solutions product that allows us to connect directly with end customers. We are seeing positive signs of progress in our new businesses that give us encouragement for the future. The near-term focus is on integrating our recent acquisitions, managing costs and disciplined investment to cement DP World's position as the logistics partner of choice. Overall, we remain well placed to deliver full year market expectations.”

Meanwhile at the other end of the scale a collaboration with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and MDL Marinas, which operates nearby Ocean Village Marina, DP World Southampton have financed the installation of a ‘Seabin’, a device which is attached to a pontoon and collects floating plastic and other waste through the constant movement of the waves.

Anyone familiar with a dockside location will recognise the repellent gathering of detritus which assembles in corners of the waterway. By drawing in water from the surface and passing it through a fine mesh bag, the Seabin catches floating litter such as plastic bottles and microplastics as small as 2mm in diameter. A single Seabin can collect up to 1.4 tonnes of litter each year, the equivalent of 90,000 plastic bags or 35,700 disposable cups, but can cost as little as 80p a day to run. Nick Loader, Chief Operating Officer at DP World Southampton, said:

“The Solent is an important marine environment which we must protect for future generations. It is also vital to our business and to the health and prosperity of Southampton. We are proud to sponsor this Seabin as one element of our ongoing partnership with Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife trust. DP World’s global sustainability programme recognises the need to undertake robust ocean stewardship and combat pollution to the waterways on which we all depend.”

Photo: The Seabin in action.