DP World

Shipping Since Antiquity 

Constanța stands as a historically strategic hub for trade. We explore the importance of the city’s port to interconnecting east and west Europe with Cosmin Carstea, CEO of DP World in Romania  
 
Writer: Marcus Kääpä  |  Project Manager: Eddie Clinton 
 
 
“Historically speaking, Constanța (Romania) has had a long past stretching back to the year 600 BCE, when it was established by Greek traders as Tomis, long after which it was later conquered by the Romans and has forever held its port in a strategic location.”  
 
Cosmin Carstea, CEO of DP World in Romania, has spent his life in the city of Constanța; a place grounded in history and one that is commercially characterised by its port that sees goods shipped all over Europe and beyond.  
 
“I was born in Constanța, and as a child I was fortunate enough to be able to see the port every day from my bedroom window,” he reflects. “I could see all the vessels that were anchored and those coming to and from the port and growing up I was always curious as to their routes and destinations.  
 
“I knew the history of Greeks and Romans using the port to trade, and it also made me wonder who was benefitting from the commodities.”  
 
Today, Carstea works in a field that has been at the centre of his lifelong interests and has witnessed the industry change radically through a mixture of technological innovation, a drive towards sustainable development, and the sudden world-changing impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.   

“We have the ultimate goal to make people’s lives better through our service”

Cosmin Carstea, CEO, DP World Constanța 

CHANGE AND DEMAND  
“The past two years have had their challenges for everybody in the supply chain in Romania, with shortages in things such as containers, but we have been lucky because of the necessity of the international supply chain and our location, with the port at Constanța being strategically placed and able to provide solutions in such challenging times to keep things moving,” Carstea says.  
 
DP World expanded its activities in Constanța in 2004, and has since developed over the past 18 years to operate with a team of around 500 employees across two entities: terminal and logistics. The company handles approximately 500 vessels, 1,600 trains and 150,000 trucks per year, while controlling around 80 percent of the market share in Romania.  
 
“We provide end-to-end solutions in our logistics division including ocean freight, and we are known for providing our customers with experienced and reliable supply chain solutions,” Carstea elaborates. “Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the global supply chain has been critical for everybody and it has kept growing, from shipping consumer goods to food and machine parts.   
 
“We have seen substantial growth from 2020 onwards. Not only have we provided stability and reliability, but we have also adapted to the rules and norms made by the government during the pandemic, including ensuring that we held a very high responsibility for employee and customer health, as well as that of their families.”  
 
For Carstea, this is what truly sets DP World apart from its peers in the Romanian supply chain space.   
 
“This health and safety aspect of operation was, and remains, at the forefront for us,” he continues. “We made sure that we didn’t have our employees engaging in large numbers or crowds to limit the spread of the virus, and we maintained a low number of infections throughout the period, with the maximum being around 25 people total out of the entire 500, while remaining open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to best serve our customers.”  
 
This people-centric dedication embodies DP World’s mindset as a business. It is the company’s continuous availability mixed with its ability to deliver the same high-quality service consistently and better itself to best perform in the supply chain sector that makes it stand out amid competition.  
 
“We have the ultimate goal to make people’s lives better through our service, and because of this we have three major objectives as a company from a strategic perspective,” Carstea tells us. “We have to add value in everything we do, we need to think ahead when it comes to increasing productivity, and lastly, we must build on our legacy wherever we can, that revolves around long-term solutions and contracts.”
DEVELOPING ROMANIAN SHIPPING  
In the past 18 years, DP World has invested a lot into Romania’s development, including both intermodal terminals and warehouses. It is the ever-changing supply chain space that demands more adaptive solutions for the field, and DP World’s creation of alternative trade flows through multiple investments, such as in its terminals, will answer this change.  
 
With a surface area totalling over 81 hectares (54 hectares currently operational), DPWC provides a collective yearly vessel throughput capacity of approximately one million TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) and is committed to develop additional capacity to meet future customer requirements.  
 
“In the near future, we want to create a network of intermodal terminals and warehouses that will create regional consolidation points for the commodities of the shippers or consignees that will be channelled through our port using the integrated services that DP World is capable of offering in Romania,” Carstea explains to us.   
 
“We have started the development of an intermodal terminal in Transylvania, which provides a regional consolidation point from which we’ll offer our solutions in a year’s time when we expect the project will be finished. Through this terminal, we’ll offer supply chain solutions not only to the Black Sea and our port in Constanța, but also directly to Adriatic and Baltic ports. The project will offer synergies when it comes to container and semi-trailer flows. When it comes to warehouse development, our investments support aspects such as commodity packaging and value-adding solutions, to streamline warehouse operations and increase efficiency throughout.”  
 
DP World’s terminal investments include a terminal platform extension of an additional 16 hectares that will be used to help organise container flows, project cargo and the company’s roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) terminal business, while providing faster, reliable and greener solutions for customers. 
INTERCONNECTING EME  
DP World’s Ro-Ro terminal is not just a facility to serve Constanța, but also a hub for shipping in the Black Sea. This is due to the substantial commodity flows seen coming from Asia, the Middle East and the Caucasus such as Turkey, with many European entities sourcing goods from suppliers in these regions.    
 
“The Ro-Ro terminal hub will have a dedicated area of around seven hectares and will provide cleaner solutions for our customers,” Carstea continues. “This is because use of the terminal will take traffic from the roads to vessels that make use of an electrified rail network that can reach anywhere in Romania and central Europe, thereby taking advantage of the synergies created by the hub’s connections.”  
 
Additionally, DP World is aiming to invest in a large warehouse project to capitalise on and promote the various modes of transport available to its customers, enabling it to choose greener, faster or more reliable services.   
 
Moving ahead, DP World’s main priority is to ensure the health and safety of its employees and their families in the face of a lingering COVID-19 virus.   
 
“Two years of the pandemic have created new norms and additional requirements in the supply chain space, and staying healthy is incredibly important,” Carstea affirms. “It also means that we can maintain our operational efficiency and achieve our business objectives while staying reliable.   
 
“Of course, we will also be concentrating on finalising our projects across Romania, such as our terminals and warehouses. A part of this will be the integration of smart solutions to provide to our customers, as well as integrated digital solutions, which will create many more opportunities for both DP World and those who work with us.”