Dubai-based port and terminal operator DP World recorded a slight decrease in container throughput in the first half of 2020, despite negative COVID-19 effects.
DP World handled 33.9 million TEU across its global portfolio of container terminals in H1 2020, with gross container volumes decreasing by 5.3 percent year-on-year on a reported basis and down 3.9 percent on a like-for-like basis.
At a consolidated level, the company’s terminals handled 20 million TEU during the first half of 2020, increasing 2.4 percent on a reported basis and down 5.4 percent year-on-year on a like-for-like basis.
Reported consolidated volume in the Americas and Australia region was boosted by the consolidation of Australia, Caucedo, Dominican Republic, acquisition of container terminals in Chile and commencement of operations in Posorja, Ecuador, according to DP World.
Jebel Ali, the UAE, handled 6.7 million TEU in 1H2020, down 6.8 percent year-on-year, due to COVID-19 and loss of lower-margin cargo.
“Like most industries, the maritime and logistics sector is going through an unprecedented and challenging period due to the COVID-19 outbreak,” Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented.
“As a result, our portfolio has seen volumes weaken by -7.9% in 2Q2020 and -3.9% in 1H2020. However, this compares favourably against an estimated industry decline of -15% in 2Q2020 and -10% in 1H2020. This outperformance once again demonstrates that we are in the right locations and a focus on origin and destination cargo will continue to deliver the right balance between growth and resilience.“
He added that DP World’s ports across the world remained operational. The company’s investment in digital technology and automation is believed to have ensured minimal disruptions.
“Looking ahead, our near-term focus is on the safety of our employees, providing solutions to cargo owners that are facing supply chain issues due to the pandemic, integrating our recent acquisitions to drive synergies, containing costs to protect profitability and managing growth capex to preserve cashflow,” Bin Sulayem continued.
“Overall, we are encouraged that our business has performed better than expected and, while the outlook is still uncertain, we remain positive on the medium to long-term fundamentals of the industry.”