Port capacity to reach 15 million TEUs, says Mohammed Al Muallem
Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of DP World – UAE, said that in the continuous drive for excellence to maintain the vanguard position in terminal operations and management, DP World is constantly developing strategies, modernizing facilities and introducing new operational processes to meet the needs and expectations of customers.
Speaking at the MEED Middle East Port Development Conference held earlier this week in Dubai, which was attended by magnates of the ports, shipping and logistics sectors, Al Muallem said that a number of projects are underway at Jebel Ali Port to increase efficiency and services to customers.
Al Muallem also said that the expansion works at Container Terminal 2 of Jebel Ali Port will be completed before the end of 2008, raising the port’s handling capacity to 14 million -15 million TEUs (twenty equivalent units) and enabling it to accommodate mega ships of more than 12,000 TEUs, which are expected to enter the industry soon.
“We are not mere port operators, but an essential and efficient link in the supply chain,” he said.
He highlighted projects such as the port gate automation and the E-token service recently introduced through Dubai Trade, which enables customers to take their containers without the need for queuing at Documentation Counters; the Security Management System, which recently obtained the ISO 28000 certification, and the new Control Room that permits monitoring and supervision of all operations at the port.
Al Muallem noted that DP World now ranks fourth in the world in managing and operating marine terminals. He said that the remarkable success of being ranked among the world leaders in port operations is due to combined efforts. Progressive strategic planning and focus on meeting customers’ future needs are the key elements behind our success formula, he said.
“We have achieved this rank by expanding our network of operations in the Indian Subcontinent, Far East, the Americas, Australia and also in the UAE. We have now 42 terminals in 22 countries, and our future plans include 53 terminals in 27 countries.
The rate at which cargo moves in today’s world calls for enormous handling capacity. Al Muallem said the total container handling capacity is expected to grow steadily over the next five years.
Al Muallem added: “In 2007 the ports in Dubai alone achieved 20% growth rate in the volume of container handling compared to the same period in 2006, reaching 10.7 million TEUs. This is around 25% of the total handled TEUs in the DP World’s terminals worldwide, which was 43.3 million TEUs in 2007.