DFDS and Port of Karlshamn commit to the future

Per-Henrik Persson, Route Director for Klaipėda – Karlshamn: “Contract signed between DFDS and Port of Karlshamn formalises partnership for the next 10 years.”


In December an important deal between DFDS and Port of Karlshamn was signed for the development of our future business together.

The signatures formalise a partnership for the next 10 years in Karlshamn that includes mutual commitment to enabling a continued development and growth of DFDS ferry services at the port. Port of Karlshamn will now launch investments in order to accommodate larger vessels and volume growth.

“We are of course very pleased to have this contract. We see this as a confirmation of a good partnership and that Port of Karlshamn is seen as a strategic logistics node for DFDS A/S and the development of its network in the Baltic,” says Mats Olsson, CEO at Port of Karlshamn.

“Now we will launch investments totalling SEK 150 million – about EUR 14 million – which is the largest in many years. The expansion programme includes, for example, a third ro-ro berth, the widening of another, dredging, expansion of parking areas and queuing areas for accompanied and unaccompanied vehicles. We will have some co-funding from the EU, which signals that Port of Karlshamn and the DFDS route Karlshamn – Klaipėda are considered to be an important link for trade between Sweden and the neighbouring countries on the eastern Baltic.”

Per-Henrik Persson, Route Director for Klaipėda – Karlshamn, says: “The extensive newbuilding programme at DFDS includes two ro-pax vessels intended for the Baltic Sea routes, a total investment of about DKK 1.75 billion. With a length of 230 metres, a freight capacity of 4,500 lane metres and capacity to carry 600 passengers, these vessels will be a very welcome addition in the Baltic Sea.

“The effort and investment by Port of Karlshamn are very positive. It will secure our possibility for a continued development of a route which is of strategic importance for trade and DFDS. We have a very good co-operation with the port and we look forward to developing our mutual business for a long time to come.”


Source: Shippax.com

Brexit on 31 January but no changes to trading until the end of 2020

The UK’s Withdrawal Agreement is now set to be ratified by the UK parliament. However, there will be no changes to trading arrangements until the end of 2020, as the time until then is a transition period during which the EU and the UK will negotiate a trade agreement.


After months of uncertainty and several Brexit deadlines, the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement is now set to be ratified by the UK parliament. This means that the UK will leave the EU on 31 January 2020.

However, there will be no changes to trading arrangements until the end of 2020, as the time until then is a transition period during which the EU and the UK will negotiate a trade agreement.

The final stages of ratification of the agreement will take place after Christmas, with the lower house of Parliament having until 9 January to approve the legislation, giving it just over three weeks to then pass through the upper house and receive Royal Assent.

The negotiations about a trade agreement will be very important for DFDS, our customers and partners. Therefore, we will follow the negotiations very closely, and our trade associations will naturally try to ensure that the industry’s viewpoints are heard and paid attention to by the negotiators.

We keep preparing

The new situation will not change our need to continue preparing for Brexit.

The UK Parliament is set to decide that the transition period will end on 31 December 2020, regardless of whether there is a trade agreement at that time, although some commentators see this as ‘sabre rattling’ by Boris Johnson and not necessarily seriously meant. This means that the risk of a no-deal Brexit situation has moved to the end of the year, and that we now have a year to finalise our preparations for handling this.

We hope and believe that there will be a new trade agreement. However, DFDS does not build on hope and belief, and we will continue the fantastic work you have done in the Brexit team and locally to get ready for Brexit. We will also continue supporting our customers with their preparations.

Thank you to everyone for taking us this far. I know I can rely on you to take DFDS even further, so we are ready to continue serving our customers and grow our UK-EU trade after 31 December when we have a new situation.

Torben Carlsen, CEO

Season’s greetings from our Executive Management Team

The Executive Management Team wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – enjoy the video!

Baltic newbuildings visualised

We are currently constructing two combined freight and passenger ferries at the Guangzhou Shipyard International. They will be deployed in the first and second half of 2021 to support growth in the Baltic region. New pictures visualise the ships.

Some 10,000 tons of steel has already been cut for our first combined freight and passenger newbuilding and it is now being welded together. However, if you can’t wait to see what she will look like, help is near.

Christian Simon Nielsen, Project Manager, has kindly shared some great 3D renderings of the design, which you can enjoy here.

With their capacity for 4,500 lane metres of freight and 600 passengers, the newbuilds are designed to accommodate future growth. With the two tall exhaust pipes and the grand front consisting of passenger cabins and large, comfortable public areas, the 230-metre ferries will quickly be a well-known and popular part of our passengers’ journey when crossing the Baltic Sea.

Christian says: “Our colleagues from the site team in China have worked hard during start-up of the construction and now they will go on a well-deserved Christmas holiday. When the new year starts, they will be back to celebrate the most important milestone in the beginning of the construction phase, the keel-laying ceremony which will take place in January.”

DFDS acquires Freeco Logistics in Finland and Freeco Oü in Estonia

Dear everyone,

I am extremely pleased to inform you about a promising expansion of our logistics network. Today we signed the contracts that made the Finnish company Freeco Logistics and Freeco Oü in Estonia the newest part of DFDS.

