New shipping line in Vlaardingen

MS Akranes that will arrive at Vlaardingen every Sunday.

Even though things are tough right now, opportunities to grow and collaborate still arise all over DFDS. This time, a new cooperation between DFDS and the shipping company, Smyril Line, was a welcoming addition to the business in Vlaardingen.

Jorik van Oosterom, Terminal Operations Manager, says: “From now on, every Sunday, Smyril Line’s freight ferry, MS Akranes, will arrive at Vlaardingen where we will handle the discharging and loading of trailers, containers and machinery. It will then departure back to Norway the following Monday where it will call the Norwegian ports in Stavanger, Trondheim, Rørvik and Hitra.“

“It is great to see that we are able to attract additional volumes during the pandemic and Brexit. The route is mainly transporting fresh fish, however, together with our Logistics colleagues in Vlaardingen and Norway, we will do our best to push volumes of all kinds on this route to grow further. To support the DFDS network, we have also delayed the departure to Felixstowe from Vlaardingen with one hour to offer customers a connection from Norway to the UK.”

Robert Pieren, Area Manager at Smyril Line, says: “Our Norwegian service vessel ms Akranes has been handled and served really well just as expected of a professional and well-structured terminal.

“A short and straight forward meeting with Jorik van Oosterom and Ritchie Keemink made our corporation running smoothly as from day one. Thanks to all DFDS staff involved handling our vessel and cargo during its calls at the DFDS terminal in Vlaardingen.”

Maria Franksen new MD of Gothenburg Ro-Ro Terminal

Maria Franksen

The Gothenburg Ro-Ro Terminal has found its new Managing Director. From 1 November 2020 the position will be filled by Maria Franksen, an international businesswoman with a mountain of experience in the supply chain business, which the terminal is there to serve.

Maria’s career in the supply chain industry began as a forklift driver   in a warehouse in the port during her studies, and this taught her an important lesson: Nearly everything is related to supply chain. This took her to Volvo Logistics and a 20-year long management career in various Volvo companies. She continued her career as a Supply Chain Director and Production Manager at Stena Steel and, finally, as National Warehouse Manager at Carlsberg Sverige from 2018 – and now she joins Gothenburg Ro-Ro Terminal.

“I get energy from seeing people develop and from being able to do things better and together, and I look very much forward to getting to know my new colleagues at Gothenburg Ro-Ro and working with all the terminal’s many stakeholders,” Maria says.

Morgan Olausson, Vice President and Head of Business Unit BU North Sea North, says: “With her strong leadership skills, her vast experience of supply chain operations and cooperation with customers and unions, I believe she will be exactly the right person to bring the Gothenburg Ro-Ro terminal forward towards excellence and ensure that the company stays a key terminal in the trade from and to Sweden. And, not least, a good workplace that provides many jobs.”

“I warmly welcome Maria to DFDS and hope you will all join me in giving her a good start in her new job.”

Björn Wånge to leave Gothenburg RoRo

Following the recent organizational changes at the Gothenburg Ro-Ro terminal, Björn Wånge has decided to step down as Managing Director of the terminal to seek new challenges outside the company.

Until a new Managing Director is in place, Morgan Olausson, Head of DFDS’ Business Unit North Sea North, will be acting MD of the terminal. Together with the leadership team, he will lead the operational business in the terminal.

“On behalf of DFDS and myself, I want to thank Björn for his huge and valuable work with managing the terminal during the last six years -and during very challenging times for its employees and management with changes to the market, the customer base and organizational set-up and most recently Covid-19. Björn has been instrumental in the positive development of the terminal, and I wish him all the best for the future,” says Morgan.

“We hope to be able to present a new Managing Director soon, and I hope you will all support us in ensuring that the terminal continues to deliver a robust service of our customers even during the Covid-19 situation, paving the way for cooperation and growth.”

Torben Carlsen says: On behalf of the Board, I also want to thank Björn warmly for his great and valuable contribution to Gothenburg Ro-Ro and DFDS and for always having full focus on our customers’ needs and for ensuring the flow of goods in this key terminal even at very challenging times. The board wishes Björn all success in his future endeavors, and I am confident that the leadership team along with our many colleagues at the terminal will ensure that the Gothenburg Ro-Ro terminal continues to fulfil its important role to DFDS and the Swedish industrial exports and imports until a new MD is in place.“

Smart Gate goes live in Kiel

An LED screen welcoming customers and visualizing how to proceed

When truck drivers arrive at the Port of Kiel to deliver or pick up a trailer, they will now spend significantly less time doing so because of the new smart gate system that went live in Q2-2020.

