UAE volumes bound for Europe, Middle East and Africa increased 2.7% from 13.3m teu in 2012 to 13.6m in 2013. However, totals were brought down by a 14.8% decrease in consolidated Asia Pacific and India Subcontinent volumes, to 4.6m teu from 5.4m teu in 2012.
DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem cited a “challenging macroeconomic backdrop”, but was optimistic for DP World’s newest terminals. “Our London Gateway facility and our facility in Brazil, Embraport, both opened for business in the second half of 2013 and we look forward to their contribution during 2014 and beyond.”
“We are encouraged by the volumes handled at our flagship Jebel Ali port, with our UAE operation recording the best year in its history. This reflects the continued growth of Dubai, the UAE and the wider region. The 1m teu expansion of Jebel Ali’s Terminal 2 contributed to that record result, and this year, we will add 4m teu new capacity at Terminal 3 to ensure we are well placed to handle future capacity demand in Dubai.”
Mohammed Sharaf, DP World ceo, added: “Our full year throughput performance is pleasing, particularly given the softer market conditions we experienced in the first half of 2013.
“Economic headwinds combined with limited spare capacity across our portfolio constrained our ability to grow volumes further in 2013. However, the addition of new capacity in 2014 combined with a projected pick-up in global trade should allow us to return to a more normalised growth rate.
“The quarterly trend of improvement continued into the fourth quarter of 2013 and, while the macroeconomic outlook in some regions remains uncertain, we have made an encouraging start to the current year.”