By Andy Sambidge
DP World says Jebel Ali Port handles over 500,000 cars this year, more than 2008 highs
DP World said on Monday that its flagship Jebel Ali Port has handled more than 500,000 vehicles so far this year - more than previous peaks reached four years ago.
This translates into almost one vehicle imported, exported or re-exported every minute of the day, the port operator said in a statement.
Achieved in the first 49 weeks of this year, the record exceeds the peak levels of 2008 when the number of vehicles handled through the port for the full year was 479,000.
The announcement comes as the world's leading auto companies report double digit increases in sales across the Middle East.
Mohammed Al Muallem, senior vice president and managing director, DP World, UAE Region, said: "DP World is proud that our flagship Jebel Ali Port continues to play its full role as the premier gateway to the GCC region.
"The record number of vehicles that have passed through the port's facility for roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) vehicle carriers reinforces the growth message for the UAE and the wider region."
General Cargo facilities at Jebel Ali include 30 berths and a total storage area of over 1.3 million sq m, comprising 1.2 million sq m of open storage and 100,000 square metres of covered space.
DP World is expanding the capacity of Jebel Ali Port, with a new Container Terminal 3, and the expansion of Terminal 2, which are set to take total capacity of the port to 19 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent container units) by 2014.
In the first nine months of 2012 DP World, UAE Region, handled almost 10 million TEU, 4.6 percent ahead of the same period last year.