Monday, February 7, 2022

Record Numbers of Containers Moved Through Two Facilities in Last Calendar Year

Deep Water Container Port Has Moved on from Difficult Early Days
Shipping News Feature

UK – In the thirteen years since we first started commenting on its development, the waters surrounding DP World's London Gateway development have not always provided smooth sailing. From early days of slumps in the global container market, consequent falling share prices and environmental contentiousness the Dubai based group has pushed on relentlessly, seeing the potential for success.

The progress made had a knock on effect even in those early days, Britain’s busiest box port, Felixstowe, found it necessary to invest to ensure its primacy, doubtless sensing its own transport situation and the proximity of the new Thames side upstart were going to affect trade.

DP World of course has interests in both Gateway and at Southampton and newly released figures gives an indication of how fortunes have steadily improved as tonnages overall have crept up, making for record figures for the group’s UK port operations.

A 3,675,952 TEU total handled between the two facilities in 2021 was made up from 1,871,081 at Southampton, Britain’s second largest container terminal, and close behind, 1,804,871 through London Gateway, a 15% uptick from the previous annual record set last year. Ernst Schulze, Chief Executive of DP World in the UK, comments:

“These record UK numbers underline the fact that we have the capacity and capability to continue delivering first class services for all existing customers whilst expanding customer choice by handling new sailings. We also plan to continue our investment in rail interconnectivity at both hubs, easing congestion on the roads. Already, 30% of containers at the Port of Southampton are moved by rail, the highest proportion in the UK.

“We believe in the UK market and have the ambition and the resources to boost growth, support businesses, create jobs and improve living standards. By focusing on solving complex logistical challenges for our customers, we aim to be a partner in their business success, providing fast reliable and flexible links to international supply chains and markets.”

D P World says strong throughput from existing customers and the arrival of six new major international shipping services at the two terminals drove the 2021 performance. Imports and exports through London Gateway and Southampton included automotive parts, white goods and household furniture, as consumers spent more on physical products during the pandemic, while foodstuffs remained important in the overall cargo mix.

With both the two group facilities in the UK having major roles in the new English Freeport schemes, Southampton in Solent and Gateway in Thames, DP World aspires to even greater things in 2022. The group now operates ports, terminals and logistics businesses on six continents and announced last year a further £300 million investment in a new fourth berth at London Gateway on top of the ongoing £40 million invested at Southampton. Globally, the company reported strong financial results for the six months to 30 June 2021, with EBITDA growing 18.2% year-on-year.