Freeco Logistics is based in Turku in southwestern Finland and has additional offices in Vantaa and Tallinn in Estonia, employs 31 staff and operates 150 trailers and 8 trucks.

Freeco Logistics is a fast growing company and one of the most profitable road freight companies in Finland

Together with the combined skills and knowledge of colleagues from both companies, we will get critical mass in a market where we have previously only operated with six people from DFDS Finland. Together, we will be able to expand and strengthen Freeco’s and DFDS’ current activities between Finland, Estonia and the Nordic, Continental Europe, the Baltics and UK & Ireland. We will also get more products on the palette as our services will include trailer, container, full-loads, part-loads, special cargo, project cargo, and contract logistics.

In the future, DFDS Logistics will thus have offices in Turku, Kotka and Vantaa in Finland as well as in Tallinn in Estonia.

So now, it is up to us all to support this new and expanded team to get the most out of this fantastic situation.

To do this, we will now start the integration of the two operations in the well-known DFDS Way, in this case with 11 workstreams. The workstreams will be comprised of people from both Freeco Logistics and DFDS and Timo Ruusunen, Henri Hoikkala and Kimmo Salmi will guide the work. The integration work will be overlooked by a Steering Committee consisting of myself and Valdemar, and there will be capable assistance from Morten Rødgaard-Hansen from Strategy & Consulting and Marianne Peltola from Freeco finance.

Please join me in giving our new colleagues from Freeco Logistics a warm welcome to DFDS. We have high expectations, and with our Staying Ahead project and our Win23 strategy, I am confident we can increase our combined Finnish revenues from EURO 35 million to 50 million in 2023 – and in this process win many new and satisfied customers and create new jobs.

We will soon inform you about the integration work in more detail and keep you regularly updated about the process via the Bridge and www.dfds-news.com

Congratulations to everyone in Logistics and DFDS, and thank you to those of you who contributed to this.

Niklas Andersson, EVP and Head of DFDS’ Logistics Division.


Niklas Andersson is Executive Vice President of DFDS, Head of DFDS’ Logistics Division and member of the DFDS Executive Management Team of six. He was promoted EVP on 1 September this year from his previous position as Head of Logistics’ BU Nordic and Continent. Niklas is from Gothenburg in Sweden and moved to DFDS House in Copenhagen, where he now has his office.

Valdemar Warburg is Vice President and Head of BU Nordic. Valdemar joined DFDS in 2017 as Head of Transformation Office and was in 2019 appointed Head of BU Nordic. The new Finnish organisation is part of BU Nordic and Timo Ruusunen will report to Valdemar Warburg.

Timo Ruusunen, who is co-owner of Freeco Logistics will be DFDS’ new MD for our Finnish activities. He will report to Valdemar Warburg, VP and head of BU Nordic, Logistics Division.

Henri Hoikkala, who is the other co-owner of Freeco Logistics, will be the new Operations Director in Finland and Estonia.

Kimmo Salmi, DFDS’ current MD in Kotka, will be our new Logistics Director in the new and much larger Finnish organization.

BU Med now in place in southern France

Marseille and Sète teams together with Ayberk Eskin (Route Director France) and his sales team this week at a Christmas dinner

We are currently operating two routes in southern France: Marseilles – Tunis from the office in Marseille and Istanbul – Sète from the office in Sète which we began to set-up as soon as the route started back in July.

“This agency was created from scratch in July 2019 and in a limited time period, they managed two weekly calls from July to October. However due to demand, we quickly added a third call. The route is now operated with four vessels and offers three sailings per week on fixed days. The office in Sète started as three colleagues with the support and assistance of our agency in Istanbul and I would, in this regard, like to thank them for their great help,” says Jimmy Marolle, France Agency Manager. “In Sète, there are now eight people and four of them are from our previous agency in Toulon.

New responsibilities for Saïd Sid
“We are very pleased that Saïd Sid, who was Operations Manager in Marseilles, has decided to move to Sète as Port and Operations Manager. Saïd will remain in charge of both operations in each location and will keep reporting to Jimmy.

This will ensure favourable collaboration between the agencies that will benefit from Saïd’s experience,” says Lars Hoffmann, Vice President & Head of BU Mediterranean.

“Additionally, the Port of Sète is offering intermodal facilities, that neither the port of Toulon nor Marseille are offering, which will certainly lead to new business development for DFDS. The Marseille – Tunis route continues unchanged with three calls per week.

“In France, we have experienced a much closer cooperation with Istanbul, which definitely will benefit our business. We have been assisted with manpower whenever we needed, so we really look forward to developing this route – as we are now are working as one unit.”

Organisation chart of the agencies in Marseille and Sète:

CIO Gert Møller retires

Gert Møller retires from his CIO role at DFDS, and this occasion will be marked with a reception on 19 December from 15:00 to 17:00 at DFDS House.

In the new year, Gert Møller, CIO of DFDS, will be a lot more difficult to get hold of as he will be traveling New Zealand for two months with his wife Nina. However, his absence will actually be of a more permanent nature, as he will retire from his CIO role at DFDS at the end of 2019, just as he announced in March.

