DP World, one of the world’s biggest port operators, said the volume of containers it handled in the first nine months of the year gained 9 per cent, boosted by growth in business in the Asia-Pacific, Indian subcontinent region, Europe and the UAE. In the third quarter, volumes grew 8.4 per cent, it said.
The port operator said it handled 44.8 million twenty foot equivalent units (TEU) across its global portfolio in the first nine months this year, up from 40.7 million in the same period last year. "It is evident that the significant investment of recent years is aiding in the delivery of stronger volume growth," said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World's chairman.
“Our flagship Jebel Ali port achieved yet another new record, with 4 million TEU handled in the third quarter. The port is operating at almost maximum utilisation and we are therefore pleased to announce that Terminal 3 is now operational, adding 2 million TEU capacity to Jebel Ali port,” he added. A further 2 million is expected to come on line in the second half of 2015, taking total Jebel Ali capacity to 19 million TEU, he said.
“This is part of our commitment to invest to meet future capacity demands in Dubai.”
DP World’s increase in business comes amid a rise in the Baltic Dry Index, a benchmark of freight costs for dry commodities. In the past six months, the index is up 34 per cent.
“The solid nine-month performance leaves us well placed to outperform the market, which is forecast to grow [about] 5 per cent in 2014,” said Mr bin Sulayem.
The company’s shares are up more than 7 per cent this year on the Nasdaq Dubai. DP World reported a 42 per cent increase in profits in the first six months of this year to US$372m with expectations of a stronger second half despite “continued geopolitical issues [that] may result in challenges as the year progresses”.
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