Dubai: DP World said on Tuesday its container volumes in the first half of 2018 rose 4.8 per cent year-on-year, driven by operations in Europe and Australia.

The company said it handled 35.6 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU) across its global portfolio of container terminals in the first half of the year.

This puts container volumes in the second quarter of 2018 at 18 million TEU – a 1.7 per cent increase over the 17.7 million TEU handled in the same quarter of 2017, according to Gulf News calculations.

Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive officer of DP World, said there was a deceleration in the growth rate in the second quarter when compared to the same quarter in 2017, which saw a 10.7 per cent increase.

Bin Sulayem said the growth in the second quarter of 2017 was “driven by market share gains from the new shipping alliances.”

“Whilst geopolitical headwinds and recent changes in trade policies continue to pose uncertainty to the container market, first half volume performance demonstrates that our portfolio is well-positioned to deliver growth,” he said in a statement.

In the UAE alone where DP World is based, the company handled 7.7 million TEU during the first half of 2018, remaining flat on a year-on-year basis. In the second quarter alone, container volumes fell 2.3 per cent to 3.9 million TEU.

From a global perspective, the company said it saw an upswing in trade, with all three of its regions delivering growth.

The Americas and Australia, which DP World records on its books as one region, saw the largest growth rate in the first half of 2018, at 5.2 per cent. Meanwhile, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa recorded a 5 per cent increase in volumes, as Asia Pacific and the Indian subcontinent saw 4.5 per cent growth.

“We are pleased to see our terminals in Europe and Australia continue to deliver growth and still expect to see increased contributions from our new investments in the second half of the year,” Bin Sulayem said.