We are certain that a great number of partners, friends and colleagues will take the opportunity to say goodbye to Gert at his farewell reception on Thursday 19. December – his last day with the company. However, we could expect to see Gert from time to time as he will not settle for just doing DIY around the house or other retirement-related activities. “I will do some consultancy work, also for DFDS, and I already have a number of requests. I have been in the CIO role for 17 years, and in my view this is too long, not least as it requires 24-hour availability. Therefore, I look forward to a more ‘independent’ role where I can plan my day in a more flexible way,” Gert says.

The round-the-clock availability is required because no function is as business critical as our IT systems. Gert has been responsible for these systems since 2002, when he came to DFDS, or rather when he came back to DFDS. But first things first.

Gert grew up in the town of Aabenraa in Jutland, and he got his master’s degree in engineering from Aalborg University. There was little doubt that he would chose this path as he was a tech nerd when he was a teenager to the extent that His experiments in his home lab even caused an explosion big enough for the police to take an interest in the matter.

However, Gert didn’t work with chemicals for long. Instead he became interested in IT, a new and emerging science.  So after three years with the medical company Novo, he was employed as Development Manager at Transnordic in Jutland in 1986.

At Transnordic he developed the logistics system Cargolink for DFDS Transport in 1988. This went so well that DFDS continued to be his biggest customer until 1993, when DFDS’ logistics management, Ole Frie and Ole Sehested, hired him as an IT project manager. He now worked for a business that grew from 700 staff to 9,000 in just five years because the management kept acquiring companies. This included the huge acquisition of the company Dan Transport, which was a major part of the DFDS’ logistics division DFDS Transport.

In 2000, DSV took over DFDS Transport and Gert Møller as well. After a year as CIO at DSV, he was headhunted for the job of CIO at Berendsen, a provider of textile maintenance services, etc. He stayed in contact with DFDS, however, and when Berendsen changed owner and the IT tasks were reduced, Gert was asked to come back to DFDS to merge the IT departments of Passenger and Freight into one Group IT Department with himself as its CIO.

“I was used to companies that were growing and acquiring all the time, so we had the structures and processes in place when we took over Norfolkline in 2010,” Gert says.

In IT, much has remained the same. However, the digital development that came to DFDS with Sophie-Kim Chapman has been an education. Her stringent view on things mirrors the view of the customers, and it has taught me a lot,” Gert says.

Thanks from Torben
“I am extremely pleased that we have had Gert with us during times when we saw the IT department develop rapidly, both in terms of complexity and in terms of the number of tasks. Tasks such as the development of Phoenix, Velocity, Seabook and countless other complex core systems along with new digital tools.

“We have been lucky to have such a skilled, experienced and deeply committed manager as Gert at the helm to ensure that IT has remained one of the most important instruments to propel the business into the future. Also, Gert’s enthusiasm for DFDS and the staff has been inspiring to us all,” Torben Carlsen says.

“I thank Gert warmly for his unparalleled contribution to DFDS and wish him a great time as a more independent consultant. I also hope he will be able to enjoy more time in his sailing boat and with his numerous other interests.”

Philippe Witsiers to head DFDS Special Cargo

Philippe Witsiers

Effective 1 January 2020, Martin Bos will step down as Managing Director of DFDS Logistics Special Cargo. Martin was founder and owner of Alphatrans, which was acquired by DFDS in January 2018, and Alphatrans continued trading as DFDS Logistics Special Cargo.

Michael Bech, VP & Head of BU Logistics, says: “Martin Bos has done more than an outstanding job in building the business. A very big thank you to Martin for 24 years of good leadership and shaping of the business.”

“I am very happy to announce that our new Managing Director of DFDS Logistics Special Cargo will be Philippe Witsiers, who will join DFDS on 1 February 2020. Philippe will be responsible for the Special Cargo activities, not only in Vlaardingen but also in our satellite offices.”

Philippe is an architecture and business administration graduate with a bachelor in transport and distribution logistics. After seven years of working as International Supply Chain Consultant and Interim Supply Chain Manager, he became Business Development Director at Kloosterboer, an international logistics service provider in the temperature-controlled food products business.

Philippe (40) lives with his wife and daughter in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel in the Netherlands, and they are expecting a baby boy by the end of December.
Philippe will report directly to Michael Bech, VP & Head the BU Continent.

“Please join me in congratulating Philippe on his new job and welcome him to DFDS,” Michael says.

DFDS acquires Dutch part-load operator Huisman

The transaction gives DFDS critical mass in its part-load transport business between the European continent and the UK. It will be managed from Huisman’s current headquarters in Wijchen in the Netherlands. DFDS intends to grow the business and expand services to new markets.

Dear everyone,

I am extremely pleased to inform you that today we have signed an agreement to acquire the Dutch logistics company Huisman Group.

Huisman is a part-load and contract logistics operator focused on time-critical freight between continental Europe and the UK/Ireland. It is headquartered in Wijchen in the Netherlands, and operations include warehouses and cross-docking facilities in Wijchen and Corby in the UK, as well as a fleet of around 55 trailers and 50 trucks. The company has 104 employees and annual revenues of EUR 23 million.

