(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) DP World today celebrated milestone achievement in its history when its Dubai ports handled the 100 millionth container to pass through UAE Region terminals in ten years.
DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said, the feat was made possible by the high level of support the company has received from Dubai's leadership, loyal customers, stakeholders and committed employees.
The 100 million TEU record was achieved between January 2003 and January 2013 and covers all container boxes handled in both Mina Rashid and Jebel Ali Port. DP World, UAE Region's annual container throughput increased more than 150 per cent over the decade, from around five million TEU in 2003 to 13.3 million TEU in 2012.
In all, the two container ports have handled 135 million TEU since the opening of Jebel Ali Port in 1979, around 75 per cent of it since 2003.
In a recognition of the crucial roles they have played in DP World's success story, members of the DP World Alumni Network were invited as special guests to celebrations at Jebel Ali Port where the Chairman unveiled a container box painted in company colours, in the presence of senior officials, including Vice Chairman Jamal Majid bin Thaniah, Group Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Sharaf, and Senior Vice President and Managing Director of DP World, UAE Region Mohammed Al Muallem - all of whom have played pivotal leadership roles in the company's emergence as the third largest global marine terminal operator.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World, said: "DP World owes its success to the vision and support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Our flagship facility Jebel Ali is counted among the crown jewels of Dubai's economy. We remain committed to supporting Dubai's unparalleled position as the region's commercial hub.
The proud moment of seeing our 100 millionth container was possible because of the support of our loyal customers and employees, both former and present." For his part, Jamal Majid bin Thaniah, Vice Chairman, DP World, said: "DP World's journey to the top ranks of the global marine terminal business is anchored in Dubai's long sea-faring traditions. The past decade is a golden period in our history during which we supported economic development in Dubai, the UAE and the rest of the GCC. DP World remains committed to continuing its pivotal role as a supply chain catalyst and strengthening Dubai's position as the region's premier commercial hub." Mohammed Sharaf, Group Chief Executive Officer, DP World, said: "Handling 100 million containers in 10 years is a remarkable feat for a port by any measure and we firmly believe it was enabled by decades of hard work and commitment of our employees, including former employees represented by the DP World Alumni Network, who struggled against great odds to build a truly global company. Special thanks go to our customers who have consistently found value in our services and have travelled with us on our journey. Together, they have raised the bar for the coming decade that we hope DP World, UAE Region will strive to exceed." Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region, said: "DP World has consistently kept pace with the emerging demands of its customers and delivered efficiencies in cost and time. Our on-going plans to increase capacity by 5 million TEU to reach 19 million TEU by 2014 at Jebel Ali is in line with our growth strategy to provide quality services when and where customers need them. Our ability to handle the growth in volumes over the past decade was made possible by the dedication and team work of our UAE Region managers and employees. We thank them for it." The expansion work currently underway at Jebel Ali includes adding 1 million TEU in new capacity to Container Terminal 2 (T2) during the first half of this year and the development of a 4 million TEU capacity mega Container Terminal 3 (T3) by 2014. When the expansion work is complete, Jebel Ali Port will be able to handle ten of the next generation 18,000 TEU mega vessels at the same time - the only port in the region able to do so.
Dubai's modern port industry goes back to 1969 when the late Ruler, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum gave instructions for a four-berth deep-water harbour to be constructed close to the mouth of Dubai Creek. By 1978, with a capacity of 1,500,000 TEU, the number of berths at Mina Rashid was increased to 35.
Encouraged by the market's response, Sheikh Rashid launched an even more ambitious project. When opened in 1979, Jebel Ali Port was ranked the world's largest man-made harbour.
In May 1991, Dubai Ports Authority (DPA) was established to manage both Mina Rashid and Jebel Ali Port. The merger led to a dramatic increase in throughput, exceeding one million TEU per annum for the first time. DPA and DPI was merged in 2005 to form DP World.
In 2007, DP World, UAE Region achieved the throughput of 10,000,000 TEU in a single year. After a few months, container and general cargo operations at Mina Rashid were shifted to Jebel Ali Port, the gateway to a market of more than 2 billion people.
For well over a year now, DP World, UAE Region has been handling volumes of more than 1 million TEU every month. In 2012 DP World, UAE Region handled 13.3 million TEU.