Logistics giant DP World has partnered with Standard Bank to offer financing solutions to African companies on its DP World Trade Finance platform, amid growing demand in the region for logistics and financial support to connect to global trade routes.

Launched in 2021, DP World Trade Finance connects businesses with financial institutions while also directly offering trade finance facilities on its own. Businesses can make a single credit application and receive financing options from global financiers that may otherwise be out of their reach.

There are currently 23 financial institutions and over 57,000 clients active on the platform, which DP World says has generated over US$700mn in credit limit submissions so far. With this latest partnership, Standard Bank becomes the first African bank to join DP World Trade Finance, a move DP World CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem says complements the company’s ongoing investment and development in what has become a key market.

“DP World exists to make the world’s trade flow better and this partnership with Standard Bank is testament to that goal,” he says. “Our recent acquisition of Imperial Logistics allowed us to enhance our logistics capabilities in Africa. With the addition of DP World Trade Finance into our offerings, we aim to support African businesses of all sizes for their working capital needs. Together with Standard Bank, we will help African businesses go from strength to strength and grow their exports to new markets.”

Access to finance is one of the biggest barriers for businesses seeking global trade opportunities, evidenced by the struggle that many face in securing the upfront funds required to move cargo. The African Development Bank estimates that the continent’s trade finance gap – measured as the mismatch between demand and supply for financing facilities – totals around US$81bn per year, and much of this constraint is due to the global trend of de-risking in bank transactions and relationships.

Leveraging DP World’s extensive network, the trade finance platform aims to address this issue by providing Standard Bank with data on cargo movements, enabling it to make informed decisions and lend to businesses accordingly, explains Sinan Ozcan, senior executive officer of DP World Financial Services. He adds: “We in turn plan to co-lend and share risk with Standard Bank on deals made via the platform, whilst Standard Bank will be able to support the many suppliers in DP World’s ecosystem across Africa with its strong financing capabilities.”

“The value derived from our shared knowledge, capability and skills will create unique opportunities to deliver financial services and trade solutions to our clients,” says Rassem Zok, Standard Bank’s CEO for the Middle East and North Africa. “As Africa’s largest bank, this is a demonstration of our commitment to the transition of financial services to platform-based ecosystems and improving client experiences.”