DP World’s global ports lift 19.5M TEUs in Q1

DP World's global ports
Ocean Network Express’ vessel ONE Trust docked at Southampton in late March after sailing from Busan, South Korea and offloaded and onloaded 9,315 containers in all. The call that involved 5,824 discharges, 3,473 loads and 18 re-stows took 86 hours to complete with DP World's 10-crane model. Photo from DP World
  • 19.5 million-TEU liftings across DP World’s global portfolio in Q1 2023, up 3.7% on a like-for-like basis, driven by its assets’ outperformance in Asia Pacific and India
  • Soft volume growth in Europe and the Americas due to economic worries, but DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali terminals in UAE remain robust, with 3.5 million TEUs moved, up 2.3%
  • Port of Dakar in Senegal set a record by lifting 76,282 TEUs in March; Southampton port in the UK broke its record handling over 9,000 boxes on a single ship call in late March 

DP World’s global ports handled 19.5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containers in Q1 2023, with gross volumes increasing 1.4% year on year on a reported basis and up 3.7% on a like-for-like basis.

The Dubai-based container port developer and operator said growth was driven by its assets’ strong performance in Asia Pacific and India, which was partially offset by softer performance in Europe and the Americas.

Jebel Ali Port in United Arab Emirates handled 3.5 million TEUs in 1Q 2023, up 2.3% y-o-y.

On a consolidated level, DP World’s terminals handled 11.4 million TEUs in the first quarter, up 0.7% y-o-y on a reported basis but down 1.3% on a like-for-like basis.

“Our portfolio has had an encouraging start to the year with container volume growth of 3.7%, once again ahead of the market, which is estimated to be down by 6.3%,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive. In 2022, DP World’s performance beat forecasts.

“This outperformance continues to demonstrate that we are in the right locations, and our strategy to offer integrated supply chain solutions to beneficial cargo owners is driving value for our stakeholders.”

Sultan Ahmed said terminals Asia Pacific and India propelled growth in DP World’s global ports in Q1 2023. But volume growth has softened in some regions, such as Europe and the Americas, due to economic uncertainty. Volumes at its flagship Jebel Ali terminals remain robust with growth of 2.3% y-o-y.

The near-term outlook remains somewhat uncertain, given the geopolitical backdrop, high inflation and currency fluctuations. Sultan Ahmed said. “However, we expect our portfolio to deliver a stable performance in 2023 as we remain focused on driving revenue synergies from our recent acquisitions while managing costs and growth capex.”

Last month, DP World set a record in container-handling at Port of Dakar by moving 76,282 TEUs, the highest throughput in a month since it began operating in Senegal in 2008.

DP World has invested nearly $300 million to upgrade and expand the terminal, lifting its productivity 200% and reducing vessel waiting time from an average of 35 hours to zero.

DP World’s successive investments in Dakar have transformed the port into the best-performing terminal in West Africa and one Africa’s best. Terminal’s productivity has grown from 265,000 TEUs a year in 2008 to 738,000 TEUs in 2022.

In late March, DP World’s team at Southampton, England, broke its all-time move count record after the port handled more than 9,000 containers on a ship that visited the logistics hub.

Ocean Network Express’ vessel ONE Trust docked at Southampton after sailing from Busan, South Korea. In all, 9,315 containers were exchanged, including 5,824 discharges, 3,473 loads and 18 re-stows, taking 86 hours to complete.

This call exceeded by 13% the previous terminal record of 8,213 moves set by the MOL Truth two years ago.

“We are committed to consolidating Southampton’s position as the most productive port in the UK, turning vessels around faster than any of our competitors,” said Steve McCrindle, DP World’s port operations director at Southampton.

“Our performance on ONE Trust was made possible by our new 10-crane operating model, which enables us to concentrate more cranes on a vessel while continuing to service other customers, thereby boosting our productivity,” McCrindle said..

DP World runs the UK’s most advanced logistics hubs at London Gateway and Southampton – two deepwater ports with access to freight rail terminals and a rapidly expanding logistics park. Between them they moved a record volume of cargo 3,850,000 TEUs in 2022.

Over the last 10 years, DP World has invested £2 billion in the UK. It has earmarked a further £1 billion of investment, including productivity and capacity expansions at its two UK logistics hubs.

Construction is under way at London Gateway on a new £350 million fourth berth, which will lift capacity by a third when it opens in 2024.