It is a very well-run company that is known for its fantastic customer service and very high levels of reliability. It is also a great addition to DFDS where we have been focusing more on full-load transport and less on part-load. With Huisman, we will grow our part-load business considerably and achieve the critical mass we need to make it a solid and profitable business for DFDS.

I warmly welcome our new colleagues from Huisman to DFDS. Together, we will be able to build an even stronger part-load business for the future.

Operated from Wijchen
DFDS’ current Dutch part-load activities will be integrated into Huisman’s business, as their operation is by far the largest. The new integrated part-load business will be managed by John Scholten, current MD of the Huisman Group. He will in the future be Head of DFDS’ new part-load business in the Netherlands and report to Michael Bech, VP and Head of BU Continent.

The integration of the part-load activities into Huisman will guarantee that Huisman’s many customers do not experience unnecessary changes to the services they know and value, and that DFDS’ customers will be offered an even wider range of services.

Investment in growth
With this, we have created a new part-load growth area in DFDS, and it is our plan to keep investing in growing its organisation, skills, facilities and equipment to expand services in the Netherlands and the UK as well as to and from other countries.

This investment will benefit growth in DFDS as well as in Huisman – which will eventually be re-named DFDS. It will be a further tool in adapting business to Brexit and enable us to meet the growth ambitions of DFDS’ Win23 strategy so we can continue developing opportunities for everyone at DFDS and Huisman, our customers and those around us.

I would already like to thank everyone who has contributed to making this possible, not least those of you at Huisman and DFDS who created the foundation for it through servicing your customers every day.

Below is a short description of Huisman and DFDS, and a few key people.

Niklas Andersson, EVP and Head of DFDS Logistics


Huisman Group
In 1970, Frans Huisman started a successful courier service between Venray and Nijmegen. Today, the Huisman Group is specialised in logistics solutions for the United Kingdom and Ireland, and provides services such as transport and forwarding, contract logistics and supply chain solutions to international clients who are looking for an above-average level of service. Huisman has achieved an outstanding record when it comes to contract logistics and the transport of high-value, time-critical or fragile goods. The company is headquartered in Wijchen and operates warehouses and cross-docking centres in Wijchen and Corby in the UK. It employs 104 people and operates its own trucks and trailers. 

DFDS’ Logistics Division is part of the more than 150-year-old ferry and logistics Group DFDS that operates a ferry and logistics network throughout Europe. DFDS has annual revenues of more than EUR 2 billion and employs over 8,000 people. The logistics activities include transport of full and part-loads, dry and temperature-controlled transport, contract logistics, warehouses, cross-docking and other supply chain services throughout Europe. DFDS is headquartered in Copenhagen and is listed on the stock exchange. Torben Carlsen is President and CEO. See more here https://www.dfds.com/en and https://www.dfds.com/en/about

Niklas Andersson

Niklas Andersson (46) is Executive Vice President of DFDS, Head of DFDS’ Logistics Division and member of the DFDS Executive Management Team of six. He was promoted EVP on 1 September this year from his previous position as Head of Logistics’ BU Nordic and Continent. Niklas is from Gothenburg in Sweden and moved to DFDS House in Copenhagen, where he now has his office.

Michael Bech

Michael Bech (47) is VP of the logistics Division’s BU Continent. He is also MD of the trailer and Container businesses in Vlaardingen and of our special Cargo business and in charge of offices in Ghent (Luc Geysen), Hamburg (Sven Ohlsen) and Prague (Karel Batka). In the future, Wijchen (John Scholten) will also report to Michael. Michael reports to Niklas Andersson

John Scholten

John Scholten (54) is owner and Managing Director of the Huisman Group, which he joined in 1991. In the future, he will be director of DFDS’ part-load activities which he will grow on the basis of Huisman and in collaboration with Michael Bech (to whom he reports) for the continental activities, with Allan Bell for the UK & Ireland activities and with Valdemar Warburg for the Nordic and Baltic activities. John’s focus is on his clients. He likes that the concept offered ensures that a client becomes more competitive in his own market. He will continue to be based in Wijchen. He lives near Nijmegen with his wife and two children.

Trafalgar Square Christmas tree arrives in Immingham

Christmas is getting closer and closer! However, at DFDS we are only able to discover our real holiday spirit once the iconic Norwegian Christmas tree lights up Trafalgar Square in London.

Since 1947, it has been a great tradition for the people of Norway to send a huge tree as an annual gift to London, in recognition of Britain’s support for Norway during the Second World War.

It has also become a DFDS tradition to manage the transport of the tree every year, and last Saturday, this year’s tree arrived in Immingham ready for its journey to London.

Our colleagues in Immingham have shared a great video showing stevedores lifting the tree safely onto a lorry.

On Thursday 5 December, the 25-metre tall tree will once again illuminate Trafalgar Square with hundreds of lights, while contributing to a festive setting surrounded by Christmas carols and music.

