DP World grew its container volumes in the first half of 2018 but warns that geopolitical headwinds and changes in trade policy have created uncertainties in the boxship market.
The group, which has 78 operating marine and inland terminals in over 40 countries, saw gross container volumes increase by 4.8% from a year ago on a reported basis, and 6% on a like-for-like basis. It means DP World, which employes 36,000 people globally, handled 36m teu in the first half.
All three DP World regions delivered growth, the company said in a statement, particularly its terminals in Europe and Australia. Throughput in the UAE of 7.7m teu was up only marginally by 0.2% year-on-year. Chairman and chief executive Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem described the overall performance as encouraging but the second quarter of 2018 saw a slowing of growth due to “tougher year-on-year comparables.”
In contrast, the second quarter of 2017 grew 10.7% driven by gaining market share from new shipping alliances. Said Bin Sulayem: "Whilst geopolitical headwinds and recent changes in trade policies continue to pose uncertainty for the container market, first half volume performance demonstrates that our portfolio is well positioned to deliver growth." He said the group expects to see increased contributions from its new investments in the second half of 2018.