Container Volumes plunge for DP World

Business for port operator DP World has been notably hurt by a 'low tide' in worldwide maritime trade. Thursday saw DP World reporting that in the first six months of this year, it dealt with 10% fewer cargo containers than it did for the same period a year ago.

Nearly 12.3 million twenty-foot equivalent container units, known in the shipping business as TEU, were processed by DP World, from January through June at terminals, where the company has a majority ownership or operational control. During the fist half of 2008, the company had processed 13.6 million TEU at such terminals.

However, no corresponding figures were given by DP World for revenues or net income.

Via a statement, the company specified, "Despite this decline in volume, DP World continued to outperform the market given our diversified global port portfolio favoring those markets where container trade volumes have been less impacted by the challenging macroeconomic climate, in particular across the Middle East."

The volumes for its containers fell by 16% at DP World's terminals in the Americas and Australia; while in Asia and Europe, these fell by 10% and 9% respectively. In Africa and the Middle East too, the volumes fell by 9%. The company dealt with 7 per cent fewer containers, or 5.4 million TEU, in the first half at its cargo terminals in the UAE.

It should be noted that DP World, which is a subsidiary of state-owned conglomerate Dubai World, is also the world's fourth-biggest container port operator in terms of volumes shipped.