DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, has forecast that supply chain bottlenecks that have disrupted global trade flows will continue for at least another two years.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV at Expo 2020 in Dubai on Friday, the company’s chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, said: “The global supply chain was in crisis at the beginning of the epidemic.” “Maybe in 2023 we will see easing.”
He said that the effects of the accumulated shortages and delays are reflected in the huge rise in freight shipping costs. “Shipping rates will continue to increase and shipping lines are having a great time.”
Global supply chains are struggling to keep up with demand and overcome labor disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The world’s largest shipping line, AP Muller-Maersk, has warned that bottlenecks may last longer than expected, and some companies have vowed to cap spot prices.
DP World is one of the world’s largest operators of seaports and inland shipping terminals, with operations spanning from London and Antwerp to hubs in Africa, Russia, India, and the Americas. The company recently announced a series of deals as it tries to become a more diversified and integrated logistics company.
Meanwhile, the company continues to look for ways to reduce debt and is considering offering an opportunity for international investors to buy into the Jebel Ali Free Zone, a valuable asset that has helped turn Dubai into a global trade hub, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company is also reviewing costs related to office space after effectively weathering the disruptions caused by the pandemic. Bin Sulayem said DP World has canceled plans to build a new headquarters and lease a larger office. “We’re re-engineering the way we work,” he explained. “Do we need all these offices around the world?”