By thinking ahead, foreseeing change and innovating, we aim to create the most productive, efficient and safe trade solutions globally, says Charles Meaby, General Manager of DP World.
Could you please give us a brief overview of DP World?
DP World is a leading enabler of global trade and an integral part of the supply chain. We operate multiple yet related businesses – from marine and inland terminals, maritime services, logistics and ancillary services to technology-driven trade solutions.
We have a portfolio of 78 operating marine and inland terminals supported by over 50 related businesses in over 40 countries across six continents with a significant presence in both high-growth and mature markets. We aim to be essential to the bright future of global trade, ensuring everything we do has a long-lasting positive impact on economies and society.
Our dedicated team of over 36,500 employees from 103 countries cultivates long-standing relationships with governments, shipping lines, importers and exporters, communities, and many other important constituents of the global supply chain, to add value and provide quality services today and tomorrow.
Container handling is the company’s core business and generates more than three quarters of its revenue. In 2016, DP World handled around 64 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) across our portfolio. With its committed pipeline of developments and expansions, the current gross capacity of 84.6 million TEU is expected to rise to more than 100 million TEU by 2020, in line with market demand.
By thinking ahead, foreseeing change and innovating we aim to create the most productive, efficient and safe trade solutions globally.
What were the key reasons for DP World’s decision to invest in Cyprus?
The benefits are far reaching for the economy, we are here to help the economy grow for the long-term. Our stated goal is to enable the future of world trade. This is an exciting opportunity to expand our presence into the Eastern Mediterranean and marks another important step to realise this goal. We are investing considerable resources in the port and all our employees, bringing the best in the business from across Cyprus to work here. We can offer time and cost effective solutions that are backed by our reputation for high levels of safety.
We search for talent locally and globally. Over 95% of our team of 50+ staff are Cypriot. Our team can develop and learn about our global business by travelling to different countries, giving them the opportunity to bring back globally acquired skills and knowledge to the industry in Cyprus. We currently do this across our global portfolio. For example, our current CEO of Constanta Container Terminal, Cosmin Castea, grew up in Romania, moved abroad to learn new skills with DP World and is now leading the terminal to growth.
What is your vision for Limassol Port? What are your immediate priorities and objectives? What are your plans to develop/modernise the Limassol port? How much do you plan to invest? Will this create jobs for Cypriots and revenue for the country?
Our aspiration is to be the leading port operator in the region. However, as we have only recently gone live in operating the port, the first step is to embed people, processes and systems to build a solid foundation for future growth. Our aim is to grow business at the port and make changes necessary to support easier mechanisms to do business at the port.
We embrace a customer-centric approach to provider services for our clients. For us, customer centricity is an ever-evolving process not a static one. We work in partnership with our clients to continuously improve our operational services, we keep innovating in partnership with our clients to drive efficiencies and provide new solutions so that they can deliver value to their customers.
A range of new advanced equipment has been acquired this year as part of an ongoing upgrade to all the general cargo and Roll-on-roll-off (RoRo) handling equipment at Limassol Port from DP World Limassol. The new equipment, including a 64 tonne Mobile Harbour, 1 Reach Stacker, 1 Ro/Ro Fork Lift, Crane Tug Masters, mafi trailers, roll trailers, and truck-mounted mobile cranes, will significantly enhance the efficiency and safety of port operations, and reduce vessel turnaround time.
To operate a multi-purpose port at Limassol allows us to introduce best practice and we feel we can make improvements to attract new business and help grow the local and national economy. We will be investing in all aspects of the port including oil and gas, multi-purpose general cargo, roll and roll off, and we look forward to developing the new cruise terminal. Limassol also has potential to be a home port for cruises in the future.
We continue to focus our efforts to establish a terminal that is an attractive solution for our customers and help deliver economic benefits to Cyprus throughout the length of our concession agreement. DP World is committed to the development of Limassol port, while working in partnership with local stakeholders to support the sustainable economic growth of the country.
For example, the new passenger terminal brings new opportunities and all our stakeholders and partners stand to benefit from it. However, in order to capitalise on this opportunity and make it a success, all our stakeholders and partners need to invest in improving and modernising the reliability and quality of their offerings and services. Working in partnership is a key strand of engagement as we want our partners, stakeholders and the economy to feel the positive effects this opportunity brings to Cyprus.
Will DP World Limassol be adding new services and/or expanding and improving existing services?
Through dialogue with our customers we continually review opportunities and examine what our customers want us to provide. If there is a demand for a particular service, we will develop this in step with our customers to ensure that we can add maximum value and see the port grow to be a true economic asset for Limassol and for Cyprus.
Will the developing East Med oil and gas sector offer Limassol Port and DP World Limassol new opportunities?
We are currently providing port services to the Oil and Gas sector and continuing to work with industry and the Government in how all parties can play an instrumental role in helping realise benefits of servicing the Oil and Gas sector at the port.
How would you like to see Cyprus’ cruise sector develop?
We are keen to increase passenger numbers in what is a tough and competitive environment. We will be working closely with the Government and the tourist agency to help promote Cyprus as an attractive package for cruises.
Limassol has the potential to be a home port. There is scope for passengers to fly to Cyprus and start their cruise from Limassol.
What other opportunities do you believe can be developed through Limassol port?
We are committed to working alongside our customers and partners to continue growing their business here and strengthening the status of DP World Limassol, upskilling the local workforce and being recognised not only as a port, but a pillar of the economy. We look to provide high-quality trade enabling services to benefit our customers and the economy of Cyprus.
What do you consider to be your greatest challenges moving forward?
The ability to absorb new and innovative thinking, and to see it through, is what distinguishes world-class companies from the ordinary. We see it as part of our legacy to infuse innovation throughout DP World’s operations and we’d like our people at DP World Limassol and the local community to grow with us, finding new opportunities to the benefit of all. Our customers demand high levels of service from us, and our challenge is to continuously improve to exceed expectations.
What expectations do you have for the Cyprus economy in the years ahead? And for DP World’s Cyprus operations?
Corridors of commerce create value for all global economies and the hubs that link them. Everyone wins when goods are moved faster and cheaper.
We want to DP World Limassol continue to develop and grow through continuous improvement. Our focus is on innovating and optimising our assets so we can offer solutions to meet our partners’ and customers’ needs and advance global trade – reliably, efficiently, effectively and responsibly.
Our ambition is to lead the industry in terms of safety, customer-centric services, quality, sustainability and operational excellence and be the partner of choice for enabling global trade such as our partnership with the Government of Cyprus.
DP World Limassol represents an opportunity for us to fully exploit our expertise and capabilities to help drive economic growth. We are committed in making DP World Limassol to be amongst the most significant drivers of economic growth in Cyprus.