DP World achieved an overall container throughput increase of 1.9% in 2018 compared with 2017 levels, handling 71.4 million teu across its global portfolio. However, traffic moving through its UAE facilities was down 2.7% year-on-year at around 15 million teu. This was due, the company says, to the loss of low-margin throughput as a result of a strategic decision to focus more on higher margin cargo flows, in order to maintain good levels of profitability. There was, the company notes, a particularly sharp drop in UAE throughput in the fourth quarter of the year, where the 3.6 million teu handled represented a drop of 4.6% against the same three months in 2017.
DP World chairman, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, highlighted the several positives for the group last year, including growth at its start-up terminals in London Gateway, UK, Yarimca, Turkey, and Prince Rupert Canada, as well as robust performance in Africa, especially in Dakar, Senegal and Sokhna, Egypt. He added, “In 2018, we have made good progress in strengthening our product offering which will enable us to participate in a wider part of the supply chain and offer smarter long-term solutions to cargo owners. Looking ahead to 2019, we expect our portfolio to continue to deliver growth and our focus remains on delivering operational excellence, managing costs and disciplined investment to remain the trade partner of choice.”