Philipp Mayworm, Head of Customer Service & Operations in Kiel, says: ”Before the smart gate, the drivers had to register at the DFDS Check-in office before entering the port. This made the gate-in/gate-out process very time consuming and cumbersome. To ease the process, we considered the digital opportunities available, and our initial ideas quickly developed into a joint project between DFDS and Port of Kiel which owns the port and infrastructure.”

Comparison between previous and present procedure

When the Corona virus hit the business in March, our German colleagues swiftly had to reduce physical contact to passengers and truck drivers. Instead of testing and developing the system further for another estimated 2 – 3 months, the smart gate was implemented within 3 days as it was already in the final development phase.

“Having the new system already in place, made it much easier to learn, implement changes and further improve while already benefiting from it. Even though the pandemic forced us into shorter development cycles it has been great to see the level of activity within DFDS but also from Port of Kiel“, says Philipp.

The system will have a great impact as drivers save minimum 10 minutes each time they deliver or pick up a trailer providing better possibility to cope with peak periods. It also improves theft prevention. Having the first phase implemented, the system provides further potential to improve efficiency to accommodate accompanied cargo and passengers.

This improvement would not have been possible without the valuable input and continuous support from local colleagues, developing the process over time and implementing the new setup while coping with the various challenges that Covid-19 provided. Thanks as well to Jan Kierstein, Integration Developer, for being available whenever the interface between DFDS and Port of Kiel became a bottleneck.

Fire in trailers in Gothenburg

*This article was published on 24 June. Updated with comments from MD Björn Wånge and pictures*

On Wednesday 24 June, a fire broke out in a trailer at the Gothenburg Terminal in Sweden.

Björn Wånge, Managing Director, says: “The fire started at around 16.00 CET and quickly spread to adjacent trailers, in the end destroying a total of 18 trailers. Luckily, no persons were injured. The fire brigade was at site from 16.00-02.00, however they had the fire under full control when I left at around 23.00. “

“The cooperation between DFDS and APM Terminals was very good, and they all handled the fire with good discipline and according to the checklist and established routines. The management would like to extend a thank you to the involved colleagues for well done work in connection with the fire” says Björn.

“All customers and employees have been informed. Now we will start to remove trailers and clean the surfaces, but first I want to ensure that the insurance surveyors have the information they need. There will be no further investigation according to the police.”

New office in Ghent is well underway

When our 135 colleagues in Ghent move into their brand-new office in the end of 2020, they can look forward to working in a modern building with plenty of space and great working conditions.

The new office is located at the terminal, so our Belgian colleagues have followed the construction closely since the start in January 2020. Jowita Dziedzic, Inside Sales Representative, has kindly shared pictures of the construction that you can see below.

Raf De Wit, Terminal Director in Ghent, says: “Today on 29 May, the construction crew just finished the facade, and roof work. They will now begin with the plumbing and electrical installations as well as sewerage work, heating and ventilation installation, immediately followed by screeding and establishing of interior walls.

“The exterior joinery such as installation of windows and doors is planned to start in mid -July to mid-August. After that they will work on the floors, locker room, kitchen furnishings, lighting, fitted wardrobes and painting among others.”

Raf continues: “We expect to finish the ground floor by the end of October, then we will gradually work our way up finishing floor by floor. The target to be ready with the finished meeting room on third floor is certainly a feasible option by the end of December.”

Photo taken 14 February 2020.


Ground floor that will consist of the reception/gate teams, waiting room, kitchen and wardrobes for stevedores.


First floor will have workplaces for the Managing Director, sales team, Customer Service, Finance, Claims and managers.


Second floor will have terminal operations and Shipping Logistics.


Third floor will have two terraces and a large meeting room.


Beautiful view over the terminal from the third floor.

DFDS adds extra space to Vlaardingen terminal

This great photo has been slightly manipulated to show how the extra terminal space just added to the Vlaardingen terminal will look when completed. The area in question is the one to the left of the basin, seen from the ship entrance to the terminal.

As you know, DFDS has been working on extending the Vlaardingen terminal since 2016, when we started negotiations on the purchase of the 92,000 sq m adjacent land that has so far been used by the Rotterdam Bulk Terminal.

