DP World boosts European trade with €130m investment in Romania

15 May 2024

• Cargo flows expected to increase by around two million tonnes per annum, boosting trade, economic growth and opportunity in Europe

• Links between the Black, North and Adriatic seas with mainland Europe set to be transformed

• Investments mark 20 years of DP World in Romania, with the business predicting it will become an increasingly important hub for European trade

Today, DP World opens three major new sites in Romania, providing a significant boost to the country's growing status as a key hub of European trade and enabling economic growth throughout the region.

Constanta, the largest container port on the Black Sea, is now home to two new facilities following a €65 million investment: a 5-hectares 'project' cargo terminal for heavy, large and complex cargo, and a new 'roll-on, roll-off' (RO-RO) terminal that will handle up to 80,000 vehicles per year at its peak. A further €50 million will be invested in a new multi-transport platform in Constanta that will open in 2025. DP World's third new facility opening today is in Aiud, in the industrial heartland of Romania, which is now home to a new 8-hectares 'intermodal' logistics hub connecting rail and road, following a €21 million investment.

The new facilities will improve the connectivity between DP World's existing sea, rail, barge and truck services across Romania and will enhance the movement of goods between mainland Europe through to the Black, North and Adriatic Seas. DP World has invested over €250 million in Romania since 2004, including grants from the European Union.

The latest infrastructure projects were announced as DP World marks the 20th anniversary of its investment in Romania; the first European country in which it expanded. The business has since grown its operation considerably, contributing to the impressive growth of the port. During this 20-year period Romania has also developed rapidly and is now Eastern Europe's second-largest economy after Poland.

DP World anticipates that its latest investments will encourage and enable major businesses to relocate or expand manufacturing facilities in the region. This so-called 'nearshoring' and 'reshoring' has become increasingly prevalent in Europe in recent years, spurred in part by the rise in geopolitical tensions [1].

An example of nearshoring and reshoring can be seen in automotive manufacturing, which has increased rapidly in recent years in the region and is expected to grow further. Automotive already makes up 13% of Romanian GDP, with Mercedes-Benz, Renault-owned Dacia and Ford all manufacturing in the country. Automotive firms are also increasingly investing in neighbouring Hungary and Poland and nearby Turkey, making robust supply chains and logistics infrastructure such as the RO-RO terminal increasingly essential not just for Romania, but for the surrounding region [2].

Ro-Ro terminal at Constanta.   Image by DP World.

Ro-Ro terminal at Constanta.   Image by DP World.

Rashid Abdulla, CEO and Managing Director, DP World Europe, who started his career as Manager for Constanta in 2004: "Romania is a dynamic economy and well positioned to benefit from the rise in nearshoring and manufacturing. DP World looks forward to building on our long-standing relationship with Romania, and to deploying our latest investments to support Romania as it plays an increasingly important role in trade and economic growth in the region."

Cosmin Carstea, CEO DP World Romania: "DP World's latest investments in Romania will increase the cargo flows by around two million tonnes per annum through the country. We believe that with this investment, DP World in Constanta will significantly strengthen its position as one of the most important container and RO-RO hubs in Central and Eastern Europe. To aid this, we also plan to open a centre of excellence for services in the Balkans, to facilitate trade for the countries around Romania."

Sorin Grindeanu, Minister of Transportation, Romania: "The Romanian government welcomes DP World's latest investment in Romania's logistics infrastructure. DP World has been a strong partner to Romania for twenty years. Constanta port has opened Romania to new markets and trading opportunities, provided stable and skilled jobs and catalysed the development of a whole host of adjacent businesses."

DP World's new facilities in Romania are the most recent in a series of new investments across Europe, as DP World seeks to increase capacity for customers looking for faster, more resilient supply chain solutions. Other investments across Europe in recent years have included port expansion programmes at six of its 11 major terminals across the continent, including at Antwerp (Belgium), Novi Sad (Serbia) and London Gateway (UK).

More broadly, DP World draws on its assets and substantial expertise to provide an end-to-end supply chain solution, offering its customers and their customers more integrated, sustainable, and resilient supply chain solutions.

[1] Demand for Europe factory space rises 29% amid 'nearshoring' rush, Financial Times, June 2023 and The rise of nearshoring FDI close to Europe, February 2024

[2] Mercedes begins works at EUR 135 mln e-vehicle engine factory in Romania, Romanian Insider, February 2023; Exclusive: China's Leapmotor to build EVs at Stellantis' Polish plant, sources say, Reuters, March 2024; Mercedes-Benz Vans plans first electric-only plant in Jawor, Reuters, December 2023; Chinese Tesla rival BYD to open its first European EV manufacturing plant in Hungary, Euronews, December 2023; Renault to invest over $430M to turn Turkiye into export hub, Daily Sabah, December 2023

DP World Limited, press release