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DP World’s Port of Jebel Ali. The UAE handled 3.5 million TEU in the first quarter, down 8.8 per cent year-on-year, due to the challenging macroenvironment and loss of lower-margin cargo. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: DP World, listed on Nasdaq Dubai, said on Thursday its global container volumes dipped in the first quarter to March on challening macro economic environment.

Total gross container volumes fell a tad 0.6 per cent to 17.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in January to March period even as most of the weakness came in from America, Australia, Africa, European Union and the Middle East.

The Americas and Australia’s January to March container volumes fell the maximum across geographies. The geographies registered 7.2 per cent fall in container volumes to 2.08 million TEU. Asia pacific and Indian sub-continent container volumes rose 3.5 per cent to be at 8.31 million TEU.

3.5%

Rise in gross container volumes in Asia-Pacific

The UAE handled 3.5 million TEU in the first quarter of 2019, down 8.8 per cent year-on-year, due to the challenging macroenvironment and loss of lower-margin cargo.

“As previously flagged, we have seen softer volumes in the first quarter due to a strong prior year performance and general caution in some markets given the current uncertainty in the macro-environment,” DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said in a statement.

“In the UAE, the volume weakness is mainly due to loss of low-margin throughput, where our focus remains on profitable cargo and, while we expect the recent trends to continue into the second quarter, we do expect an improvement in the second half of the year,” he added.

4%

Drop in gross container volumes in EMEA region

At a consolidated level, the volume boost came in from Asia Pacific and the Indian subcontinent. Consolidated volumes rose 2.5 per cent to 2.606 million TEU.

The EMEA region’s consolidated volumes fell 4.7 per cent to be at 5.38 million TEU.

“On our wider portfolio, we have made good progress in strengthening our product which offers a greater role in the global supply chain as a solutions provider. We continue to focus on delivering operational excellence, managing costs and disciplined investment to remain the trade partner of choice,” Sulayem added.