NAT 220324 Sultan Bin Sulayem CE015-1648108513712
Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO, DP World Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Supply chains are proving to be a most ‘inefficient business’ in the world today, according to the Chairman and CEO DP World.

“What I mean by the supply chain is the journey from the factory to the end consumer,” said Sultan Bin Sulayem, “This journey is inefficient because there are so many stakeholders. We are doing our part and started investing in ports from around the world and increased our penetration into activities to ensure cargo runs smoothly.”

Bin Sulayem said that Latin America is a very important region for DP World. “For us, Dominican Republic is actually a shipment force (for DP World).”

DP World began its operations in the Dominican Republic in 2003. Its ports are located on the Punta Caucedo peninsula, a strategic place for the redistribution of cargo to the Caribbean, US, and Central America. These are among the Top 15 ports in Latin America.

“What we did in the Dominican Republic is key to our vision,” said Bin Sulayem. “We are interested in OD ports (Origin and destination cargo), which means the port receives the cargo that goes out of the gate, which is different from transshipment port.” He said that the Caucedo port in the Dominican Republic is now an OD port and that DP World is encouraging companies to manufacture and distribute out of the port.

Market share
DP World terminals handle 75 million containers around the world. In terms of volume, that is about almost 11% of the world’s trade and $3.5 trillion worth of cargo.

“We know that we can remove many of the obstacles and the inefficiencies. And our target is that the cargo will move from the manufacturer to the consumer with the least difficulties in the most efficient. Our growth plans aim to contribute to the significant increase in the country’s connectivity and reduce costs associated with trade.”

Customer-centric operations

Sulayem said that the logistics industry has a lot of work to make sure customers get better services, in addition to handling the cargo. He said that DP World accelerated investment in digital platforms to make the process seamless. In October, DP World launched a fintech platform covering trade, logistics and inventory finance, which aims to boost support to SME importers and exporters. The Cargoes Finance platform offers pre- and post-shipment financing products, as well as extended payment terms.

It also gives financing options for logistics processes, receivables and payables financing, and invoice discounting, and users can boost working capital by using inventory as collateral.

Russia-Ukraine crisis

Talking about the ongoing geopolitical tension, Sulayem said “We can cope with it. These crises teach us how to adjust.”

Talking about overcoming the pandemic blues, the DP World chief said, “We did what we did regarding lockdowns, but managed to make sure the cargo moves. These challenges are always happening, but you can see that throughout the crises, the ports are important.”

“Because no matter what the situation, the ports are always working. It is how you make sure they can cope with the challenges. That is an art that we have because we accumulated a lot of experience in dealing with issues.”