DP World’s container volumes up 3 percent in 2015
DP World, one of the biggest port operators, on Monday announced a three per cent year-on-year growth in container volume for 2015 despite challenging conditions and difficult second half for global trade operators.
All top 20 trading nations in the World Trade Organisation reported decline in 2015. The Baltic Dry Bulk Index, considered as a proxy for global trade, witnessed a series of record lows since the beginning of 2015. China's slowdown is still affecting the world in different ways. China's economy has contributed to sharp drops in price for oil and other commodities and that resulted in reduced demand for shipping.
DP World reported that gross container volumes of the company totalled 61.7 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in 2015, compared to 59.9 million TEUs in 2014. DP World, which operates around 70 marine terminals across six continents, reported an eight per cent increase in container volume in 2014.
"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," DP World Group chairman and chief executive officer Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said in a statement.
"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 explained. Growth in 2015 was largely driven by European and the UAE terminals. The portfolio benefited from the ramp-up in London Gateway and the UAE handled a record 15.6 million TEU's, representing like-forlike growth of 2.3 per cent for the year.
Utilisation at Jebel Ali remains high at approximately 90 per cent despite the softer volumes in Q42015. Market conditions in the second half of 2015 were challenging, with our like-for-like gross throughput growth flat year-on-year in Q4 2015. "Despite the uncertain nearterm 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," the chairman said.
DP World expects to open its third berth at London Gateway in mid-2016, adding 600,000 TEUs of new capacity. The additional 2 million TEUs at terminal three (T3) Jebel Ali will also be operational in the second half of 2016.
"DP World has once again delivered ahead of market throughput growth in 2015 and given this resilient performance, we remain confident of meeting full year market expectations. While trading conditions in 2016 are expected to remain challenging, we believe a portfolio focused towards faster growing markets and origin and destination cargo, coupled with the addition of new capacity can continue to outperform the market," he said.