KARACHI: Leading marine terminal operator DP World Limited said that it handled 26.6 million TEU across its global portfolio in the first half of 2013, recording a drop of 5.8 percent as compared to the same period last year.
“When adjusted for changes across the portfolio, the decline in throughput was 2.1 percent on a like for like basis. However, our global portfolio handled more containers in the second quarter than in the first quarter of 2013,” the world’s third biggest ports operator that controls 10 percent of the global terminal capacity, said in a statement.
“We remain confident about the long-term outlook of our industry and continue to invest to meet the future capacity requirements of our customers,” said DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.
He said the first half saw important progress in the delivery of three major projects in 2013. “In June we welcomed an additional 1 million TEU capacity at our flagship Jebel Ali Terminal.
“This increased capacity is alleviating current constraints and will support future growth in the region. In the second half of this year, we will deliver developments in Santos and London Gateway.”
Group Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf said despite a softer first half DP World saw an encouraging uplift in containers handled during the second quarter.
“This uplift, whilst positive, has occurred in challenging market conditions which we anticipate will continue into the second half. Accordingly, we remain focused on improving efficiencies, containing costs and handling higher margin containers to drive profitability,” said Sharaf.
“We maintain expectations of like for like container throughput in line with 2012 with our portfolio positioned toward the faster growing emerging markets and stable origin and destination cargo,” he said.
The DP World statement said there were lower volumes in the Asia Pacific and Indian Subcontinent region and the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. This was mitigated by a stronger performance in the Americas and Australia region, which increased 2.7 per cent on a like for like basis.
In the Asia Pacific and Indian Subcontinent region we continue to focus on handling a smaller number of higher margin containers to improve overall returns.
“In the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, our European and Middle East businesses continue to operate in a challenging macro environment.
“Within this region, our UAE operations handled 6.5 million TEU in the first half, a relatively flat performance over the same period last year. In line with our overall portfolio, the UAE saw a stronger second quarter in 2013,” said the statement.
DP World’s portfolio of consolidated terminals handled 12.8 million TEU during the first half of 2013, a decline of 5.7 per cent when compared with the same period last year. On a like for like basis, consolidated volumes declined 3.9 per cent.
In March, DP World said it would be investing more than Dh11 billion in expansion that would see its gross capacity jump to 102.6 million TEUs in two years from the existing 86.8 million TEUs. Currently, DP World operates over 60 terminals across six continents, with container handling generating around 80 per cent of its revenue.