Port operator DP World reported on Tuesday a third quarter decline in cargo handled across its global portfolio as volumes fell in Dubai for a sixth consecutive quarter.
The operator said it handled 18 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers in its ports in the three months to Sept. 30, down 1.6% on the same period a year ago.
It said a global trade row created a challenging environment. The United States and China have been locked in a trade row that has cast a shadow over global economic prospects.
At its flagship Jebel Ali port in Dubai, the Middle East’s largest trans-shipment hub, and the smaller Mina Rashid port volumes fell 1% to 3.6 million TEUs.
DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said volumes at Jebel Ali had been stabilising, adding: “We remain focused on profitable origin and destination cargo.”
Tensions in the Middle East have escalated in the wake of attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia and tankers in Gulf waters, a key shipping artery for the global oil trade.
Global volumes were flat in the first nine months of the year, while those handled at Jebel Ali were down 5.5%.