We have previously shared the full journey from choosing the tree in a Norwegian forest to when the lights are switched on at the big event in London. Watch or re-watch the video from last year.

Check-in staff at the Karlshamn office Wear Waste

The Karlshamn check-in staff in their new uniforms

Every year, enormous amounts of plastic end up in the sea. And as traditional plastics do not decompose and the decomposition process for biodegradable plastics takes a very long time, the world’s oceans are increasingly turning into landfill sites. This is having devastating, long-term effects on marine life.

The Karlshamn office has recently bought new uniforms for the check-in staff, partly made of plastic waste from the sea!

Simon Johansson, Sales Coordinator, says: “As we work on and near the sea, it is very important for us to contribute to reducing litter and to help clean up the seas in the best way we can. 53% of the fabric in our new uniforms is made from recycled plastic from the sea.”

According to the manufacturer of the uniforms, only 5% of the plastic in the oceans is washed up on the beaches, while the rest remains in the sea. If this trend is not broken, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.

Looks good, Karlshamn!


Hollandia named in Gothenburg

“I name you Hollandia Seaways”. It was a glorious moment, on top of a fantastic event, when Godmother Ragna Alm, wife of Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks, officially named our newest addition to the fleet, Hollandia Seaways.

Just before the release of the traditional bottle, Peder Gellert, EVP and Head of Ferry Division and Morgan Olausson, VP and Head of BU North Sea North, had given speeches welcoming guests who came to celebrate Hollandia and thanking Ragna for making this naming ceremony a very proud moment in DFDS’ history.

And as Peder Gellert noted in his speech, the naming does not only mean the conclusion of years of planning and construction work, it also signifies a new beginning where Hollandia can create value and growth for DFDS, our customers and in and around Gothenburg and Ghent.

At the following traditional lunch, which with the kind assistance of Volvo took place in the nearby Volvo Museum, Ragna Alm handed the coin, that was placed in the keel of the newbuilding when the construction started, to Captains Robin Gustafsson and Bjarne Sunesen to bring luck to all who board the ferry in the future. After the lunch guests were invited on a tour around the mega freight ferry and as you can see on the pictures, there was plenty of room for all.

DFDS named World’s Best Ferry Operator

Colin Fawcus (National Sales Manager UK and Netherlands) and Angela Merkus (Senior Account Manager, Germany) collected the award. We do not know the names of the two women to the left and to the right

DFDS scooped the title of ‘World’s Leading Ferry Operator’ for the ninth year in a row at the World Travel Awards last night.

The awards, which are known as the travel industry’s Oscars, were handed out at a gala ceremony at the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman. Winners are selected through an online poll involving members of the public and thousands of travel and tourism professionals.

Pete Akerman, Passenger Marketing Director, says: “It’s an honour to be recognised as the World’s Leading Ferry Operator for a ninth year, showing the consistent quality of the services that we offer to passengers from around the world.”

“We are proud of our record of providing an excellent customer experience across our route network, whether passengers are looking for a relaxing start to their holiday, a fun weekend away, or a comfortable and affordable way to get to their destination.”

Big congratulations to all our BU Short Routes & Passenger colleagues!

Watch this video that celebrates the win.


DFDS enters into space charter agreements with CLdN on Gothenburg-Zeebrugge

Peder Gellert Pedersen

In June 2019, DFDS opened a freight ferry route between Gothenburg, Sweden, and Zeebrugge, Belgium, that currently deploys three freight ferries offering five weekly departures in each direction.

However, in order to optimise capacity utilisation and reduce the environmental impact, DFDS has entered into two mutual space charter agreements with CLdN that also operates a freight ferry route between Gothenburg and Zeebrugge.

The space charter agreements entail that capacity is shared between route operators while all commercial activities remain entirely under the control of each operator.

“We are very pleased to announce our new space charter agreements. The flexibility of the agreements entails that we reduce the environmental footprint while offering a total of ten weekly departures in each direction on our two routes between Sweden and Belgium to support trade and the growth of our customers”, says Peder Gellert Pedersen, Executive Vice President, DFDS Group, and Head of Ferry Division.

The space charter agreements are expected to start on 1 January 2020. When the agreements are fully implemented, DFDS and CLdN are each expected to deploy one freight ferry on their respective routes between Gothenburg and Zeebrugge. In addition, DFDS operates a route between Gothenburg and Ghent in Belgium.

DFDS expects in Q2 2020 to replace the three freight ferries currently deployed on Gothenburg-Zeebrugge with one mega freight ferry newbuilding that can carry 6,700 lane metres of freight per departure. The ferries that are replaced are expected to be deployed elsewhere in DFDS’ European route network.

DFDS recognised with award at the SCF Forum Europe

Anne Rømer, VP & CFO Logistics

Supply chain finance (SCF) – some of you might wonder what it means and what it is. However, many of our haulage managers in Logistics, like Robert Thompson and Anneli Hellgren, talk about it on a daily basis. In fact, today, on 28th November, we were recognised with the Highly Recommended award in the category Best SCF Programme in Transport & Logistics at the SCF Forum Europe in Amsterdam.’

