DP World,  Jebel Ali Free Zone
DP World's numbers for first six months saw a decline, but still way off the global average as COVID-19 played havoc on global trade. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in DP World handling 5.3 per cent lower container volumes in the first six months to total 33.9 million TEU. This number is from its network of ports in the world.

At the flagship Jebel Ali terminal, the operator handled 6.7 million TEU (20-foot equivalent) during this period, down 6.8 per cent year-on-year "due to COVID-19 and loss of lower-margin cargo". But there were gains in volumes from the Americas and Australia, boosted by a mix of acquisitions and consolidation.

Withstand headwinds

“Like most industries, the maritime and logistics sector is going through an unprecedented and challenging period due to the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO.

“As a result, our portfolio has seen volumes weaken by 7.9 per cent in the second quarter and 3.9 per cent in the first-half.

“However, this compares favourably against an estimated industry decline of 15 per cent in 2Q2020 and 10 per cent in first six months.

“This outperformance once again demonstrates that we are in the right locations and a focus on origin and destination cargo will continue to deliver the right balance between growth and resilience.

"Overall, we are encouraged that our business has performed better than expected and, while the outlook is still uncertain, we remain positive on the medium to long-term fundamentals of the industry."

DP World picks up a majority in South Korean operator
DP World is to acquire 60 per cent in South Korea's Unico Logistics Co.

The transaction, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the fourth quarter this year.

Established in 2002 by H.J. Park, Unico operates 25 subsidiaries in 20 countries and is one of the largest independent NVOCCs (non-vessel operating common carrier) in South Korea. It is a major player in the transcontinental rail freight market between East Asia and Central Asia and Russia, in particular on the strategically important Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR) and Trans China Railway (TCR).