Releasing figures for the third quarter of 2019 on Tuesday, the port operator said it handled 18 million TEU containers in its ports, 1.6% down compared to the same period one year ago.

Moreover, volumes dropped by 1% to 3.6 million TEUs at its flagship Jebel Ali port in Dubai; the Middle East's largest trans-shipment hub and the smaller Mina Rashid port.

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While volumes handled at Jebel Ali were down 5.5% in the first nine months of the year, global ones remained flat.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World Chairman, noted that volumes at Jebel Ali had been stabilizing, as they "remain focused on profitable origin and destination cargo."

It can be noted that a global trade row may have created a challenging environment. In fact, the trade row between the United States and China may hinder global economic prospects.

Tensions in the Middle East in the last months seem to be affecting the industry causing insecurity, disruptions along major shipping routes and therefore in trade, as well as seafarers' safety and the world economy.

Nevertheless, in March, it was announced that DP World’s revenue jumped by 19.8% in 2018 as it weathered trade war threats and other geopolitical uncertainty, according to its annual financial results. The terminal operator said it generated US$5.6 billion in revenue in 2018 and $1.27 billion in profit – an increase of 5.1%.