DP World has reported a throughput of 53.6 million TEU across its global portfolio of container terminals in the January-September 2018 period, an increase of 2.6% compared to the same period of last year.
On a quarter-on-quarter comparison, however, volumes declined by 1.4% to 18 million TEU in the third quarter due in part of softer volumes in the UAE.
In the UAE alone, DP World handled 11.3 million TEU in the first nine months, down 2.1% year-on-year, and third quarter 2018 volumes declined by 6.7% year-on-year due to the challenging macro-environment and loss of lower margin cargo.
“In the UAE, the volume weakness in 3Q2018 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,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and ceo of DP World.
The fall in UAE volumes led to lower figures for the wider Europe, Middle East and Africa region of 7.3 million TEU in the third quarter, down 4.4% year-on-year. This is despite Europe’s growth seen in London Gateway, UK and Rotterdam, Netherlands.
In the Asia Pacific and India Subcontinent region, growth was a mere 0.6% with third quarter volume at 8.4 million TEU.
While there was an increase in global volumes in the first nine months, growth has decelerated due to the strong prior year performance and general caution in the market in view of uncertainty in global trade, according to Bin Sulayem.
“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 are also pleased to state that despite the softer volumes, we are on track to meet market expectations,” he said.