DFDS signed a contract in November 2018, and after almost two years of demolition, cleaning and levelling, the land was officially handed over to DFDS on Wednesday (27 May). It adds a total of 6.4 hectare to the Vlaardingen Terminal.

“We agreed on a 25-year lease contract for the extra land with Port of Rotterdam. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the project was put on hold so that the contractors for sewage, asphalting and lighting had to wait for approval to start up the project again. We also just received the approval for installing the fences required for terminals by the International Ship and Port Facility Security regulations, and for creating an area where we can park up to 150 trailers. This extra space is needed, especially on weekends when the terminal is often full,” says Ralph Bosveld, Terminal Director, Vlaardingen.

“Hopefully, volumes will pick up again soon so we can complete the refurbishment plans and turn the area into the fully equipped ferry terminal it is intended to be.

“When completed, the extra area will enable us to introduce a far better layout of the terminal and – in combination with new digital solutions – ensure a more efficient operation that eliminates the congestion issues we have previously experienced at the busy terminal.”

25 years with Nordic Terminal

Music: Brainstorm by Rex Banner

Since 1866, DFDS’ ships have been sailing to the Humber area in the UK with goods and products, however at that time we did not have our own terminal and mostly used the service offered at the ports, particularly in Grimsby. When DFDS acquired Tor Line in 1981, our business at the port of Immingham grew, and 14 years later, it was decided to establish our own terminal, DFDS Nordic Terminal. That is now 25 years ago and to mark this anniversary, Group Communication has gathered some of the events that have happened during the 25 years together with a greeting from Peder Gellert.

Andrew Byrne, Managing Director of Nordic Terminal, says, “Whilst our 25-year anniversary at Immingham sees us living through a period of uncertainty and disruption around the world, this is not the first major challenge DFDS has faced and will probably not be the last. Immingham has always played a significant and responsible part in keeping trade moving across DFDS pan-European network and the dependability for transportation of food and other commodities is needed now more than ever.”

I am proud to work with the team at Immingham who always show a “can-do” approach and we will continue to address issues and work together to find solutions.”

“We all look forward to celebrate the anniversary with events at a time when the pandemic is no longer a threat.”

Nordic Terminal converts minivans during corona crisis

One of the five minivans modified to protect against the corona virus

In Immingham, an innovative staff suggestion resulted in speedy modifications on five minivans, which enable a higher number of passengers to be carried whilst providing protecting during the coronavirus crisis.

Marketing & Automotive Manager Claire Brown says: “As part of local continuous improvement reviews and whilst adapting to operational restrictions, the minivans now are able to accommodate a driver plus three passengers.”

“James Goodhand, Maintenance Port Operative, fabricated and fitted the modifications after making templates on paper, after which the large sheets of perspex were sourced and cut to size to enable a floor to ceiling fit. He also used some rubber fuel pipe cut up to prevent damage from the Perspex to the vehicle dashboard etc.”

French local officials visit Dieppe

The President of the Seine Maritime Department met Jean-Claude Charlo, Head of DFDS’ French organisation, and our other colleagues to discuss the route and Brexit.


On 14 January the President of the Seine Maritime Department, Bertrand Bellanger, visited our French colleagues in Dieppe. Jean-Claude Charlo, Head of DFDS’ French organisation, gave him a tour of our terminal, DFDS offices and the facilities in place at the port in anticipation of Brexit.

“Mr. Bellanger was satisfied to see that everything is in place and that Dieppe is Brexit-ready,” says Jean-Claude.

They discussed the challenges that Brexit may bring, but the topic of priority was the possible opportunities for the route. The visit was also an occasion to underline Bellanger’s support for the Dieppe – Newhaven route, operated under a concession contract with the SMPAT (Syndicat Mixte de Promotion de l’Activité Transmanche). Its newly nominated President, Alain Bazille, was also part of the visiting group of officials.

“It was a pleasure to receive Mr. Bellanger, Mr. Bazille and the others. It was also a unique opportunity to explain in detail the daily work of all our staff and the challenges we have every day. We thank everyone for their participation and the acknowledgements we received for our work and Brexit preparations,” Jean-Claude adds.

New General Manager in Brevik

The North Sea Terminal in Brevik is one of the leading Norwegian terminals, and as of 1 February, Thorbjørn Assig Lund will be the new General Manager responsible for the terminal’s operational business and future growth. Thorbjørn will manage a team of 12 and report to Morgan Olausson, Vice President and Head of North Sea North.

