DP World, ICTSI post strongest revenue growth among global port operators in 2023

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DP World, ICTSI post strongest revenue growth among global port operators in 2023
DP World's Jebel Ali terminal. Photo from DP World.
  • DP World and International Container Terminal Services, Inc. showed the strongest revenue growth among eight global port groups with annual sales above $1 billion in 2023, according to Alphaliner
  • Among the eight, Philippine-headquartered ICTSI reported the highest growth at 6.5%
  • DP World consolidated its position as the largest global container port operator by revenue in 2023, logging year-on-year growth of 5%

DP World and International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) showed the strongest revenue growth among eight global port groups with annual sales above $1 billion in 2023, according to Alphaliner.

Among the eight, Philippine-headquartered ICTSI reported the highest growth in revenue from port operations of 6.5% to $2.39 billion in 2023 from $2.24 billion in 2022.

Dubai-based DP World consolidated its position as the largest global container port operator by revenue in 2023, logging year-on-year growth of 5%, said Alphaliner, which provides data and insights on the worldwide liner shipping industry.

Of the other six global port groups on the list, only COSCO Shipping Ports reported an increase in revenue in 2023 at 0.9%, while PSA International (-11.2%), Hutchison Ports (-7.5%), APM Terminals (-12.1%), Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) (-8.6%), and China Merchants Ports (-8.5%) all posted revenue declines.

In 2023, DP World generated $6.4 billion in revenue for its ports and terminals division, up 5.1% from 2022. DP World earlier said the solid performance of its ports and terminals was driven by an improvement in stevedoring revenue per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU), which rose by 5.2%.

Profit for 2023, however, declined 17.8% to $1.5 billion, mainly due to higher finance costs.

Alphaliner noted that DP World adopted a strategy of targeting high-margin cargoes, while expanding in gateway ports in emerging markets. After some lackluster years, the group’s flagship port of Dubai- Jebel Ali again flourished post-COVID-19, recently moving back into the top 10 list.

The group handled 81.5 million TEUs across its global portfolio of container terminals in 2023, with gross container volumes increasing by 3.1% year-on-year on a reported basis and up 4.4% on a like-for-like basis.

Last year, the group said it invested $1 billion in strategic locations including Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), London Gateway (UK), Jebel Ali (UAE) and Callao (Peru).

For 2024, DP World’s capital expenditure budget of about $2 billion will be invested mainly in Jebel Ali (UAE), London Gateway (United Kingdom), Inland logistics (India), Dakar (Senegal), East Java (Indonesia), Callao (Peru) and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).

Meanwhile, ICTSI’s improvement in 2023 revenue was mainly due to the contribution of its domestic port in Manila; tariff adjustments, volume growth and higher revenues from ancillary services and general cargo business at certain terminals; and favorable currency translation impact principally at Contecon Manzanillo S.A. (CMSA) in Mexico, ICTSI Iraq, Tecon Suape S.A. (TSSA), and ICTSI Rio in Brazil.

Despite the 6.5% jump in gross revenue due to port operations, ICTSI saw its net income in 2023 decrease by 14%.

For 2023, ICTSI handled a consolidated volume of 12.749 million TEUs, 4% higher than the 12.216 million TEUs handled in 2022.

The company’s capital expenditures last year amounted to $336.32 million, mainly for expansionary projects at CMSA, Manila International Container Terminal, Victoria International Container Terminal in Australia, ICTSI DR Congo S.A., ICTSI Rio in Brazil, and ICTSI Nigeria; and the initial development in East Java Multipurpose Terminal (EJMT) in Indonesia.

The group’s estimated capital expenditures for 2024, which includes $60 million of capex carried forward from 2023, is approximately $450 million. This will be utilized mainly to complete the expansion in Brazil and the development of EJMT and to continue the ongoing expansion in Mexico, the Philippines and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It will also be used to pay the last tranche of concession extension related expenditures in Madagascar; develop the recently acquired terminal in Iloilo in the Philippines; equipment acquisitions and upgrades; and for capital maintenance requirements.  – Roumina Pablo