DP World, Dubai-based global operator of shipping terminals, diversified its global business portfolio through investments and acquisitions worth $3 billion in 2018, the company said.
It also deepened its engagement with revolutionary new technologies and extended meaningful support to environmental initiatives around the world during the year, achieving strategic growth in diverse fields, it said.
The headline projects were the launch of DP World Cargospeed with Virgin Hyperloop One and taking over leadership of the technology company; digital transformation of business operations across the global portfolio; the game-changing high bay storage system for containers at Jebel Ali; the successful launch of a $3 billion investment platform in India; acquisition of complementary businesses in Europe, India and Peru; and container port development projects in Africa.
DP World also successfully closed the 100% acquisition of Drydocks World (Drydocks).
People development was the other key area of focus through association with the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, to develop a strategic skills development programme and the 20Xel programme to recruit the brightest of the UAE nationals for future leadership roles, it said.
DP World Group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: “2018 was a successful year and a period of strategic growth for DP World in diverse fields. We made major strides in our evolution into a company that focuses on smarter trade to make lives better through data-driven logistics. Innovation, with an eye on future trade solutions and acquisitions designed to expand our global business footprint, was key.
“Our sustained interest in tomorrow’s trade enabling technologies saw us taking a leadership role in Virgin Hyperloop One, our partners in developing DP World Cargospeed, the high-speed transport system that will revolutionise the way we do trade. Simultaneously, we ended the year by embracing an existing technology to deliver a quantum leap in container stacking and storage in our flagship Jebel Ali Port. On its successful completion, we plan to adopt it across our other terminals.”
Bin Sulayem added: “Our partnerships and acquisitions too gathered pace in a wide range of locations and sectors. The $3 billion investment platform in India with the government’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) saw us acquire Continental Warehousing Corporation (Nhava Sheva) Ltd. Complementary businesses were also added to our global portfolio in Peru and in Europe with the Unifeeder Group.
“Our activity in Africa gathered pace as we signed an agreement with the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) to implement the first phase of an integrated industrial and residential zone in Sokhna, Egypt. We will also soon build and operate a 1,000-hectare modern logistics hub outside of Bamako in the Republic of Mali. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, we announced a new concession for the management and development of a greenfield multi-purpose port at Banana, the first deep-sea port in the country along its small coastline of 37 km.”
Ethiopia became a shareholder of the Port of Berbera as the company invested in infrastructure to develop the Berbera Corridor as a trade gateway for the landlocked nation, which is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Construction began on the expansion works in Berbera and DP World looks forward to helping the region develop its economic potential, it said.
Elsewhere, DP World’s activities in Kazakhstan developed as it signed two framework agreements to run Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in Aktau and Khorgos which act as primary transit points for trans-Eurasian cargo trains. DP World acquired a 51% stake in the Khorgos SEZ and 49% in the Aktau SEZ, with both facilities playing an important role in enhancing trade connectivity along the New Silk Route.
In the Americas, DP World agreed on terms for the next phase of expansion for the DP World Prince Rupert Fairview Container Terminal on the Pacific Coast of Canada. In Europe, a new cruise passenger terminal at DP World Limassol opened providing world-class facilities and services for passengers.
Bin Sulayem concluded: “Despite the challenging global economic uncertainties, we have experienced continued revenue growth by focusing on high-value cargo, operational efficiencies and consistently delivering value to our customers through smart solutions. We are committed to continue to build on the gains of the past year as we enter 2019.”