Dubai-based port operator DP World Limited handled 61.7 million TEU across its global portfolio of container terminals during 2015, with gross container volumes growing by 3% on reported basis and 2.4% on a like-for-like basis.
According to DP World, growth in 2015 was largely driven by European and UAE terminals.
“The portfolio benefited from the ramp-up in London Gateway and the UAE handled a record 15.6 million TEU, representing like-for-like growth of 2.3% for the year,” the port operator said.
Utilisation at Jebel Ali remained high at approximately 90% despite the softer volumes in the fourth quarter of 2015, while challenging market conditions in the second half of 2015 led to a flat like-for-like gross throughput growth year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2015.
At a consolidated level, DP World’s terminals handled 29.1 million TEU during 2015, a 2.7% improvement on a reported basis. Consolidated like-for-like volumes grew by 1.7% for the year.
Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said that the second half of 2015 was difficult for global trade operators, as various economic headwinds including currency weakness and lower commodity prices adversely impacted trade growth.
“Against this challenging backdrop, all our three regions continued to deliver full year volume growth on a like-for-like basis which demonstrates the strength of our portfolio,” Bin Sulayem said.
“Despite the uncertain near-term macro environment, and given the high utilisation at our portfolio, we remain confident about the medium to long-term outlook of our industry and continue to invest to meet the future capacity requirements of our customers. As we look ahead into 2016, we look forward to the new capacity at Rotterdam (Netherlands), Mumbai (India), Prince Rupert (Canada) and Yarimca (Turkey) to deliver a full year contribution to our throughput,” he added.
According to Bin Sulayem, DP World expects to open its third berth at London Gateway (UK) in mid-2016, adding 600k TEU of new capacity. The additional 2 million TEU at terminal three (T3) Jebel Ali (UAE) should be operational in the second half of 2016.
“While trading conditions in 2016 are expected to remain challenging, we believe a portfolio focused towards faster growing markets and origin & destination cargo, coupled with the addition of new capacity can continue to outperform the market,” he said.