DP World sees 'challenging' cargo market as UAE volumes fall

DP World Limited handles 53.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units across its global portfolio of container terminals in the first nine months of 2018
DP World sees 'challenging' cargo market as UAE volumes fall
Near-term volume outlook in Jebel Ali remains challenging, says DP World.
By Sam Bridge
Tue 23 Oct 2018 02:14 PM

DP World Limited said on Tuesday it handled 53.6 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) across its global portfolio of container terminals in the first nine months of 2018.

The port operator said gross container volumes grew by 2.6 percent year-on-year on a reported basis and 3.7 percent on a like-for-like basis.

Gross like-for-like volumes declined by 0.5 percent in the third quarter due to the tougher year-on-year comparables and softer volumes in the UAE, it added in a statement.

The UAE handled 11.3 million TEU in the first nine months of 2018, down 2.1 percent year-on-year, with Q3 volumes down 6.7 percent due to the challenging macro-environment and loss of lower-margin cargo.

Growth in Europe remained robust with strong growth in London Gateway and Rotterdam, the company said.

DP World group chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said: “As highlighted in our first half throughput announcement, we have seen our volume growth decelerate due to the strong prior year performance and general caution in the market given the current uncertainty in global trade.

"In the UAE, the volume weakness in Q3 is mainly due to loss of low-margin throughput, where our focus remains on profitable cargo and, while the near-term volume outlook in Jebel Ali remains challenging, we have taken measures to maintain profitability.

"On our wider portfolio, we have made good progress in strengthening our product offering to play a greater role in the global supply chain as a trade enabler. We continue to focus on delivering operational excellence, managing costs and disciplined investment to remain the port operator of choice. We are also pleased to state that despite the softer volumes, we are on track to meet market expectations.”

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