Fourth quarter gains provided enough ballast for DP World to close 2020 with a slight improvement on 2019 numbers. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Improving global trade volumes, especially in the final weeks of 2020, helped Dubai's DP World post a 7.6 per cent increase in container volumes during the October to end December period. But for the full year, DP World's 71.2 million TEU handled represents a gain of only 0.2 per cent as the pandemic and its impact on global shipping and distribution told on cargo movements.

The gains in the final three months of 2020 was mainly driven by India, Europe, Middle East and Africa, with particularly "strong performance" at Mundra port in India, London Gateway, Rotterdam, Antwerp Gateway (Belgium) and Sokhna in Egypt. In Americas, growth was driven by DP World Santos (Brazil) and Vancouver (Canada).

Jebel Ali (UAE) handled 3.4 million TEU in final three months of last year, up 0.3 per cent from 2019.

While 2021 has started encouragingly, the outlook remains uncertain given the continued issues surrounding the pandemic, geopolitical uncertainty in some parts of the world and the ongoing trade war

- Sultan Bin Sulayem of DP World

Flat is good in pandemic year

“This strong end to the year resulted in flat growth in 2020 which compares favourably against an industry that is estimated to be down 2.1 per cent,” said Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman. “Overall, this once again illustrates the resilience of the global container industry, and DP World’s continued ability to outperform the market.

"The growth in volumes was encouragingly across all our regions with India being a key driver, while our flagship port of Jebel Ali saw volumes stabilizing."

2.1 %

Estimated drop in global shipments in 2021