Dubai Ports does not expect a quick end to global shipping bottlenecks

© Reuters
Dubai Ports does not expect a quick end to global shipping bottlenecks

From Alexander Cornwell

DUBAI (Reuters) – The Dubai port giant does not expect an early end to global supply chain disruptions that have resulted in delays in ports and logistics hubs around the world, the head of Dubai Ports World said on Friday.

The disruptions, caused by the closures aimed at combating the Covid-19 pandemic and an unexpectedly rapid recovery in demand, also caused a shortage of shipping containers and a record price hike.

“I don’t really think that (the problems) will be resolved this year,” Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, head of Dubai Ports, told Reuters during the opening of the Dubai Expo, which was postponed for a year due to the pandemic.

He said he could not predict when the unrest would end, but hoped for some kind of breakthrough next year.

“I don’t expect it to be over soon, but… I think once most people are vaccinated, it will be over,” Bin Sulayem said.

Supply chain disruptions have worsened as ships wait days to enter ports such as southern California, where a record number of ships are waiting off the coast.

Bin Sulayem said his company was dealing with delays, but that its ports had sufficient capacity and were not overcrowded.

“All our ports have enough capacity…we have no problem,” he said, adding that Dubai’s ports had not raised prices despite strong demand for ocean transport.

The government-owned DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, has more than 90 ports across six continents, and saw a rise in container volumes of 17.6 percent in the second quarter.

Bin Sulayem also said the company sees investment opportunities in Africa and Latin America, two markets that are doing well.

(Prepared by Moataz Mohamed for the Arabic Bulletin)

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