Thorbjørn started at DFDS as a shipping trainee in 2011. He spent one year with the operations team in Copenhagen and the second year in various departments in Klaipeda. Following his graduation, he started as a team leader in the freight department based in Oslo until he became Freight Manager on the Copenhagen–Oslo route.

Thorbjørn says: “I am very excited to start in this role as well as meeting my new colleagues in Brevik. Together, I am certain that we will develop rewarding business strategies and identify new business opportunities.”

“It is also a pleasure to see that DFDS’ own trainees can get the opportunity to earn increasingly more responsibility throughout their career, and I am happy that this trust has been placed in my abilities.”

Thorbjørn will replace Steinar Heia, who will continue his career with another shipping and logistics company closer to his home.

Being a better neighbour in Vlaardingen

Vlaardingen: Noise complaints from residents near the terminal were taken seriously and resolved, as parked reefer trailers were found to be the cause.


Often we find opportunities to improve best practice and take steps to be a more responsible neighbour where we have our operations. This was the case in Vlaardingen recently, when reefer trailers were at times parked in unfortunate locations and causing a noise nuisance to nearby residents because of their cooling systems.

The Vlaardingen terminal had been receiving complaints from residents for some time and it was not possible to identify the cause, as there were never any vessels in the port at time of night mentioned in the complaints. A low, humming noise audible in the neighbourhood was causing restless nights despite regular checks by the Dutch Environmental Department, who could not detect the noise and found that our operations were within the legal noise limits.

Operations Director for Vlaardingen Terminal Ralph Bosveld says: “Though we complied with regulations, it didn’t solve the problem, and I was invited to a meeting with the residents and the local Socialist Party (SP) to discuss a campaign to reduce industrial noise in Vlaardingen. The only thing I thought could make noise during the night were the running fridges of the reefer trailers, and we only have a few. We used to park them in random locations, but since the meeting, we parked them all close to the noise barrier.”

“A company of environmental specialists helped us find the best area for the reefers in order to minimise the noise. Since then, complaints have significantly decreased, and I was happy to hear that the SP appreciated our willingness to listen and our approach to solving the problem. They also gave the positive story to the press,” Ralph adds.

Head of CSR Sofie Hebeltoft says: “I was pleased to hear Ralph’s story about how he and his colleagues dealt with the situation and found a solution, taking complaints seriously and going the extra mile. It demonstrates our desire at DFDS to be a responsible and caring neighbour as part of our CSR strategy. It’s also a good example of finding best practice that we share with other parts of the business who may face the same problem.”

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.

Smart drone tested in Ghent Terminal

Scanning of trailers and added security features are becoming reality


There was buzzing in the Ghent terminal on Wednesday 13 November, as a drone was being put to early testing. It’s an interesting security and operational support tool that can be added to our terminal toolbox.

The drone is being developed in cooperation with manufacturer Lorenz Technology and security specialists G4S.

Far from the household robotic vacuum cleaner, the drone automatically scans trailer numbers and keeps track of their locations on the terminal. The use of drones can enhance our overview of the terminal so we can improve services towards our customers, and for example assist in detecting stowaways.

Mads Bentzen Billesø, Project Manager in Innovation & Technology, says: “The testing of the basic functions went well. Future developments include damage detection for trailers, scanning terminal fences and advanced area surveillance, which are very interesting prospects.”

Vlaardingen starts container service

On 1 October, DFDS Seaways in Vlaardingen opened the terminal gates to container traffic to ensure future growth.

Close collaboration between Ferry and Logistics ensured great customer service for a customer who required safe transportation of their high-value goods via containers.

This initiative was not without its challenges. To accommodate the containers, the terminal had to create a specific container area, lease a reach stacker (container lifting vehicle) and prepare the general operations, as containers require different handling compared to trailers.

“Despite the investments made, I am happy that we managed to find an exceptional solution for the customer as well as protect our business by ensuring additional streams of cargo, especially in a period where growth is no longer business as usual,” says Jorik van Oosterom, Terminal Operations Manager.

Ritchie Keemink, Agency Team Leader, says: “The cooperation between Logistics and Ferry is a win-win for everyone. We increase our flexibility in the market to handle different types of cargo and it is in line with the Win23 ambitions by offering a resilient combination of ferry route infrastructure and logistics solutions.”

