DP World focuses on operational resilience, securing flow or essential trade

Photo: WAM

DP World UAE Region announced on Monday that it has implemented a "rapid and resolute" action plan to secure the health and safety of its people and its services across all its business, logistics and supply chain assets to keep essential trade flowing in the midst of the global pandemic.

The comprehensive and inclusive measures are being rigorously applied in close consultation with ports and health authorities to contain and prevent the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic.

Many port and free zone operations, such as remotely operated quay cranes and automated gantry cranes and gates, are inherently resilient thanks to their investment in technology, said DP World UAE Region in a statement on Monday.

At the flagship hub of Jebel Ali Port and Jebel Ali Free Zone, Jafza, the focus is on securing the integrity and efficiency of the movement of vital supplies like food items, medicine and medical equipment required by the UAE and Dubai Health Authority, DHA, to contain COVID-19, it added.

DP World UAE Region teams are now working on improving the operational resilience further with a slew of initiatives like segregating workforces, increasing cleaning and disinfection, providing transportation to get employees to work through lockdowns, and arranging accommodation for employees near their place of work.

As the region’s busiest trade enabler, DP World UAE Region has ensured continuity of services by encouraging most of its employees to work from home, and installed thermal cameras at all operational buildings, entrances and gates to identify the body temperatures of individuals to facilitate the isolation of suspected COVID-19 cases.

Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and Managing Director of DP World UAE Region and CEO of Jafza, said, "Our people are our most valuable assets and we put their safety and health as our top priority. The measures we’ve activated are focused on timely actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection. Our containment programme adheres strictly to the requirements of the UAE Government, Dubai Health Authority and the World Health Organisation. We’ve sent out a clear message that social distancing is a critical demand and not an option for our community to remain safe."

He added, "As a frontline economic growth engine, DP World UAE Region and its businesses are currently operating under the UAE’s Coronavirus Prevention and Response Plan along with business continuity plans that are customised for each operating entity."

"We have taken every measure we can to keep trade flowing because our nation needs the goods we are moving, such as food and medical supplies, to face the crisis," Al Muallem continued. "We’re working closely with all our stakeholders, especially companies in Jafza that provide essential services, to spread the awareness that preventive actions by individuals are as important as those taken by organisations. This is a time for collective action and we at DP World UAE Region remain commit-ted to playing our role in the UAE’s drive against COVID-19."

All COVID-related essentials such as identification of symptoms, emergency numbers, awareness and instructions are conveyed through desktop displays, emails, text messages, notices and flyers, DP World UAE Region explained in its statement. It noted that as an added precaution, all fingerprint scanners have been deactivated to prevent accidental COVID-19 contamination by users. Social distancing is ensured during shift change, including on buses transporting staff.

Complete management of disinfection and sanitisation has been implemented for all equipment, vehicles, offices and other physical assets throughout Jebel Ali Port, Jafza, Mina Rashid, P&O Marinas, Mina Al Hamriya, National Industries Park, Dubai Auto Zone, Dubai Trade and World Security, the trade enabler continued.

It explained that all in-house canteens, food courts and restaurants within DP World, UAE Region’s premises are catering to delivery requests only. Isolation rooms have been identified in Jafza camps and all processes and procedures are in line with DHA guidelines for dealing with such cases.

Ship crews, arriving or departing, are required to pass through thermal cameras, provide health updates and obtain the Harbour Master’s approval before boarding or de-boarding vessels. Arrangements have been made to provide hospitalisation facilities for crewmembers if required, it continued.

DP World UAE Region concluded by saying that trained HSE teams and Security personnel are deployed on 24x7 high alert to maintain a close watch on the situation, and ensure absolute compliance with the health and safety requirements of Dubai and the UAE.

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