DUBAI (Reuters) – DP World’s <DPW.DI> shipping container volumes in Dubai fell 6.7 percent in the third quarter, with the port operator warning on Tuesday that the near-term outlook for Dubai’s major Jebel Ali Port remained challenging.
DP World operates Dubai’s Jebel Ali, a major transhipment port and the largest port in the United Arab Emirates, and the Mina Rashid port.
Dubai government-controlled DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, blamed the fall in cargo volumes on the challenging macro-economic environment and the loss of lower-margin cargo.
“While the near-term volume outlook in Jebel Ali remains challenging, we have taken measures to maintain profitability,” Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said in a statement.
Shipping container volumes in Dubai were down 2.1 percent to 11.3 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) in the first nine months of the year, said DP World. It did not disclose individual container volumes for Jebel Ali Port or Mina Rashid.
The company had cautioned in August that the near-term outlook for trade was uncertain due to geopolitical risks and recent changes in trade policies.
U.S. President Donald Trump is taking a more protectionist posture on trade than his recent predecessors, sparking retaliatory measures other countries such as China.
Globally, container volumes grew by 2.6 percent on a reported basis in the first nine months, with DP World handling 53.6 million units. DP World did not disclose global container volumes on a reported basis for the third quarter, but said they had fallen 0.5 percent on a like-for-like basis in the July-September period.