DP World has had a slow start to 2019 with gross container volumes declining by 0.6% in the first quarter of the year to 17.5 teu across its global portfolio of container terminals.
Gross like-for-like volumes fell by 0.7% in the quarter due to higher year-on-year comparables, with the terminal operator performing particularly strongly one year ago, and softer volumes in the UAE and Australia.
The UAE suffered an 8.8% fall in volumes to 3.5m teu in the first quarter of 2019, which the company attributed to the “challenging macroenvironment and loss of lower-margin cargo.
Growth in Americas, Africa and Indian Subcontinent was robust with strong growth in Callao (Peru), Sokhna (Egypt) and Mumbai (India), it added.
DP World group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem stated: “As previously flagged, we have seen softer volumes in 1Q2019 due to a strong prior year performance and general caution in some markets given the current uncertainty in the macro-environment.
“In the UAE, the volume weakness is mainly due to loss of low-margin throughput, where our focus remains on profitable cargo and, while we expect the recent trends to continue into the second quarter, we do expect an improvement in the second half of the year.”
He continued: “On our wider portfolio, we have made good progress in strengthening our product which offers a greater role in the global supply chain as a solutions provider.”
At a consolidated level, DP World facilities handled 9.2m teu in the first quarter of the year, a decline of 0.8% on a reported basis and down 3.0% 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 from March of 2019.