Complex needs, sound solutions

Our customers want sustainable and relevant solutions to their complex supply chain challenges. That’s why we’ve created the new Business Unit Industries and Client Engagement (ICE): to give large customers the certainty that when they talk to DFDS, they get a unified, solid, flexible and relevant solution and transport partner. The BU focuses on the paper, metal and automotive industries.

“Many of our large customers have supply chains that can benefit from our full palette of transport solutions in combination. For them, it doesn’t add value to have several points of contacts representing various routes, lanes or corridors. They want to have certainty that someone within DFDS has a complete overview and understanding of their needs and our how we can meet them. They want a cost-effective and flexible solution that matches the complexity of their own supply chain. That’s why we’ve made Industry Client Engagement (ICE): to sell and develop more complex logistics solutions by making the most of the full DFDS logistics network,” says EVP of the Logistics Division Niklas Andersson.


Customers want simplicity

“We did things well before, but we didn’t take full advantage of all our capabilities. We were not sufficiently unified in our sales and marketing approach,” says VP & Head of BU ICE Kasper Damgaard. “The interaction with industrial customers is changing. The nature of their business, their demands and expectations increase in complexity and we need to change along with them. When we use the full force of our strength and capabilities, we can develop a competitive advantage.”

He continues: “I remember in one of my first customer meetings in DFDS, a customer asked me: ‘how come I need to first discuss solutions and pricing with a person in your Ferry division and next week I have to discuss solutions and pricing with another one in your Logistics division? How can I be sure that I get the best price and that you’re aware of all my complex business challenges? How do I know that I’m not missing out of some opportunities within the DFDS supply chain?

”Creating an organisation which can drive a unified approach to our industrial customers, across our divisions, our units and our services, is required in a customer environment that’s becoming more and more transparent and professional,” Kasper says. “We needed to synchronise our commercial approach, unite our expertise in the industries we serve and offer more consistent end-products to our customers. In the end, we need to give our customers the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they always get the best deal and combination of services.”


Overlaps, no thanks

“With a strengthened focus and organisation combining industrial sales and marketing, it’s now easier to share what works and what doesn’t, avoid overlapping work, and approach existing and new customers in the same way – across industries,” Kasper says. “This also allows us to base our decisions on more solid data as we together develop and improve our collection of valuable industry insights.”

ICE is turning into a fine-tuned machine that uses the same tools and structures. In bi-weekly meetings, the team facilitates a “walk through” of each and every strategic account using the same parameters and questions to measure maturity and assess the right course of action.


Yes, we’re progressing

On the results so far, Kasper says: “All our focus industries (paper, automotive and metal) are of course affected by Covid-19. Yet new business has been gained and at the same time we have improved our tender management. An example of this; during the last couple of months, we have won 4 out of 5 tenders for our paper customer, DS Smith. This is solid improvement compared to our traditional success rate. In total, the deal represents around 2,5 M Euro. Also, our sales pipeline has improved substantially due to a strengthened and structured sales process regarding how we work with large accounts. We are in a stronger position, due to our better structured sales process, and this also improves our possibilities of identifying new, potential business opportunities.”

New BU Industries and Client Engagement (ICE)

Today, DFDS gets a new Business Unit. It will be based on BU Forest & Metal and Client Engagement that will be moved to the Logistics Division and extended. The new BU will be headed by VP, Kasper Damgaard.

Under its new name, Industries and Client Engagement – in short ICE – it will be responsible for driving sales and developing complex, logistic solutions, focused on the Forest, Metal and Automotive industries, that are all key to both DFDS’ Logistics and Ferry.

In addition to this, the new BU will support all our freight activities with tender management, freight marketing, and all Client Engagement activities, such as CRM, Customer Focus and The DFDS Way of Selling. Its staff has been put together by colleagues from BU Forest & Metal, BU Automotive, DFDS Tender Management Team and Group Marketing.

See the new organisation.


“We will build ICE on the same principles as BU Forest & Metal and BU Automotive – this means it will be a lean, agile organisation where the success of the sales work is based on strong, cross-divisional collaboration. The new structure will ensure that we both have the expertise in the industries we serve and at the same time avoid overlapping work and responsibilities,” says Kasper Damgaard, VP & Head of BU ICE.

