DP World volumes up following easing of lockdowns

DP World volumes up following easing of lockdowns
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, CEO of DP World

DP World handled 18.3m teu across its global portfolio of container terminals in the third quarter of the year, representing a 3.1% increase in gross volume as world economies eased lockdown restrictions.

On a like-for-like basis, throughput rose by 1.9%, mainly driven by Europe, Middle East & Africa and Americas with a strong performance from London Gateway (UK), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Sokhna (Egypt), Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Antwerp Gateway (Belgium).

In the Americas, growth was driven by Buenos Aires (Argentina), Santiago (Chile) and Vancouver (Canada).  Jebel Ali (UAE) handled 3.4m teu in Q3 2020, down 4.2% year-on-year.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World, praised the company’s ability to “outperform the market”, which suffered a 2.2% decline during the third quarter.

He stated: “The recovery in volumes was broad based with quarter-on-quarter throughput increasing by almost 10% as world economies began to ease lockdown restrictions.

“India, which witnessed a sharp slowdown in Q2 2020, saw a significant volume improvement versus the second quarter, while Jebel Ali (UAE) delivered 3.4% growth against the previous quarter as trade in the region began to stabilise.”

On a nine-month basis, the terminal operator handled 52.2m teu, decreasing 2.5% on a reported basis and down 2.0% on a like-for-like basis.

At a consolidated level, the company’s facilities handled 10.6m teu during the third quarter increasing 3.0% on a reported basis and down 1.7% on a like-for-like basis. The reported growth of 22.1% in the Americas and Australia was mainly due to the consolidation of Caucedo (Dominican Republic).

Going forward, the terminal operator will continue to concentrate on containing costs to protect profitability and managing growth capex to preserve cashflow, noted Sulayem.

He added: “Overall, while we are encouraged by the recent volume trends, the outlook remains uncertain given the possibility of new lockdowns due to COVID-19 second wave, geopolitical uncertainty with US elections and lack of progress made on trade wars.

“However, the nine-month solid volume performance leaves us well placed to deliver a relatively stable financial performance in 2020 and we remain confident of meeting our 2022 targets.”