DP World is reducing shipping costs in Africa one country at a time


Dubai: Dubai-based port operator DP World has reduced the time and cost taken to ship goods within Africa, according to its CEO and Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.

DP World operates the Kigali logistics platform, which connects Rwanda to neighbouring landlocked countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Uganda. “It used to take two weeks and around $5,000-$7,000 to transfer a container, but since we started our operations, it takes a day and the cost has come down to $2,800,” said Sulayem, during the World Government Summit in Dubai. “Africa is a continent with huge opportunities, but infrastructure is a big problem,” he added.

Last year, DP World also announced the acquisition of South Africa-based Imperial Logistics, a company with operations mainly across the African continent and in Europe. The move is expected to enhance DP World’s capabilities, particularly in Africa, building on its extensive infrastructure of ports, terminals and economic zones.

Contract manufacturing

“They deliver cargo and they do something that we never did before — it is called contract manufacturing, where they just manufacture a commodity instead of supplying it,” said Sulayem.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, DP World launched cutting-edge online logistics tools and services, covering sea, land and air shipping around the world. The company has only increased its adoption of digital technologies since.

DP World has 93 terminals that handle about 75 million containers. “The customers move almost $3.5 trillion worth of cargo through our terminal and that means $400,000 of cargo every hour — that is a lot of information and we use our platforms to analyse this,” said Sulayem.

“Today, we convert this information into data and that data into good decisions,” he added.

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