DP World Limited, one of the world’s largest operators of
ports with locations in more than 50 countries, reported more than a five
percent decline container volumes handed across its ports worldwide in the
first quarter of 2020. Even adjusting the numbers to reflect ports it had in
operator in the year-ago period, the results reflected a nearly four percent
decline in volume.
Reflecting a similar trend to most ports impacted by the
spread of COVID-19, DP World reported a nearly eight percent decline in volumes
during the second quarter of 2020. In total, in the firsts half of 2020, DP
World’s port operations handled 33.9 million TEUs.
“Like most industries, the maritime and logistics sector is
going through an unprecedented and challenging period due to the COVID-19
outbreak,” commented Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sultan Ahmed
Bin Sulayem. He pointed out, however,
that the resulted compared favorably against an estimated industry decline of
approximately 15 percent in the second quarter and a 10 percent decline
industry-wide for the first half of 2020 according to Drewry
DP World pointed out that all of its ports had maintained
operations keeping cargo flowing and managing in the difficult worldwide
conditions. The company investments in digital technology and automation were
also credited as helping to ensure minimal disruption at the locations.
The Group Chairman reported that while the outlook is still
uncertain, the company remains positive on the medium to long-term fundamentals
of the industry. Furthermore, DP’s strategy of providing integrated supply
chain solutions to beneficial cargo owners they believe positions the company
to benefit from any sustained recovery in the global economy.
Continuing its strategy of acquisitions to enhance its
global operations, DP World separately announced that it has agreed to acquire
a 60 percent stake in UNICO Logistics Co. Ltd. one of the largest independent
NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier) in South Korea with operations in
20 countries. UNICO is a multimodal transport specialist positioned in the
fast-growing transcontinental rail freight market between East-Asia and
Central-Asia and Russia. This includes operations on the Trans-Siberian Railway
(TSR) and Trans China Railway (TCR).
"DP World's vision is to become the leading end-to-end
supply chain solutions provider. By integrating Unico into our worldwide
network we will be able to offer better service to our customers in South Korea
and beyond,” commented Sultan Ahmed Bin
Sulayem. “These new services further strengthen our logistics capabilities,
which we are combining with our maritime services operations and our worldwide
network of ports and terminals."
The transaction, subject to regulatory clearances, is
expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020.