DP World’s ports see surprisingly stable growth over past 9 months

The container terminal and now, logistics provider, DP World has reported moderately good results for the first 9 months and third quarter. The numbers are not audited but the Dubai based company said that it handled 58.4m TEU at its terminals across the world in the first 9 months of the year, representing an 11.4% increase year-on-year. For the third quarter volumes were up 8.1%. DP World claims that growth for the sector as a whole is 6.4%.  

According to Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO of DP World, the growth seen over 2021 was driven by its terminals in Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa and India. The latter in particular is interesting, possibly indicating the continued emergence of India as a significant driver of container traffic at the global level. DP World mentioned that growth was particularly significant at the ports of Qingdao, Mumbai and Sokhana, however, one of the key assets of DP World, the Jebel Ali terminal complex in Dubai, saw growth roughly flat at 3.4m TEU in Q3, up just 0.6% year on year.

What DP World was less forthcoming about was the performance of its diversification into other areas of logistics. Over the past year or two, the company has been busy building its ‘landside’ capabilities yet these results do not give any indication of the contribution these initiatives are making. We will have to wait for the full-year numbers for that.

Sultan Bin Sulayem was somewhat cautious about the immediate prospects, saying that “the near-term outlook remains positive, but we do expect growth rates to moderate in the final quarter”. He was unsurprisingly cautious about the effects of Covid-19 and the continuing level of supply chain friction.

What is perhaps a little surprising was that these results did not reflect the level of disruption seen in the port sector around the world, but particularly acute in California. Possibly it reflects the fact that although many container terminals have problems, the intensity of these problems varies widely from region to region.

Source: Transport Intelligence, 26 October 2021

Author: Thomas Cullen