Fast-Paced Global Integration

7 Supply Chains to Look Out For in 2007

In an increasingly integrated global economy, gateways and infrastructure play a vital role in the smooth flow of goods through any number of supply chains. Though they don't constitute a supply chain in and of themselves, the world's port terminal operators can make or break your supply chain.

Some estimates say over 75% of the containers entering the United States pass through terminals operated by foreign-owned companies. Despite heightened security measures following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States, this didn't raise many concerns until DP World acquired U.K. based P&O Ports and, thereby, became the operator of 24 of the reported 829 terminals at the U.S. ports of Baltimore, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami and New Orleans.

DP World operates in 24 countries and reported a 2005 container throughput of 36 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) at its 51 terminals worldwide. Its capacity is 50 million TEUs, but that is changing.

Selected as Port Operator of the Year for 2006 by Lloyd's List, DP World points out it "invests in the infrastructure, facilities and people at its operations to further enhance the customer's experience and satisfaction and to increase trade. It also invests ahead of demand."

As this goes to press, DP World is scheduled to announce a buyer for the U.S. facilities it acquired as part of the P&O Ports deal, but it hasn't given up on North America. DP World was reportedly in talks with Halterm Terminals in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. A possible acquisition is not expected to encounter any of the opposition DP World saw to its U.S. deal. In fact, it could help the troubled Halifax operation at a time when the port is seeing increased traffic. One industry source commented DP World has been successful in other localities where it has operated and it brings serious investment and good operations.

Also part of a North American strategy, DP World's Dominican Republic terminal at the port of Caucedo joined the U.S. Container Security Initiative (CSI). DP World was the first global marine terminal operator to gain international certification for its security management system under the international standard ISO/PAS 2800:2005.

Earlier, DP World announced expansion plans at another of its North American gateways, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where it will increase the terminal size by 40%.

Elsewhere, DP World broke ground on a $400 million terminal to add 1.5 million TEUs per year in capacity to the Doraleh Container Terminal located near the African port of Djibouti.

DP World has also begun efforts to develop a $2.9 billion world-class port facility and the United Kingdom's largest multimodal business park on the River Thames. Other recently announced expansions include a new terminal in Pakistan, a $100 million expansion in Argentina and a 2.2 million TEU facility slated for Tianjin, China.

Continuing its aggressive global expansion in line with evolving supply chain needs, DP World is expected to receive a $700 million infusion from the sale of the U.S. terminal operations.--Perry A. Trunick

DP World
Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based global maritime terminal operator.
Terminals operated: 51 in 24 countries
Capacity: 50 million twenty-foot-equivalent units
2005 Throughput: 36 million TEUs
Announced expansions: London, Halifax, Islamabad, Buenos Aires and Vancouver, B.C.

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