Supply chain finance provides a set of flexible, financing solutions for buyers and suppliers and it gives our hauliers an opportunity to receive their payment quicker. In summer 2018, DFDS Logistics partnered up with PrimeRevenue and launched a supply chain finance initiative. This year, the initiative is recognized as being among the best in class when it comes to innovative use of supply chain finance from around the world.

There are not many awards in Finance, so it is quite understandable that Anne Rømer, VP & CFO Logistics, accepted the award with a huge smile at a special ceremony. Anne also was chosen to give a keynote speech at the SCF event.

Anne says: “DFDS is honoured to be recognised for our innovative use of supply chain finance and we are very grateful to our contacts at PrimeRevenue who helped us achieve this win-win solution. Thanks to our successful partnership with PrimeRevenue, we can offer hauliers sustainable early payment at an attractive rate – which is building our pipeline and supporting our efforts in securing capacity to support our growth strategy. Also, a big thank you to our haulage procurement managers across the businesss, our colleagues in DFDS Polska and the Visma team for their extraordinary effort in engaging our hauliers and getting this off the ground. It really is a team effort we can all be proud of.”

MASH begins producing oil

Jakob Steffensen, Head of Innovation & Partnerships, and his team have news about MASH Energy. The biofuel the company makes from by-products of agriculture is to be tested by Alfa Laval.


Not long ago we shared the good news that DFDS had bought a stake in start-up company MASH Energy, which produces biofuel from agricultural waste.

Since then, things have developed, and work is well underway. Oil is now being produced with a reactor in India built by MASH. We are working on the next challenge, scaling, in order to produce enough oil to make it feasible for ship engines.

We listen to our seafarers

We are also in dialogue with our seafarers about their concerns and how to use the fuel on Pearl Seaways, where we will test it in operation.

Concerns Include: If the low viscosity of the biofuel makes it difficult to switch from the low sulphur fuel we use today, and if the biofuel will have adverse long-term effects on the machinery equipment.

“We are very grateful for the support we get from our colleagues at sea and we’ll do our best to provide good and relevant answers to their questions,” says Jakob Steffensen, Head of Innovation & Partnerships.

Alfa Laval to test first biofuel batches

In order to minimise the operational risk involved in implementing the new generation of biofuel, we reached out to Alfa Laval, who without any hesitation agreed to help us by testing the biofuel at their test-centre in Aalborg.

“We have joint interests in making sure that the new generation of CO2-neutral fuels become available to the industry as fast as possible. We work a lot with seafarers, and it is a pleasure to assist by making the initial tests here at our test-centre.” Says Lars Bo Andersen, Department Head, Alfa Laval.

Only when the shoreside tests have been completed to satisfaction, will we move on to onboard tests, where the focus will be to evaluate the long-term effect of the MASH biofuel.

Patricia Ayoub, Project & Portfolio Manager, is the department’s lead on this project. “It is vital to build upon all the experience and competences that we have onboard our vessels and in the Danish shipping community, and it has been very inspiring to see how we all come together to help DFDS become CO2-neutral as fast as possible,” says Patricia.

New dog exercise area on board Pearl Seaways

18 November was a big day on board Pearl Seaways, when we were proud to welcome the first dog in the newly-constructed dog exercise area on deck 6.

Brian Blixt Jacobsen, Commercial Head, Pearl Seaways, says: “The exercise area is equipped with artificial grass and has both a fire hydrant and a small lamppost where dogs can cock their legs. Of course, there is also access to bags for ‘accidents’, as well as a rubbish bin to deposit those bags after use, so that the area can be kept just as nicely as in these pictures. In addition, 10 cabins have been adapted for dogs and their owners, and these ‘pet cabins’ are located up by the outside deck, where the dogs can be let out, allowing easy access to the exercise area.”

Britannia crew find migrants in refrigerated trailer

A critical situation occurred today as a large group of 25 migrants were trying to get to the UK hidden in a refrigerated trailer on board Britannia Seaways enroute from Vlaardingen to Felixstowe.

The migrants were found around 17:00 CET because they had made a hole in the trailer. Britannia decided to return to Vlaardingen, and police officers entered the ship from a police boat that met them as soon as Britannia entered the port.

When the ship arrived in Vlaardingen around 20:00, waiting ambulances transported the migrants to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia. The police is investigating the incident as we write this.

According to the police in Rotterdam, the two migrants who were taken to hospital to be checked for hypothermia, have both been released from the hospital again. The police also informed that they believe most of the migrants are from the Middle East.

The police’s press release can be found here (in Dutch): https://www.politie.nl/nieuws/2019/november/20/verstekelingen-koelcontainer-vermoedelijk-uit-koeweit-en-irak.html

AEO: DFDS A/S Denmark gets valuable customs authorisation

DFDS has now received a so-called AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) status for its largest legal entity, DFDS Denmark – or formally: DFDS A/S.

