New container inspection rules to have little impact on DP World

Published 9 August 2007

World’s fourth largest container port operator says new U.S. container inspection mandates would have but little impact on its trade

UAE-based ports operator DP World said earlier this week it foresaw little impact on its own trade after the U.S. Congress passed a bill requiring countries to screen every U.S.-bound cargo container within the next five years. DP World, owned by the Dubai government and the world’s fourth-largest container port operator, said that any issues arising from the legislation in the United States will be resolved by negotiating governments before they are implemented. “We see little impact as the measure has a five year time horizon and the ability to extend the timing if necessary,” a DP World spokesperson told ArabianBusiness.

Washington has already deployed its customs agents at several key foreign ports to selectively examine high-risk containers before they are loaded onto ships sailing for the United States. It has roped in several strategically located ports across the world into the U.S. Container Security Initiative(CSI). The initiative, launched in 2002, has been adopted by major container terminal operators such as DP World, APM Terminals, PSA, and Hutchison Whampoa. DP World’s participation in CSI has been successful, said the DP World spokesperson. Fourteen out of forty-two of its terminals worldwide are part of the program, the most of any terminal operator.

DP World touched off a political firestorm in the United States last year when its acquisition of British rival P&O gave it control of facilities at six U.S. ports. With Congress threatening to block the deal over national security concerns, DP World agreed to relinquish control of its U.S. assets. In March, it announced it had sold them to a unit of American International Group (AIG). In June, U.S. investors bought about half the $1.75 billion worth of 30-year bonds issued by DP World.