At DP World we have a heritage to be proud of, growing from a local port operator to a global trade enabler
1. The global economy is expected to rebound with significant growth in 2021 and 2022. What are your predictions as a company providing trade infrastructure?
In 2020, DP World demonstrated the strength and resilience of its business by still delivering strong results despite the overall global economy shrinking because of the pandemic. It is early to make a full prediction on the next 18 months as global supply chains have been severely disrupted. Our ability to adapt and change and the investment the Group has made in response to changes in our industry has put our Group in an excellent position to capitalize on the expected global economic rebound in 2021 and 2022. The first quarter of this year seems to confirm this as our global Ports portfolio has seen volume growth of 10%. We remain confident that we will continue to outperform the market.
2. DP Word continues to invest globally in different areas of the supply chain process. Could you tell us about the company's global vision?
At DP World we have a heritage to be proud of, growing from a local port operator to a global trade enabler. From our beginnings in 1972 at Port Rashid in Dubai (UAE), we now have a team of over 53,360 people working at 136 business units in 61 countries across six continents operations around the world. Our operations include ports and terminals, but also industrial parks, logistics and economic zones, maritime services and marinas as well as digital solutions. In fact, our business has changed so much from the early days of operating ports and terminals, we can now be an integral part of your supply chain, tailoring innovative solutions that tackle complex supply chain challenges.
We aim to be essential to building the bright future of global trade, ensuring everything we do leaves a long-lasting positive impact on economies and the world.
3. As a global investor operating DP World Yarımca, what are your thoughts on the Turkish economy and supply chain in the country?
DP World investments follow the trade. Our group has been convinced of the potential of Turkey for a long time. In the early stages of my career, more than 20 years ago, I was already involved in discussions to enter the market. That potential should only grow in the next decennium as Turkey is ideally positioned as a production hub for nearby consumption markets. We have seen a lot of investment in the ports industry in Turkey over the past decade, also by foreign investors. This confirms the growing potential of the Turkish economy. The market is still very fragmented and served from a multitude of different locations (there are 26 container terminals in Turkey) which leads to a suboptimal fragmented supply chain. Our aim, however, is to offer an integrated solution to our customers
By the way, our group is not only present in Turkey with the DP World Yarimca terminal. We also offer transport and logistics services through other group companies like P&O Ferrymasters, P&O Maritime and Unico.
4. Which sectors did you focus on in Turkey? Do you produce special solutions for these sectors?
Our port location is an important factor in the solutions we can provide. DP World Yarimca’s geographic location makes it ideally positioned to serve the large industrial basis on the Asian side of Istanbul and nearby Kocaeli. Given the industries present we provide solutions amongst others to the automotive, white goods, mining, steel, consumer goods and electronics industry. Whereas for some just-in-time and tracking and tracing is essential, other industries have for instance very specific desires around the storage of the cargo. Our teams have been reaching out to better understand the needs of our customers and we have seen great progress over the past years in providing tailored solutions. I do expect a lot more integration with BCOs (shippers and receivers) with the added value of our digital solutions.
5. How much investment has been made so far as a port? What kind of investments are you planning for the upcoming period?
We have invested nearly 600 million USD in the Yarimca facility – 40 million USD of which in the last year to expand the facility to its full 1,3 million TEU potential. That has given us the much-needed capacity to grow further and handle two ULCS (ultra-large container ship) at the same time at our two berths. Our remote-controlled ship-to-shore cranes can handle the largest ships currently afloat and are now already serving the largest vessels serving the Turkish market (currently 19.500 TEU). The state-of-the-art facility boosts a high level of automation which helps us to process large quantities of containers in a short period of time. But it is not only infrastructure and equipment that make a terminal successful. We have invested significantly in the training of and rolling out of standard operating procedures for our staff. We are proud to be the leading operator in productivity but also safety and sustainability in Turkey. The team is available 24/7 to serve our customer base and it's really them making a difference every day.
The DP World group has been gradually increasing its presence in Turkey and I can see us continue to go down this path going forward.
6. Digitalization has become a must in the industry. What kind of investments are you making in this field?
As an end-to-end trade enabler, digital solutions have rapidly become key in many solutions we provide to our business partners. The high level of automation implies that the terminal processes a lot of data from different parts of the supply chain. Under the Cargoes brand, we have been able to turn this into digital solutions for our customers allowing them to have supply chain visibility (Cargoesflow) and securely transfer of data using blockchain technology.
