P&O Ports established in Dubai to diversify DP World
Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), today announced the establishment of P&O Ports to focus on taking over the operation of small to medium-sized, multi-purpose ports worldwide.
P&O Ports is wholly owned by the Dubai government as a subsidiary of PCFC and will specialise in operating marine and inland ports in markets with a need for well-managed trade and logistics infrastructure.
In an interview with Maritime & Ports Middle East following the announcement, HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of PCFC and DP World, said that P&O Ports would ‘turnaround’ small to medium-sized ports that were congested and prone to delays due to inefficient management.
Bin Sulayem insisted that P&O Ports would be an entirely separate entity to DP World, but said the global port operator’s experience in running 65 terminals at major ports around the world would be invaluable to the governments of countries plagued by inefficient ports.
“These ports management has failed because they don’t have the right expertise. We have chosen a group of elite people to go and turn these ports around and reduce turnaround and waiting time by 50% to 60%,” said Bin Sulayem. “We have handpicked employees from DP World to transfer to P&O Ports for this purpose.”
“We are pleased to announce that P&O Ports has signed MOUs to enter into preliminary discussions in with the governments of Madagascar, the Port of Berbera in the Republic of Somaliland and Albania to enhance their port infrastructure,” he added. “The launch of P&O Ports complements Dubai’s global investments in the port industry and diversifies its operations to include maritime terminals of all sizes.”
Bin Sulayem used a metaphor to illustrate the market position of P&O Ports, saying that if DP World was Emirates Airline, then P&O Ports was Flydubai.
“I don’t mean that in reference to Flydubai operating cheaper or budget flights, but because it is expanding into new markets, smaller destinations, to which Emirates, because of the size of its planes, cannot feasible operate,” said Bin Sulayem.
“These brownfield ports, predominantly handling general cargo and bulk commodities, are a source of great opportunity but tend to be uneconomic for larger operators. P&O Ports, as a newly created, specialised company, provides the flexibility to compete more efficiently within this sector,” he clarified.
Arif Obaid Al Dehail, CEO of Trakhees - a division under the Ports, Customs & Free Zones Corporation, has been appointed as chairman of P&O Ports, and Hassan Hadi, former first deputy chairman DP World], as CEO of the company.
They both have extensive experience in port development and management in Dubai and overseas, including broad technical and management skills that will help the company meet its strategic goals, P&O Ports said in a statement.