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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

DP World reports 13.5% container volume hike in third quarter

Group says UAE volumes rise 4.6% as a result of improved global trade and new shipping alliances  

Cranes off-load shipping containers at the Jebel Ali port terminal Dubai. The National
Cranes off-load shipping containers at the Jebel Ali port terminal Dubai. The National

DP World, the world’s fourth largest ports operator, said gross container volumes increased by 13.5 per cent year-on-year on a reported basis in the third quarter, on an improved trading environment.

The UAE operator said it handled 18.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) across its global portfolio of container terminals in the three months to the end of September, up from 16.1 million TEU in the same period of 2016.

The reported basis includes new terminals and represents an increase on second-quarter growth rates of 10.7 per cent.

DP World said the rise was thanks to an improved global trade outlook. In September, the World Trade Organisation upgraded its global trade growth forecast for 2017 to 3.6 per cent from 2.4 per cent previously.

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DP World said this was reflected across its three regions – the Middle East and Africa, Europe and the Americas – where in each case third-quarter growth rates accelerated more than in the second quarter of 2017.

In the UAE, volumes grew 4.6 per cent year-on-year to 11.6 million TEU in the nine months to September. Meanwhile, at a “consolidated” level – ports where DP World has main control – terminals handled 27.3 million TEU during the first nine months of 2017, a 24.2 per cent improvement in performance on a reported basis.

DP World group chairman and chief executive Sultan bin Sulayem said the growth was “encouraging”. A total of 1.5 million TEU of new capacity was added at Jebel Ali’s Terminal 3 in Dubai in the third quarter, and 0.5 million TEU at Prince Rupert in Canada – “which provided us room for continued growth in these key markets”, he said.

“We have seen an acceleration of growth rates in the third quarter as we employ the right strategy and the relevant deep-water capacity in the key markets.”

The improved trading environment, together with market share gains from new shipping alliances, is expected to help total volume growth continue to outperform the market. The group is set to meet its full-year 2017 market expectations, Mr bin Sulayem said.

EFG Hermes said the volume growth came in slightly ahead of its estimate and that Jebel Ali growth in particular had exceeded its expectation.

“DP World achieved robust growth despite regional challenges,” EFG said in a note.

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