“Succeeding with industrial sales requires that the entire sales organisation in DFDS continuously have the tools needed to gain a competitive advantage. Hence, we will ensure that we support the organisation with market and industry insights, sales processes and systems, tender management and marketing.”

“I am pleased that we, by creating the new BU, continue to strengthen our commercial profile towards the current and future industrial customers and I’m looking forward to bringing together the new team and introduce the new BU to the organisation.” says Kasper.

DFDS wins new German paper contract

DFDS is to transport 50.000 tons of Paper from the German paper manufacturer Schoellershammer’s paper mill in Düren to the UK and Norway. The agreement includes both logistics and ferry as well as warehousing in Immingham.

Over the last few months, our colleagues in Forest & Metal have put a lot of hard work into securing a new strategic contract with Schoellershammer. The company produces about 550 tonnes of paper annually for the packaging industry at their paper mill in Düren, Germany.  

“We used to carry paper to the UK with Schoellershammer as an indirect customer. However, we saw the potential, acted on it, and have now agreed a strategic partnership and a new transport contract for some 50.000 tons of paper per year directly with Schoellershammer,” says Kasper Hægeland Svenningsen, MD, Ferry Norway.  

About 24.000 tons will be shipped from Zeebrugge to Immingham as StoRo cargo and stored in a warehouse in Immingham until required by the customer. Our Shipping Logistics Department will arrange the local UK deliveries. 

640 Trailer loads (16.000 tons) will be shipped as direct door-to-door deliveries in the UK by Logistics in the Netherlands using the Vlaardingen ‒ Immingham ferry route. 

Up to 400 Trailer loads (10.000 Tons) will be shipped as door-to-door transport to Norway by Logistics in Belgium, via the Ghent/Zeebrugge ‒ Gothenburg ferry routes.  

“We received extremely good feedback about the process and our strategic approach of working as one DFDS, via Forest & Metal. If we prove ourselves worthy of their trust, Schoellershammer have indicated that they will let us look into several other potential traffic lanes,” Kasper Hægeland Svenningsen says. “Actually, Schoellershammer just booked a few test loads with DFDS from Germany to Finland. This was arranged together with our new colleagues from the recent acquired Freeco Logistics in Finland. 

The Logistics Manager at Schoellershammer said that our team made him feel that he is in good hands, and that our way of working fits perfectly with their company culture and business. “We are delighted to get this kind of feedback from a new strategic customer. It shows that we can do great things with the right DFDS Way approach. I’m sure we are off to a great start, ” says Kasper Hægeland Svenningsen 

Kasper Damgaard, VP & Head of Business Unit Forest & Metal and Client Engagement is thrilled with the team effort: “A huge thank you to all involved, not least Paul Sørensen who coordinated the sales process; Perry Schalker and Christophe Van Laer in Logistics who assisted with knowledge and door-to-door rates; Pete Beauchamp and his team in UK Shipping Logistics for taking care of the warehousing needs and local deliveries, and finally, some of the Brexit Team, with Jean Aubert and Richard Backhouse in leading roles. Their support in the customer’s Brexit preparations was also a key element of this success. Truly the important business win is a product of collaboration across business units and locations” he says. 

DFDS part of climate initiative in Brevik

Herøya Industry Park where yara’s site is the biggest company, seen in the front centre of the picture. In the future export volumes will be shipped out of Brevik. Today they are shipped from both Brevik and Larvik.


Norway: DFDS’ North Sea Terminal in Brevik has, along with manure and environmental products manufacturer Yara Norway and Port of Grenland, found a way to focus all export volumes from Yara’s Porsgrunn plant in Brevik. This will lead to significant savings of emissions.

Yara Norway – part of Yara International – ships substantial export volumes from their plant in Herøya via the North Sea Terminal in Brevik and via Larvik. DFDS owns and operates the North Sea Terminal in Brevik. “With Yara and the Port of Grenland, we succeeded in finding a solution for moving the Larvik volumes to Brevik,” says Vidar Karlsen, Managing Director, Norway.

