Message from the Chairman

Message from the Chairman

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem - Group Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

"In 2023, DP World achieved remarkable progress, embarking on a journey marked by innovations across the Group, adept navigation through geopolitical tensions and the growing challenges posed by climate issues."

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem

Group Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

In these uncertain times, with challenges from geopolitics to macroeconomics, companies that prioritise resilience and adaptability are poised to thrive.

The last few years have seen a new chapter in globalisation, increasingly defined by regionalisation, nearshoring or friendshoring, with major companies, moving manufacturing closer to home markets to enhance the reliability of shipping supplies.

We have been helping companies respond to this shift, creating regional hubs and port-centric capabilities to store inventory while diversifying transport routes. This enhances resilience by ensuring that goods are nearby and always have multiple, reliable options available.

At the same time, we must not isolate communities and companies that rely on access to all four corners of the world, which is why we are as dedicated to improving the physical trading infrastructure as we are to the digital infrastructure. I am proud to announce that in 2023, DP World achieved remarkable progress, embarking on a journey marked by innovations across the Group, adept navigation through geopolitical tensions and the growing challenges posed by climate issues.

We made great progress toward our aspirations of becoming the leading integrated international logistics company delivering tailor made solutions and end-to-end supply chain services to our valued customers. Highlights included an agreement to upgrade and operate the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, a US$250 million investment to enhance transport and logistics services across East Africa.

Alongside this, we’re proud to announce the establishment of the Berbera Free Zone, which is located close to our Berbera port and connects by road through the Berbera Corridor to Ethiopia, serving the wider Horn of Africa—a region of more than 140 million people. In Egypt, our investment of over US$500 million transformed the Port of Ain Sokhna into a cutting-edge automated hub, strategically located near the Suez Canal. This port serves as a pivotal link for North and East Africa with key global and regional trading paths.

In India, we partnered with the government to develop five of the six container terminals we manage, aligning with India’s PM Gati Shakti initiative to link economic zones and industrial hubs with ports.

Despite these successes, Europe has faced economic challenges. The dual pressures of escalating inflation and economic slowdown have led to a softening in trade activities. Furthermore, the shift away from globalisation and geopolitical tensions have had widespread economic impacts across the continent.

Expanding our reach in strategic markets

Amidst the dynamic landscape of global trade, logistics infrastructure stands as a cornerstone of success for supply chains and economies worldwide. Our range of products from ports and technology to marine services and logistics enables us to create sustainable supply chain solutions that can reshape the way the world trades. This was especially true in developing countries, where it encourages expansion, attracts foreign investment, and creates jobs.

Our vision includes the establishment of over 100 new freight forwarding offices worldwide enhancing service quality for our customers. Our new automotive services further illustrate our sector-specific expertise, offering a commercial edge that stands unrivalled.

In India, our partnership with the Deendayal Port Authority culminated in the development of a significant container terminal at Tuna-Tekra, enhancing trade capabilities in the region. Notably, we completed the Centerm Expansion Project in Vancouver, Canada, and worked with the Indonesian government to augment the Belawan container terminal capacity. This project positions Indonesia as a pivotal hub in global trade, with the most direct link to the bustling Malacca Strait. Also, in Indonesia, our joint venture with the Maspion Group in Gresik reinforces East Java’s status as an essential trade and logistics hub.

Accelerating our transition to integrated logistics provider 

We have made great strides in building a connected network of partners that share knowledge and forward-thinking solutions. I take great pride in our US$10 billion+ investment in the global logistics sector since 2012, making DP World one of the top 5 overseas investors in this period.

Driving sustainability in logistics

Our stakeholders’ growing expectations and the alignment with the UN Sustainability Goals have brought the logistics sector into focus. Therefore, we are taking meaningful steps to help tackle climate change by reducing our carbon footprint and challenging the status quo.

Our target is to be net-zero carbon by 2050 across our operations. Electrification and alternative fuels play a big role in reducing emissions in our business, and therefore, in our industry. For example, our port in Antwerp now runs on 100% green energy, and our Southampton port has recently become the first in the UK to replace fossil fuels with hydrotreated vegetable oil. At our port in Callao, Peru, we have ordered 20 electric terminal tractors, marking the first large-scale order of this kind in our industry.

In our UAE operations, we cut carbon emissions by nearly 50%, thanks in large part to our ongoing investments in solar energy. We were a pathway partner to COP28, which took place in the UAE, pledging that at least 5% of our short sea shipping fleet will operate on zero-emission fuels by the year 2030. We also signed an agreement with PIL and PSA to explore the development of a sustainable shipping corridor between Singapore and the UAE. This initiative complements the launch of our Ocean Climate Nexus Centre, established in collaboration with the UN Global Compact.

Our campaign to transition to -15 degrees Celsius was launched at COP28. Traditionally, frozen food has been stored at -18 degrees Celsius, a standard that has remained unchanged for decades. Our research indicates that reducing this temperature by just three degrees could yield carbon emission savings equivalent to the removal of 3.8 million cars from the roads and generate energy savings of 5-12%, without negatively impacting the food. Notably, our campaign has garnered support from industry leaders like Maersk, Lineage, MSC, and others.

I remain optimistic about the future of trade and DP World’s ongoing progress. Our global team, over 108,000 strong people, consistently demonstrates their unparalleled problem-solving capacity and an unwavering commitment to seizing opportunities, despite the complexities we face. We stand firm in our belief that secure, seamless, and sustainable supply chains are the pillars of global prosperity and opportunity.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem

Group Chairman & Chief Executive Officer