DP World has achieved better than anticipated container traffic figures for the first three months of this year, continuing the momentum set during the last quarter of 2017. In total the group handled 17.6 million teu worldwide across its portfolio of container terminals in the first quarter of 2018, with container volumes increasing by 7.3% year-on-year, and 8.4% on a like-for-like basis. The latter measure does not include data for various facilities acquired, disposed of, or which have become operational over the past year, including Berbera, Limassol, Doraleh and Saigon.
The biggest increases have been seen at terminals in Europe and Africa and Australia, as well as in the Middle East. Its business in the UAE has continued to handle increased container traffic levels, although the rate of growth is lower than the average for the business as a whole. Jebel Ali port handled 3.8 million teu in this period, 2.9% more than in the first quarter of 2017, and this is considered a more than satisfactory rate of increase, taking into account regional market factors, including the loss of Qatari transhipment traffic.
Group chairman and chief executive, H.E. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said this was an encouraging start to the year, with growth levels overall well ahead of the global market average. However he did strike a note of caution, pointing out that geopolitical factors in some regions continue to present considerable uncertainty.
H.E. Bin Sulayem concluded, “The fact that the robust performance was delivered across all regions once again demonstrates that we have the relevant capacity in the right markets. We expect to continue to grow ahead of the market and see increased contributions from our new investments.”