Monday, November 14, 2016

Port and Logistics Group Makes Slight Headway in Challenging Conditions

CEO Gets Busy in Africa Whilst Company Takes HR Title
Shipping News Feature
DUBAI – WORLDWIDE – Another busy couple of weeks for container port management and logistics group DP World saw the company announce gross container volumes growing by 2.2% on a reported basis, and up 1.0% on a like-for-like basis in the first 9 months of 2016. This at a time when the box carrying shipping lines had a shortage of freight to fill the vessel capacity available. The Dubai headquartered group also saw Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem pay a visit to see President of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi and announce it has been awarded the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Government HR Team of the Year Award.

Firstly the throughput of cargo, which saw DP World handle 47.5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) across its global portfolio of container terminals for the first nine months of 2016. This represented the slight increases mentioned above however whilst European and Indian subcontinent terminals continued to deliver a ‘robust performance’, the picture in Australia and Latin America was a lot tougher. At home in the UAE a reduction in lower-margin transhipment cargo meant only 11.1 million TEUs were handled, down 6.7% year-on-year. The DP World Group Chairman and CEO said:

“Despite the challenging market conditions, particularly in natural resource dependent economies, our portfolio continues to deliver growth, which once again demonstrates the benefits of operating a globally diversified portfolio. While the near-term global trade growth outlook appears soft, we expect our new developments in Rotterdam (Netherlands), Nhava Sheva (India), London Gateway (United Kingdom) and Yarimca (Turkey) to drive growth in our portfolio.

“We will continue to maintain capital expenditure discipline by bringing on capacity in line with demand, while focusing on targeting higher margin cargo, improving efficiencies and managing costs to drive profitability. Given the performance in the first nine months, we are well placed to meet full year market expectations.”

The recent Financial Times Mozambique Summit in Maputo set the scene for the meeting between the country’s President and the DP World boss. Mr Bin Sulayem, who spoke at the summit, and Mr Nyusi discussed Mozambique’s growing trade and logistics sector, sharing views on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Finding solutions to develop and connect Africa's intra-regional trade routes to unlock the continent's huge potential was apparently a common underlying theme of the discussions. Mr Bin Sulayem commented:

”Africa has great potential and eight of the world’s top 20 fastest growing economies are still located here. Intra-regional connectivity through multi modal infrastructure, supported by investor friendly policies and regulation, and coupled with innovation are the keys to Africa’s potential. We’ve always expressed our readiness to support the development of ports and logistics centres in Africa. We’ve partnered with local governments in all seven of our ports in six African countries and look forward to developing our trade relations further in future years.”

Mr Bin Sulayem’s meeting followed his visit to several other African countries last month and trade between Dubai and Mozambique was valued at over AED 724 million in 2015 and over AED 776.5 million in the first six months of 2016, while showing a significant increase in re-export trade in the last six months.

The final snippet of news from DP World is that its Corporate Head Office Human Capital team has won the GCC Government HR Team of the Year Award at the 4th Annual GOV HR Summit 2016. Under an umbrella project entitled ‘Going from Good to Great’ that began in 2015, a number of new employee initiatives have been implemented over the past 12 months that promoted innovation and collaboration.

These included an Occupational Health and Safety Day, a Total Rewards statement in which individuals can see details of their benefits, terms and conditions and a new ‘AskHC’ App on mobile phones enabling staff to review their own records, ask questions and submit requests and, as we reported In September, a collaboration between DP World and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) also took place, making it the first organisation in the GCC to forge such a partnership.

Photo: The Mozambique President meets the DP World Chairman and CEO at the recent summit.