DP World Limited handled 52.3 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) across its global portfolio of container terminals in the first nine months of 2017, with gross container volumes growing by 10.0% year-on-year on a reported basis and 9.6% on a like-for-like1 basis, with the third quarter growth rates accelerating to 13.5% year-on-year on a reported basis and 13.3% on a like-for-like2 basis, ahead of second quarter growth and Drewry Maritime’s upgraded industry estimate3 of 5.5% throughput growth in 2017.
Global trade outlook improved significantly in 2017 with the World Trade Organization4 recently upgrading trade growth from 2.4% to 3.6% in 2017 and all three DP World regions saw third quarter growth rates accelerate even more than the second quarter of 2017, particularly our terminals in Middle East & Africa, Europe and the Americas. The UAE handled 11.6 million TEU in 9M2017, growing 4.6% year-on-year.
At a consolidated5 level, our terminals handled 27.3 million TEU during the first nine months of 2017, a 24.2% improvement in performance on a reported basis and up 6.2% year-on-year on a like-for-like6 basis. Reported consolidated volume in the Asia Pacific and Indian Subcontinent region was boosted by the consolidation of Pusan (South Korea) at the end of 2016.
DP World Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem commented: “The recovery of global trade in 2017 has outperformed previous expectations and we have seen significant upward revisions by economists and industry experts. Benefitting from the improved trading environment and market share gains from the new shipping alliances, our global portfolio continues to deliver ahead-of-market growth and this across all three regions. We have seen an acceleration of growth rates in the third quarter as we employ the right strategy and the relevant deep-water capacity in the key markets.
“We are pleased to see 3Q2017 UAE volumes continue to grow despite uncertainty in the region and the performance across our terminals in the Middle East & Africa, Americas and Europe remains strong.
“During the third quarter, we added 1.5 million TEU of new capacity in Jebel Ali (UAE) Terminal 3 (T3) and 0.5 million TEU in Prince Rupert (Canada) which provides us room for continued growth in these key markets. We continue to seek growth opportunities in Latin America, Africa and Indian subcontinent where there remains significant structural growth potential.
“We expect our portfolio’s volume growth to continue to outperform the market and given the encouraging performance so far, we remain well placed to meet full year 2017 market expectations.”