New year’s update on BU Med

Lars Hoffmann gives an update on a busy time in BU Med where the colleagues have experienced many changes and challenges – and are on the right track for the future


I have now been in Istanbul for six months, and it has been an extremely positive experience though we have had and will continue to have challenges in the business.

There is still a way to go, but we are certain that together in BU Med, we will be able to deliver on our Win23 targets.

I have met really friendly colleagues and customers, and in general, Turkey is a great place to stay, and I like living here. The Turkish economy is still challenged, but the heavy drop has stopped, and things are catching up and getting more stable now.

We have started the journey of making The BU Med “really Blue” and working the DFDS way. My colleagues have really embraced the change of name to DFDS and promoted it with an impressive enthusiasm and energy. It has been a pleasure to experience this, and the timing was excellent as we at the same time moved into our new and very nice office in Istanbul.

Together with my colleagues in The Management Team, we developed a plan for the change relatively fast as it was quite obvious to us what we needed to fix.

We are investing a lot in developing and restructuring our organisation so it has the DFDS skeleton.

Our IT and Development Team is expanding and has demonstrated its ability
to deliver efficiently on their targets.

From early January, additional DFDS colleagues will come to work in Istanbul, and we are continuously doing training and had the pleasure hosting our Horizon Talents in November. We have introduced a new organisation based on DFDS’ general Route Director structure. We are setting up a BU Med claims desk and initiated a Health and Safety campaign on our vessels and terminals.

We have been focusing on our operations to achieve a necessary improvement of our reliability in regard to terminals, sailing schedules and transit times in general. We also closed our operations in Toulon and are now focusing only on Sète where we also have our own agency.

Phoenix will be installed early January, following GTMS, which for sure will be to the benefit of us all.

All in all: We are on the right track, but there is still a way to go, including in our cooperation with our customers and adapting behaviours to a new business model.

New Year’s Eve in Turkey is almost the same as Christmas Eve in Europe. We will therefore have our New Year’s Evening Dinner on 23 December, where almost 300 colleagues will celebrate the end of 2019, wishing each other and BU Med a prosperous 2020.

Thank you to all my colleagues in BU Med for embracing all the changes we have made.
I wish you all a Happy New Year.


Lars Hoffmann, VP and Head of BU Med

December 23, 2019