“The distance from the factory to Brevik is 1/3 of the distance to Larvik. This means that the emissions from the transport will be significantly lower and will open up to reduce the whole region’s emissions.”

“We are really pleased about the extra business and the environmental benefits of it.”

He expects that the solution can be implemented during the first few months of 2020.

New steel volumes for Forest & Metal

The picture is from Outokumpu’s site in Sweden which Perry Schalker and Per Holme visited on Friday.

DFDS has always had a strong relationship with one of the strongest brands in the steel industry, the global stainless steel manufacturer Outokumpu Stainless, mainly based on our Gothenburg – Immingham ferry service. The cooperation has now been increased due to a successful One Sales initiative that started in Sweden and involves both Ferry and Logistics.

Kasper Damgaard, VP of BU Forest & Metal, says: “With joint forces, we managed to get an invitation to Outokumpu’s pan-European road tender at the start of 2019. We quickly formed a team comprising Åsa Borg and Örjan Bråten, business and operations managers at DFDS Logistics in Gothenburg, and Per Holme, Key Account Manager for Sales in Sweden. And this turned out to be a successful team. At the end of 2019, and with valuable assistance from local management and Logistics Tender Management in Vlaardingen, they managed to win new transport of 200 tonnes of steel per week for a three-year period on the corridors Sweden to England and Russia.”

This quickly spilled over to a new tender for Outokumpu Stainless BV in Sas van Gent on the Vlaardingen – Immingham route. Based on a One Sales approach involving Jacob Andersen from Ferry in Vlaardingen and Perry Schalker from Logistics, and Outokumpu’s confidence in our strategy, the team succeeded in adding two loads to the route per day.

“This is great work. Thank you to everyone involved for your efforts and for never losing the faith in our ability to succeed with this, and to Outokumpu for their trust in us,” says Kasper.

Forest & Metal: New sales and a 60 days plan

The objective of our 60 days plan is to increase our understanding of our customer’s needs – and our own capabilities, says Kasper Damgaard, VP and Head of BU Forest & Metal and Client Engagement

Our new BU Forest & Metal and Client Engagement has come off to a very good start with a first sales success and has in November launched a highly intense 60 days plan to ignite the BU’s sales of transport solutions to the industries and live up to their strategic ambitions of doubling their business’ before 2023.

The sales success came after thorough preparations by a team of people such as Niclas Bohlin from Gothenburg, Paul Sorensen from Oslo, Pete Beauchamp , John Bailey, Briar Isle-Robinson and Sean Potter from Immingham after ongoing business discussions and a TATA Steel visit to Immingham. The visit included a physical operational review and part test of how cargo would arrive in Immingham by rail, load and secured to flat and mafi units and shipped further to Norway and Gothenburg. The objective was to work with the customer and use the skills and knowledge of DFDS to re-engineer the supply chain by moving volumes from coaster vessel to unitised load on rail and ro-ro ship.

Steel coils

“We are speaking about a customer with existing volumes of about 130,000 tonnes annually, and the co-operation included a new trade flow of 25,000 tonnes. The real interesting thing about this is that it shows how we can gain new volumes through innovative and efficient solutions. It is simply encouraging to see what we can do if we collaborate and are open to new ways of thinking,” says Kasper Damgaard, VP of the BU who sends warm thanks to the team.

60 days plan to speed up Forest & Metal
“It is extremely important that we work according to a comprehensive plan as the winning formula is built on close collaboration with our colleagues from other BU’s and the entire network – as the TATA volumes demonstrate,” says Kasper

“Our 60-day plan was launched early November and the objective is to increase our understanding of our customer’s needs – and our own capabilities. Hence, we have organised meetings with many of our top 30 customers together with local sales representatives. For this, we have developed an interview guide to standardise customer meetings and ensure unified insights from the meetings. Secondly, we have been working on mapping transport corridors known by our own key accounts, general tenders and public information so we can gather a structured transportation insight which we can use for identifying new business opportunities. Thirdly, we have organised visits to all major terminals and locations with stakes in our Forest & Metal business, and together with them identify what is required in order to develop our value proposition – which ultimately will provide us with a vital, competitive advantage” says Kasper.