With Digital Freight Alliance, we are connecting freight forwarders around the world and providing them with the best web-based tools to enhance the growth of their business. Searates, on the other hand, is an application that enables cargo owners and consumers to move any amount of goods by sea – from anywhere to anywhere - at the click of a mouse. At the group level, we have seen the role-out of Dubuy, an e-commerce platform, and World logistics Passport, a loyalty partnership between traders, freight forwarders and local entities to provide additional trade in exchange for direct benefits.
These are truly exciting times, and we are only at the start of further digital integration with other actors in the supply chain.
7. Turkey had a historic important role on the ancient silk route and it now prominent on the middle corridor of the “One Belt One Road” Project. The Turkish authorities have invested in the connection to invest in this area. How is that rail connection helping you as a terminal? What kind of development do you expect here?
Rail has proven to be a viable alternative to shipping under the One Belt One Road initiative as the operators have been gradually removing hurdles to enable connections all the way from China to Turkey and beyond. I believe these rail solutions are there to stay as an alternative and will grow in significance, although they now only represent a fraction of what is being shipped over the sea.
The DP World rail connection is well suited to tap into that potential over time. Today, however, our first priority is to serve the vast Turkish hinterland. We are providing rail solutions with our partners for a growing number of industrial customers, and we have seen volume pick up dramatically since we have installed the rail connection. Rail scores well in terms of carbon footprint and it is obvious that seeking sustainable alternatives is more and more becoming a must for a growing number of organizations.
8. On the other hand, a new voyage started from your port upon the development of Turkey's trade with the countries on the Caspian Sea and with the Central Asian Turk Republics and Russia. Can you tell us a little bit about this new route?
This is indeed another exciting development. P&O Maritime, another group company, will open up this new Turkey – Caspian Sea trade lane in the summer and connect DP World Yarimca via the Black Sea and the Volga/Don rivers all way to the Caspian Sea ports with a regular product. There are important trade flows between Turkey and the CIS countries (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazachstan…) and we have already seen encouraging interest in the product even before it is launched.
About Sustainability Projects
DP World Yarımca has launched a new marine preservation initiative following a number of successful sustainability projects in recent years.
The firm, which is one of Turkey’s largest port operators, is teaming up with the Istanbul University and the Marine Life Conservation Society to run a project aimed at curbing the decrease in local coral population in the Marmara Sea, thereby improving the underwater ecosystem that relies so heavily on coral.
The coral preservation project will aim to deliver in-situ conservation or moving of 50 coral colonies in approximately 2 million square meters of ocean area at 30 meters deep.
It is the latest in a series of sustainability initiatives implemented by DP World Yarimca as part of its commitment to sustainably manage marine and coastal ecosystems in line with the “Our World Our Future” approach of DP World along with the United Nations ‘Life below water’ goal.
The firm previously purchased a number of hybrid vehicles, which they estimate will have already reduced carbon emissions by 19.8tonnes and it invested in solar panels, which will generate four percent of its annual energy consumption, cutting a further 227,000kg carbon emissions per year and it has reduced waste by 15-66 percent. It is also running a highly successful awareness campaign helping to educate children on environmental responsibility.
Following our successful environmental education project, ‘Minding My Waste’, that raised awareness among thousands of children about marine pollution, we are now delighted to be launching this new project aimed at the conservation of corals, which are such an important source of marine life.
“Harmful organisms, ecosystem transformations and human activities can have a disastrous impact on our seas, often resulting in a significant loss of corals which are such important homes to so much marine life. In this context, our new project will be a giant step towards protecting the coral population through in-situ conservation or moving of corals.”
DP World Yarmica’s joint project with the Mind Your Waste Foundation, titled “Minding My Waste” won the 2019 European Silver Stevie award in the Corporate Social Responsibility Project of the Year category.
Aimed at reducing disposable plastics as well as the proper sorting of wastes and preventing them from ending up in our oceans, the project’s ultimate goal is to connect with 20,000 children to sow the seeds of environmental responsibility in future generations.
The project has made remarkable progress in raising awareness on plastic pollution by engaging over 10,000 children and their teachers in the last three years.
Minding My Waste is a particular source of pride for us. We have made great progress over the last three years in terms of instilling a marine and environmental culture in our children, who are the future of our planet, and we hope to engage another 10,000 children in the upcoming period. At DP World we are committed to fostering marine and maritime culture worldwide.