DP World handled 53.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units, TEU, across its global portfolio of container terminals in the first nine months of 2018, with gross container volumes growing by 2.6 percent year-on-year on a reported basis and 3.7 percent on a like-for-like basis.
Gross like-for-like volumes declined by 0.5 percent in 3Q, 2018 due to the tougher year-on-year comparables (3Q, 2017 volumes grew 13.5 percent year-on-year), and softer volumes in the UAE.
The UAE handled 11.3 million TEU in nine months of 2018, down -2.1 percent year-on-year, with 3Q, 2018 volumes down -6.7 percent year-on-year due to the challenging macro environment and loss of lower-margin cargo. Growth in Europe remained robust with strong growth in London Gateway, UK, and Rotterdam, Netherlands.
At a consolidated level, DP World terminals handled 27.7 million TEU during the first nine months of 2018, a 1.6 percent improvement in performance on a reported basis and up 2.2 percent year-on-year on a like-for-like basis.
Commenting on the results, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, said, "As highlighted in our first half throughput announcement, we have seen our volume growth decelerate due to the strong prior year performance and general caution in the market given the current uncertainty in global trade. In the UAE, the volume weakness in 3Q, 2018 is mainly due to loss of low-margin throughput, where our focus remains on profitable cargo and, while the near-term volume outlook in Jebel Ali remains challenging, we have taken measures to maintain profitability."
He added, "On our wider portfolio, we have made good progress in strengthening our product offering to play a greater role in the global supply chain as a trade enabler. We continue to focus on delivering operational excellence, managing costs and disciplined investment to remain the port operator of choice. We are also pleased to state that despite the softer volumes, we are on track to meet market expectations."