BU Forest & Metal is also working on a comprehensive six-months plan which we will soon inform about.

Getting the team together

Sean Potter (left) to take a new commercial role in Forest & Metal. Michael Herbæk to lead the new intermediate Digital and IT Office that is a merger of the former DIO office and IT’s fulfilment Management team. The new DIO team is placed in BU Forest & Metal and Client Engagement and he will report to Kasper Damgaard, Head of the BU. 

Kasper Damgaard, VP and Head of our new BU Forest & Metal and Client Engagement is busy building his new organisation. Following, Klaus Erik Hansen’s appointment to Head of Client Engagement, he is today introducing two other key roles in the BU

Sean Potter entering a commercial role in Forest & Metal.
Sean will enter the Forest & Metal team. This means he will leave his position as Digital & IT Officer in Ferry and instead focus on sales in the new BU. He will continue to report to Kasper Damgaard and work from Immingham.

“Sean has more commercial experience than most people will ever get. He started in freight sales in Immingham in 1991, became Sales Manager in 1999, UK Sales Manager in 2000 and UK freight Agency & Sales Director in 2006 and was promoted to Managing Director of DFDS Seaways PLC, with UK responsibility for sales activities on the North Sea. Most recently he has contributed massively to our CFI initiative and the digital transformation as a DIO. Sean has exactly the commercial experience we need to reach our Win23 targets, and I am very grateful that he has agreed to accept this challenge,” says Kasper.

“In addition to his new role, many people will be pleased to hear that Sean will also continue his work to prepare us for Brexit.”

The DIO role will change and Michael Herbæk will be responsible for Ferry
With the implementation of Phoenix in BU Med and preparation for Brexit at the same time has , has created the opportunity to review current practices within the DIO team and IT’s Fulfilment Fulfilment Management team in charge of the application support and implementation. Therefore it has been decided to merge Ferry’s DIO office and the Fulfilment Management team intermediately under Michael Herbæk as intermediate Digital and IT Officer of the Ferry Division. He will report to Kasper Damgaard and have a dotted line to Gert Møller, CIO.

As a new Digital and IT Officer in Ferry, there will be very little that is new to Michael Herbæk.

“Since Michael started in DFDS in 1997, he has been working with freight and customer related IT tasks and become a leading expert of Phoenix and GTMS, the systems around which all operational and digital processes of ferry evolve. It will be impossible to find anyone who knows more about Phoenix, GTMS and our IT and digital processes than Michael, and he is also already familiar with the teams and the tasks of the DIO organisation. In addition to this, Michael is known for his clear and direct communication and for getting things done.

“Therefore, we couldn’t have found anyone better equipped for this challenging task, and I look very much forward to working with Michael to improve our digital processes, our digital offerings and develop new ones to the benefit of  customers, sales  and service in the Ferry Division,” says Kasper Damgaard.

There are no other changes to Ferry’s Digital & IT organisation.

Win23: Klaus Erik Hansen is new Head of Client Engagement

In accordance with our WIN23 strategy of growing in select industries, the Ferry Division established the new BU Forest & Metal and Client Engagement that is being headed by VP Kasper Damgaard. He is now in the process of getting his team and BU structure in place.

Klaus Erik Hansen has been promoted to Head of Client Engagement, a key role in the BU, which will consist of Customer Focus Initiative, CRM and DFDS Way of Selling. Klaus will be reporting to Kasper Damgaard, Head of the BU.

“Klaus Erik Hansen has been with DFDS since November last year and due to the nature of his position as Senior Project Manager in Strategy & Consulting, he has been involved in many projects throughout DFDS. It is especially his work with One Sales that makes him a great fit for his new position, where he will be responsible for the client engagement strategy in the new BU and the overall One Sales strategy for the entire organisation by facilitating cooperation between logistics and ferry.”

“I am very pleased that we were able to find a great candidate among the many talented young people at DFDS, and thus show that DFDS provides excellent career opportunities for all colleagues,” says Kasper.