TERMINAL OPERATORS - DP World’s expansion brings growth despite worldwide recession

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Ports & Terminals  

By Karen E. Thuermer, AJOTWhile leading indicators project a deteriorating global economy that will, no doubt, be felt heavily within the world ocean container trade, not all is bad news on the open seas.
DP World’s 2008 Interim Results, released on August 28, show that its business continued to perform ahead of the market during the first half of 2008 and grew over the comparable period last year.
“Building on its outstanding performance in 2007, the company recorded a profit after tax for continuing operations of $287 million; more than double that of the same period last year,” says DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem. “This is particularly pleasing given the more challenging operating environment in the first half of this year.”
The company realized strong revenue growth, up 32% from $1,209 million in the first half of 2007 to $1,598 million in the first half of 2008. Also significant, DP World’s consolidated throughput increased 21% to 13.6 million TEUS during the first half of 2008, compared to 11.2 million TEUs for the same time period in 2007.
“Over 17 million TEU or 76% of our gross volumes is origin and destination cargo,” says Mohammed Sharaf, CEO of DP World.
Regional information indicates where DP World is experiencing its greatest growth. For Europe, the Middle East and Africa, for example, DP World reports a 26% increase from 6.9 million TEUs during the first half of 2007 to 8.7 million TEUs for the same time period in 2008. Consolidated throughput for the Asia Pacific and Indian Subcontinent grew 15% from 2.6 million TEUs for the first half of 2007 to 3 million for first half 2008. Meanwhile, Australia, New Zealand and the Americas saw a 12% growth from 1.7 million TEUs for the first half of 2007 to 1.9 million TEUs for second 2008.
“These results are particularly pleasing in light of the fact that the industry, overall, has seen a slow down in volume growth in the Asia-Pacific region, and we are operating in a more challenging global financial and economic environment,” says Sharaf. “These results reflect our unique position as a terminal operator in faster growing economies and capacity constrained markets and our vital position at the very heart of the global supply chain. Our focus on improving terminal efficiency and quality services for our customers will continue to drive traffic through our ports.”
In 2007, DP World handled more than 43.3 million TEUs across its portfolio from the Americas to Asia – an increase of 18% over 2006 figures. It has global capacity of more than 54 million TEUs, which is set to increase significantly in coming years with a committed pipeline of expansion and development projects in key growth markets, including India, China and the Middle East. Capacity will rise to around 90 million TEUs by 2017.
Key achievements at DP World play a particularly big role in the company’s recent success. They include the integration of two new operational ports at Dakar, Senegal and Sokhna, Egypt and the addition of terminals at Tarragona, Spain and Aden, Yemen to DP World’s portfolio.
Sokhna is significant because of its location at the southern entrance of the Suez Canal. Boasting four terminals handling containers, general cargo, fertilizer and bulk cargo, it is also the closet container port to Cairo.
“Sokhna is a vital port for East-West trade and is a valuable addition to DP World’s other Red Sea ports, Jeddah and Djibouti,” Sharaf says.
DP World also recently announced the extension of its concession in Brisbane, Australia for an additional 40 years and is in the process of renewing concessions in Sydney and Adelaide.
“The extension of these concessions will lead to continued investment into these port operations to increase much needed capacity to meet the growth of trade in Australia,” Sharaf reveals.
In addition, DP World’s shareholding interests in key terminals in Chennai, India and Karachi, Pakistan were increased 100% and 75%, respectively. Con

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American Journal of Transportation