Refurbishment of the Newhaven terminal

M Lucas (SMPAT Managing Director), M Basille (county councillor), M Winckler (sub-prefect of Dieppe), M Smewing (NPP CEO and port manager) and Jean-Claude Charlo

On 23 September, the new passenger area in the Newhaven terminal was inaugurated. Newhaven Port & Properties (NPP), the Syndicat Mixte de Promotion de l’Activité Transmanche, French officials and DFDS French managers were at the opening.

Steff Goux of BU Short Routes & Passenger and Terminal Operations Supervisor in Newhaven says: “It’s only the beginning of the refurbishment of the port. NPP has struck hard from the start by granting us a magnificent tool to finally bring out our little port into the light as Newhaven has a lot to offer in this exciting, yet confusing, Brexit time.”

“Mr Smewing, the NPP CEO and port manager, started his duties at the same time as I did last December and I am extremely pleased with the joint effort he and NPP have made with DFDS and the dedication they show our company. Like the new layout of the terminal, I hope it’s only the beginning to increase business for our route. The contractor, Sovereign, is still working on the freight area where the restricted zone will be developed to help with checks needed after Brexit.”

In his speech, Jean-Claude Charlo, Head of the French organisation, thanked NPP and his team for their great cooperation, focusing on our customers’ needs and satisfaction.


The waiting area and children’s play area


Foot passenger control


Check-in area

Karlshamn improves check-in for customers

Johan Stegerö, Freight Manager, says: “All self-service kiosks at the gate in Karlshamn have been updated to accept both QR codes and bar codes. This means drivers who need to drop off or pick up trailers can use the DFDS Freight Terminals app to check if units are available and then scan the QR code to pass the gate instead of typing the release number manually.

“The same functionality is implemented in the gates for accompanied traffic, meaning regardless of having a freight booking in Phoenix or a passenger booking in Seabook, the gate may be passed by scanning the code from the various apps, or printed tickets.

“Solutions like these are really win-win for everyone. The drivers and passengers can check in a lot faster and we ensure an even smoother operation at the terminal during peak hours.

The feedback on this new function has been good. We always strive to make it easier for our customers to operate at our terminal so it is great to see that customer service improvements like this are well received.”

The self-service kiosks at the gate in Karlshamn 

Major improvements to terminal management system in key locations

The team responsible for rolling out upgrades to terminal systems. From left: Lee Collins, Phil Henning, Sam Ling, Matthew Penistone, Amber Horth, David Maynard, Ian Clipsham, Matthew Woodward, George McDowall, Mark Silvey and Carl Robinson. Team members not pictured: Fiona Hoad, Daryl Leak, Stephen Foster, Keith Williams and Patrick Short


Big things are happening in our freight terminals, with six key terminals now fully up to date with the latest version of the terminal management software and thus the ideal foundation for future development. It also supports Pillar B of the Win23 strategy: Digitising services to accelerate growth.

The software, called Group Terminal Management System (GTMS), is key to all operations for freight at a terminal, including the functions of the gates and the planning involving the vessels carrying ro-ro (roll-on/roll-off), side-port and lo-lo (lift-on/lift-off) units.

Terminals in Vlaardingen, Ghent, Immingham, Gothenburg, Brevik and Copenhagen were all working with different software versions. The GTMS was also built on an older technological framework, which is a legacy solution by current standards today and would have difficulties to support in the future. Now they have been unified and standardised in staggered rollouts over the last 14 months with a new, flexible and scalable GTMS.

This single system allows terminal staff to have an overview of operations and the precise information needed to carry out various tasks, such as a foreman using GTMS to plan the optimal use of the tugmasters to carry freight on and off the ferries, prioritising in the loading of containers to and from hauliers. It also makes it possible to manage the movements and position of every new car handled at the terminals into lanes for export, import and individual vehicle dispatch.

The importance of the GTMS cannot be overstated. It is critical to terminal operations. Over 3.6 million work orders have been made so far in 2019, each of these being the moving of a unit from one place to another. This is not counting port location warehouse activities, for which GTMS supports the handling and inventory management of approximately 1.6 million tonnes of forest and metals products.

Amber Horth, Product Owner, says: “In addition to immediate improvements, this roll-out enables a future-proofing of the terminals. The system becomes better and more stable in its functions, while allowing new components to be built on top and more easily rolled out, without specialists having to physically visit and perform installations at each terminal.”

