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Business & Finance

Dubai maintains position as top shipping centre in Arab world

  • DP World, a Dubai-based multinational logistics company, was praised for surging ahead with innovation projects on several fronts
Published July 13, 2022
<p>Photo: DP World</p>

Photo: DP World

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Dubai came in fifth place in a ranking of the world’s top maritime cities for 2021, as per the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development (ISCD) Index.

In first place was Singapore, followed by London, Shanghai and Hong Kong, making Dubai the number one shipping centre in the Arab world. It was the only Middle Eastern country to make it to the list, which is made up of 20 cities.

The report praised DP World, a Dubai-based multinational logistics company specialising in cargo logistics, port terminal operations, maritime services and free trade zones for “surging ahead with innovation projects on several fronts.”

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The report said the company has entered into an agreement to equip its Jebel Ali Port with a fleet of autonomous internal terminal vehicles, and has also launched a Digital Freight Alliance - a connected ecosystem of platforms to increase the efficiency, visibility and the resilience of global supply chains,

Moreover, it said DP world is an investor in cutting-edge hyperloop technology to rapidly transport goods and passengers, and has joined TradeLens, a blockchain-based digital container logistics platform.

DP World has also completed assembly of the world’s first container High Bay Store system at Jebel Ali Port, it said, an automated container handling system that stacks containers up to eleven storeys high and delivers more than three times the capacity of a conventional yard.

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According to DP World, Jebel Ali’s General Cargo Terminal covers a total storage area of over 1.4 million square metres and allows very large and special cargo vessels to berth. It said the port also plays a significant role in serving the Gulf, as well as the Indian Subcontinent, and African markets.

In 2016, Dubai was in sixth place on the ISCD Index, but ever since then it has stood firmly at number five.

Produced by the China Economic Information Service in collaboration with the Baltic Exchange (a membership organisation for the maritime industry), the Index is designed to benchmark the performance of the top port cities and maritime centres around the world.

According to the report, an international shipping centre must have a range of key characteristics such as excellent port facilities, advanced logistics systems and a key geopolitical location.

The ranking is based on a combination of metrics, including port factors such as cargo throughput, and business factors including the number of professional maritime service providers such as lawyers, financiers and shipbrokers.

It also considers general business environment including customs tariffs and logistics performance.

The ranking looks at 43 locations in Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania and the Americas.

The report pointed out that 2021’s rankings were made against the backdrop of the global pandemic when there was a significant drop in global seaborne volumes.

It added that a collapse in oil price and volatile freight rates for shipping also contributed to a difficult environment for the industry.

However, it said shipping continued to service global trade, delivering food, fuel and critical goods safely and efficiently.

Meanwhile, Singapore has consistently topped the ranking for the past five years thanks to its “world-leading port, excellent shipping ser vices and supportive shipping business environment.”

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