The AEO status is extremely valuable, especially in case of a no-deal Brexit situation. It means that we enjoy much easier customs processes. It reduces the guarantee amounts we need to provide and reduces or removes the security controls of processes and systems and overall gives us much simpler procedures to follow. “It is based on a partnership between the Economic Operator (DFDS) and the customs authorities in one or several countries. We commit to transparency on our organisation and processes and in exchange the authorities granting us simpler procedures to follow. An indirect advantage is that many customers have asked for this because their supply chain is AEO certified and therefore, it is necessary that we are too when we deliver the transport, warehousing or other services that are part of their supply chain,” says Lotte Blumensaadt, Indirect Tax Manager.

However, the authorisation process is complex and demanding. “It took us more than a year. We needed to provide a lot of general information about DFDS, our operations, structure and organisation and, not least about our safety and security for IT and in general,” says Lotte.

“In addition to this, we had to document our customs processes, agreements with customers and how we can check the origin of the goods and whether it is correctly declared in relation to duty tariffs and more.”

Many involved
“As part of the authorisation process, the Danish authorities visited Copenhagen, Frederica and ships to check our systems and procedures and even liaised with other national authorities in the EU. Other DFDS locations like Dover, Felixstowe and Dunkerque were also audited to get an overall understanding of how we work and how secure our systems are. The AEO status also requires that we continuously carry our self-assessments and notify material changes in our processes and/or organisation,” says Lotte.

The driving forces in obtaining the authorisation were Lotte Blumensaadt, supported by our Brexit team members Jean Aubert and Stephanie Thomas, who are our leading customs experts and have practical experience with obtaining AEO status in several countries. Support was also provided by Susanne Blomstergren and Christian Pedersen from our Fredericia office, Henrik Nørager who is managing the Copenhagen Terminal, several colleagues from IT, Henrik Svane from HR in Copenhagen, colleagues in Poland and Lithuania as well as other colleagues.

More to follow
The AEO status are given on the basis of legal entities, and currently the following have been granted it:
DFDS A/S (Denmark)
DFDS Logistics Limited (the UK)
DFDS Logistics B.V (The Netherlands)
DFDS Germany ApS & KG (Germany, only AEO Customs simplification)
DFDS Seaways (Belgium)
DFDS Logistics Karlshamn (Sweden)

The Gothenburg Ro-Ro terminal has also achieved an AEO status
Further entities work hard to get the AEO stamp, and we will inform about this as the come in.

DFDS tests aluminium sail concept

An interesting take on wind-power made by Econowind has now been installed on Lysbris Seaways for testing.


A metal sail in a box is a novel concept, but it could be a solution to save fuel and emissions for shipping by utilising the power of the wind that nearly all ships once relied on.

The prototype seen in the video above was installed on the deck of Lysbris Seaways on Wednesday 13 November in Amsterdam. What Dutch company Econowind has created is a foldable aluminium sail concept that sits on the deck of a vessel. It comes in a 40-foot container and is a far cry from historic sail designs, as two metallic 10-metre foils, or wings, fold out with the press of a button.

The design and software let the wings move to optimally catch the wind and help propel the vessel forward. Just last week the company received the Dutch Maritime Innovation award for the Econowind unit, which shows promise from earlier testing.

Poul Woodall, Director of Environment, and Vidar Karlsen, Managing Director in Norway, signed the agreement in September for the collaboration with Econowind and Green Shipping Programme (Grønt Skipsfartsprogram or GSP), a Norwegian programme for research into, and development of, green shipping solutions. GSP delivers a theoretical modelling of historic weather data, consumption, routes and more that we use for testing.

Vidar says: “Lysbris Seaways is perfect for testing such a concept. In theory it looks like a good idea, but we need to see if the estimated fuel savings are realistic for this type of vessel. We are going to measure fuel consumption with the sail and get a picture of the efficiency gained over time compared to the regular numbers.”

“The finalised design works automatically, meaning you can open the container from the bridge and open the sail, but for the prototype it’s a bit more hands-on with manual controls and a service engineer present to operate the system. After a successful installation we are now looking forward to seeing the outcome of the two months of testing,” Vidar adds.

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR, says: “With projects like this we take responsibility for developing new energy sources and methods of propulsion that can take us towards cleaner ships and eventually zero emission shipping. We are therefore extremely grateful for initiatives such as this taken on by Vidar and his team.”

Real-life presentation of interior design for Baltic newbuildings

Here is how the Ro-Pax ships will look on the inside.


We now see that the steel and piping production is really picking up in for our freight and passenger newbuilding project in Guangzhou, China. And this week, we passed an important milestone with the first inspection of the so-called mock-up of the accommodation.

A Mock-up is a full scale model of parts of the accommodation built up at the shipyard using the real materials. This enables the owner (in this case DFDS) to inspect the accommodation design in “real life”. Even with use of computer animations, advanced computer programs etc., nothing beats a ”look and feel” experience.

The mock-up is being built and outfitted by the shipyard and the accommodation suppliers in cooperation so we can evaluate the design and make necessary corrections for the items not living up to our expectations. Furthermore, the mock-up will serve as quality and workmanship reference during the construction. This means that if things aren’t done to our satisfaction, we can refer to the mock-up. Therefore, a mock-up is an important “tool” and will be kept on the shipyard during the entire construction process.

