London Gateway, the new port at the mouth of the Thames, is on track to open later this year, DP World has confirmed.
In the group’s annual results, Mohammed Sharaf, DP World’s group chief executive officer, highlighted the fact that cargo owners are increasingly focused on short lead times and real time inventories, pushing port operators to improve terminal efficiencies to move goods along the supply chain more quickly.
“Our investment in London Gateway for example is expressly for this reason, to improve the efficiency of the UK supply chain.”
Port development has not kept pace with changes in global trade such as the “Made in the World” phenomenon and the growth of manufacturing in developing countries, he said.
“Volume growth has been almost double the rate of new capacity growth, resulting in a significant lack of global container terminal capacity today.”
And he pointed out that over the past five to six years DP World has invested more than $6 billion adding over 20 million TEU of new capacity and growing ahead of the market.
“By 2015 we expect to have approximately 85 million TEU of capacity globally, with 30 per cent of our capacity in the Middle East and Africa, markets that are forecast to grow significantly. Our aim by 2020 is to be operating 100 million TEU of capacity, retaining our 10 per cent market share and our 75 per cent focus on emerging markets.”
DP World saw EBITDA rise eight per cent to $1.4 billion on sales up five per cent to $3.1bn for 2012.