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March 3, 2024

Dubai’s DP World invested $6bn to become supply chain giant

DP World invested more than $6bn to evolve into a comprehensive supply chain player, as the company capitalised on the slow evolution of the supply chain industry to invest in every aspect of the chain, according to CEO, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.

Speaking at the 21st Arab Media Forum in Dubai, Bin Sulayem said, “In 2016, it became evident to us that factors beyond the confines of ports exerted a notable influence on the punctual delivery of cargo.

“Faced with this revelation, we made a resolute and forward-thinking decision. Our commitment to providing the most exceptional service to our cargo owners, guaranteeing both timeliness and cost-effectiveness in their operations was unwavering.”

DP World resolved to extend its services across the entire supply chain. “We transformed our role from merely operating ports to becoming a global leader in smart end-to-end supply chain logistics, facilitating worldwide trade flows,” Bin Sulayem said, adding that this required a massive investment of more than $6bn.

The investment encompassed the acquisition of new companies worldwide spanning various segments of the supply chain, from warehouse storage to transportation.

DP World is currently the largest ports and logistics company in India following the privatisation of the sector by the government. The state-owned firm also owns the major rail network that moves goods across India.

DP World to leverage emerging opportunities

Bin Sulayem said the agreement for a multinational rail and ports linking South Asia, the Middle East and Europe will facilitate the flow of energy and trade from the GCC region to Europe while emphasising the objectives of the initiative to ‘expedite the delivery of goods and introduce new alternative routes’.

“In the supply chain industry, time, speed, quality and cost are key elements,” he said.

The new corridor will supplement the existing shipping route through the Red Sea and Suez Canal, adding much-needed flexibility to the global trade system, but will not replace it, he explained.

DP World’s decades-long investments in Jebel Ali Port – with a capacity of nearly 20 million TEUs a year, meaning the logistics firm will be central to the new trade corridor. The port and Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) boast world-class infrastructure and connections with shipping lines that serve a market of 3.5 billion people across the Mediterranean, Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

The state-owned firm has undertaken substantial investments spanning multiple countries across the globe, with a commitment to pursue this strategy wherever viable opportunities arise.

Earlier this year, DP World launched the first direct freight service between the UAE and Iraq to make the flow of goods between the two countries faster, safer and more efficient.