Representatives from BU Baltic, Brand and of course Newbuilding & Major Conversions, were present at the mock-up inspection along with the external interior architect company Steen Friis Design from Copenhagen.

It went well, and only few things need to be changed. As the yard and the accommodation supplier have been extremely busy preparing the mock-up on time and have worked almost 24 h per day up to the mock-up inspection, we had some doubt whether they could finish on time. But they did, and they were ready for the inspection.

The photos will give you an impression of the looks of our new great Ro-Pax ferries, but please remember: It is only the first mock-up so there will be changes, and you will have to wait and see the final result. But we are confident you won’t be disappointed.

Site team to grow

Manning on the site team will also be gradually increased over the coming months in line with production picking up. Currently, there are 10 persons on the site team including Steen Haurum, Jens Monk and Morten Fenger from DFDS, and the other site team members from OSM.

Jesper Aagesen, Director of Newbuilding & Major Conversions

See more photos below:

DFDS wins environmental award for scrubber strategy

CSR Director Sofie Hebeltoft was in Rotterdam today, 6 November, to accept the GREEN4SEA EUROPORT Ship Operator Award for our early and ambitious scrubber strategy


We assume it was a very proud moment for CSR Director Sofie Hebeltoft when she was asked to come to the green4sea-europort-awards ceremony in Rotterdam today, 6 November 2019, to receive the ‘GREEN4SEA EUROPORT Ship Operator Award.

In fact, it was an event to celebrate for everyone at DFDS as we received the award for our decision to install scrubbers on our ships in the Mediterranean.

As Sofie said when she addressed the audience to thank the committee for the award, we are extremely proud of and grateful for the recognition as we feel we took a risk as early movers already in 2009 when we started developing a scrubber on Ficaria Seaways. And again in 2013 when we decided on our ambitious scrubber strategy to comply with the very strict 2015 sulphur regulations for the Baltic, the North Sea and the Channel. Therefore, we were able to surpass most other ferry and shipping companies with our early decision to install scrubbers in our ships in the Mediterranean to comply with the upcoming 2020 global sulphur regulations and our own environmental policy of reducing our impact on the environment.

The committee will soon launch a video interview with Sofie about the award, which you can see here: https://europort.safety4sea.com/green4sea-europort-awards/

The award winners were:
• GREEN4SEA EUROPORT Energy Efficiency Award – Jotun
• GREEN4SEA EUROPORT Clean Shipping Award – Port of Rotterdam
• GREEN4SEA EUROPORT Technology Award – Wärtsilä
• GREEN4SEA EUROPORT Ship Operator Award – DFDS
• GREEN4SEA EUROPORT Initiative Award – ESPO

The shortlist for the Ship Operator Award that DFDS won

DFDS is Denmark’s 37th biggest company

Torben Carlsen was interviewed by Danish media Group Berlingske, speaking about the strategy, Turkey, Brexit, and the future.

In the Danish media Group Berlingske’s survey of the 1000 largest companies in Denmark, DFDS was on Friday 25 October ranked as the 37th largest. Furthermore, we were listed as Denmark’s second largest shipping company after Maersk.

However, it wasn’t only about size. In an accompanying article, focus was on the transformation of DFDS into a much more profitable company that has grown results by every year since 2009 and achieved its best ever results in 2018. Light was also shed on developments in BU Med and Brexit’s effect on us – including our robust preparations.

“It is very pleasing that people appreciate our extremely positive development, which we sometimes forget to appreciate ourselves because we are deeply engaged in developing our company for the future and implementing our Win23 strategy,” says Torben Carlsen who was interviewed for the article.

Future headquarters will create a fantastic DFDS setting

With its beautiful maritime appearance, and a fantastic location just beside our terminal, the new headquarters will be a signature building in Copenhagen’s Nordhavn.

PLH Arkitekter is behind the design of our new headquarters and, based on a great understanding of DFDS’ culture and the DFDS Way, the company has come up with a truly iconic design that will be the face of DFDS for many years to come.

Michael Sandberg, Project Director, says: “Our new head office will be 135m long, 17.7m wide and 26.9m high, and will consist of seven decks with two roof terraces on the top two decks. It will be able to accommodate 700 colleagues within its overall area of 15,500m2. With high requirements for environmentally-sound quality materials, indoor climate and energy savings, PLH Arkitekter has designed a building that is energy-efficient and sustainable.

“Inspired by the sea, the wavy facade gives movement to the building, perfectly expressing DFDS’ identity. The building is directly across from our terminal area for Pearl Seaways and Crown Seaways, creating a fantastic setting that will establish a strong, unified DFDS presence in Copenhagen when it is completed no later than March 2022.”

It will not only offer colleagues the best possible working environment for a good, inspiring day, but it will also display an openness and transparency that will create a welcoming atmosphere for visitors from outside, who can enjoy a coffee in the café on the ground floor, for example. The physical surroundings will also be attractive to potential new colleagues.

This welcoming building supports a modern, activity-based working environment that offers opportunities to facilitate customer-oriented activities and events that contribute to a collaborative DFDS experience for employees, visitors and partners.