Sean Potter, Divisional Head, Digital & Systems, says: “GTMS is in the capable hands of a structured team, with a new product owner and a team of analysts that have made a huge effort with the installations and supporting work in this period. This makes a big difference to the terminals. They can now be more easily improved with projects for their particular needs. This includes the new gate system in Ghent, improved Graphical Planner functionality for loading and discharging of vessels and Work Order Manager features advancing the Priority-Based Booking project, as well as updated software for the tugmasters’ on-board computers at all sites. This greatly supports the Win23 strategy and our ambition for enabling growth by digitising services.”

GTMS team members testing an installed kiosk, from top left: Matthew Penistone, Ian Clipsham, Matthew Penistone (again), Sam Ling, Fiona Hoad and Phil Henning

Trieste – the gateway for Turkey to Europe

Jens Peder Nielsen, Managing Director of our terminal in Trieste. Here seen in front of Ephesus Seaways

A little over a year ago, Jens Peder Nielsen started as Managing Director of our terminal in Trieste, Italy. Since then, optimisation of the terminal has been a high priority. In March and June, our colleagues in Trieste welcomed Ephesus and Troy fresh from the Jinling Shipyard in China. There have also been several completed and ongoing developments in this thriving terminal.

Access to free trade flow and excellent infrastructure 
The Port of Trieste operates under free port regulations. This means it is outside the customs area and is a free-trade zone where goods may be unloaded, stored and shipped without payment of customs duties and with significantly reduced customs procedures. Additionally, in most European countries there is a limited number of annual transit permits provided to Turkish transport and logistics operators. However, the free port status provides access to a free trade flow without limitation of permits, making Trieste a very attractive terminal.

Jens Peder says: “The terminal also offers great intermodal solutions as the Port of Trieste has one of the best infrastructures in Italy when it comes to rail connections, a business segment with a lot of potential and already in growth. We are therefore very happy to see Emil Hausgaard joining the team in Trieste to work on intermodal connections between the Mediterranean and northern Europe as well as optimising shipping and intermodal schedules.”

Optimisation comes in many different shapes and forms
The terminal was recently visited by Sam De Wilde, MD in Ghent and head of the Terminal Excellence Project. They discussed the operations practices at the terminal and shared experiences from other terminals. The options were also evaluated for a new automatic gate system, like the one in Ghent.

Terminal layout and facilities
“During the visit, we also examined the capacity optimisation with regard to the terminal layout. As a concrete example, we realised that our parking slots at the terminal were rather wide. Instead of the 3.5-metre standard width at other terminals, they were four metres wide which meant that a lot of capacity could be created without expanding the terminal area,” says Jens Peder.

“Earlier this year we replaced the old lighting at the terminal with LED, reducing the energy consumption and maintenance costs and prolonging the lifespan significantly. The switch to LED will reduce the electricity consumption cost by EUR 50,000 per year and have a two-year payback period.

“At the end of the year, we will also have installed a new CCTV system at the terminal. With the old system, we were bound to have several guards patrol the terminal every day and night which is very costly. The new CCTV will allow 24/7 surveillance, with guards observing from the control room and ready to respond at any time. This is also something that the government is very happy to see as illegal immigrants often try to cross the border.

“During September we will launch the correct mooring facilities to accommodate our mega freight ferries, Troy and Ephesus. This means that all three ramps will be utilised during loading and unloading operations. We will of course share this story when it is ready.”

Tugmasters in Copenhagen test cleaner fuel

In Copenhagen three Tugmasters are testing fuel made from natural gas, which reduces smell and local pollutants compared to conventional fuels


A ferry terminal is a very busy place with heavy cargo and trucks moving around at a fast pace, and we constantly work to improve the performance in the terminal and to reduce the impact of the operation on the surrounding areas.

A test is now being carried out in the Copenhagen terminal to run the all-important tugmasters on cleaner fuel made from natural gas, the so-called gas-to-liquids (GTL).

The Shell GTL fuel reduces smell, particle pollution and noise compared to running vehicles on diesel or other conventional fuels, improving the air quality in and around the terminal.

Henrik Nørager, Port Captain, says: “The tugmasters are busy vehicles, loading and unloading trailers and other cargo from the ferries. We began the trial a few weeks ago with one vehicle, and now three are running on GTL fuel. The difference it makes is immediately noticeable, and should the testing continue to show good results over the next few months, we can run three more vehicles on the fuel as the next step. Following that we will consider using it in other locations.”

