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DP World reveals expansion plans at critical ports

Three new ship-to-shore cranes, part of a $218m modernisation programme, arrive at DP World in Antwerp, Belgium Belga/Reuters
Three new ship-to-shore cranes, part of a $218m modernisation programme, arrive at DP World in Antwerp, Belgium
  • Projects in Turkey, Egypt and Saudi
  • Adding vast amount of handling capacity
  • Focus on digitalisation

Port operator DP World has announced plans to expand capacity across critical global markets as it responds to growing demand.

The Dubai-based company expects to add 3 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of new container handling capacity by the end of the year.

DP World – which manages 9 percent of the world’s handling capacity, putting it among the top five global port operators – said the expansion plan will take its total gross capacity to 93.6 million TEUs. 

A TEU is a shipping container whose internal dimensions measure 20 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 8 feet tall.

Key expansion projects will be completed this year in the Dominican Republic, Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with smaller plans also scheduled in other markets, DP World said in a statement.

Supply chain advisors Drewry forecasts global container throughput will grow to 932 million TEU by 2025, up from 858 million TEU in 2021.  

DP World’s capacity expansion plans come at a time when inflation, increased living costs and geopolitical uncertainties are causing concern about global trade and fuelling demand for more resilient supply chain solutions.

“We are committed to investing in our infrastructure to meet the growing demand for trade,” Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World, said.

As well as the physical expansion, the projects also focus on digitalisation – implementing new technology and modern terminal operating systems, the company said, adding that automated equipment powered by electricity will replace fossil fuelled hardware to “drastically” reduce CO2 emissions. 

In May, DP World completed a AED954 million expansion project, increasing container throughput by 60 percent at the Port of Vancouver.

DP World is set to commence operations at Indonesia’s 600,000 TEU Belawan New Container Terminal in North Sumatra by the end of the year, with plans to increase its capacity to 1.4 million TEUs.

In February, DP World also won a concession to develop, operate and maintain the Tuna-Tekra mega-container terminal at Deendayal port on the western coast of India. 

Once complete the terminal will include a 1,100-metre berth and will handle 2.19 million TEUs per year, catering to exports and imports from northern, western and central India.