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR, says: “This test supports the CSR strategy of being a responsible neighbour, as it is especially concerned with minimising the presence of local pollutants, the NOx and SOx, as well as reducing the noise from the tugmasters’ engines. It is a step on the way to potentially replacing conventional fuels with other energy sources that run even more cleanly.”

DFDS takes over GWM, provider of stevedoring in Ghent

DFDS has taken over GWM, the company providing operations, gate and tallying services for DFDS in Ghent. “We have been working with them for many years as they were already operating at the Mercatordok Multimodal Terminal for Volvo Group Logistics before DFDS took over the terminal,” says Sam De Wilde, Managing Director at DFDS Seaways NV.

Their history in Ghent goes back to 1890 when the municipality granted all rights for the weighing and measuring in the Port of Ghent to the ‘Municipal Sworn Weighers and Measurers’ – or in Dutch: Gezworen Wegers en Meters (GWM).

Whereas the original activity was mostly about weight and quantity estimations, their range of activities has grown significantly over the last 129 years. Today the 29 staff offer surveys (draught, barge, on/offhire, bunker- and hold conditions), tallying, supervision and operations (vessel operations, gate operations, damage reporting, inspections) as well as measuring, (sampling, temperature control, density checks ..).

Raf De Wit continues as Terminal Director
For DFDS, the main activity has been vessel operations, gate operations and tallying. Raf de Wit, the owner of the company, has been heading the operations at Mercatordok Multimodal Terminal for DFDS for many years, and now he officially becomes Terminal Director for Ghent for DFDS. He continues to report to Sam De Wilde.

Strategic fit
“GWM is a great fit for DFDS as we have worked well together for many years, and they already handle many of our activities. Additionally, we see a further growth potential in the other services offered to third party customers. It increases the broad range of services already offered by DFDS in Belgium and enables us to offer any service requested by our end customers ourselves,” says Sam De Wilde. “I welcome all the new colleagues to DFDS and look forward to working with them.”

Raf de Wit, previous owner of GWM, will continue as Terminal Director reporting to Sam de Wilde

Seaport Police does a check for illegal migrants in Vlaardingen

The Seaport Police organised for the second time a 100% check for immigrants in trailers on our terminal in Vlaardingen. The first time was in October 2018, where 11 immigrants were found.

Richard van Kleef, Manager General Stevedoring, Gate & Security, says “As we see a rise in illegal migrants trying to pass the border to the UK, the authorities once again organised, in cooperation with DFDS, a 100% check on every trailer that was coming into our gates prior for shipping. The check took place this morning between 05:15hrs – 09:30hrs and 200 units were checked. There were no illegal migrants found which we call a success.”

“The media was also invited and had permission to get insight into how the Seaport Police and authorities check a trailer with dog patrols. Normally we have our own dog patrol but for today we received assistance from the authorities.
We are extremely pleased for this cooperation with the authorities. We believe we all can learn by sharing experiences to ensure we all improve our skills and security, which is necessary in the light of the growing number of illegal migrants trying to get to the UK via our terminal and ships.”

Swedish minister visits Port of Karlshamn

Swedish Minister for Infrastructure, Tomas Eneroth, on the floor informing about investments and future plans

Last Friday, Tomas Eneroth, the Swedish Minister for infrastructure, visited the Port of Karlshamn and met with representatives for haulage companies and drivers. The purpose of the visit was to learn about the current situation, with everything from legislation to current and upcoming challenges and opportunities with electrification, autonomous cars and trucks, alternative fuel types etc.
Among the participants were the CEO of Port of Karlshamn, the chairman of the board of Port of Karlshamn and the city’s mayor.

Johan Stegerö, Freight Manager, says: “It was interesting to hear the minister’s thoughts and insight regarding investments on a national level, future plans and his thoughts on the lack of domestic drivers and the need to make the transport industry more attractive. In relation to this there were some follow-up comments in the Q&A about how to secure jobs and haulage domestically rather than foreign hauliers performing domestic traffic. The minister also commented that the investments by Stena Line and others is well in line with the government’s wish to move more transport from land to sea.”

CEO of Port of Karlshamn provided insight into the port’s operations and its various businesses, where DFDS’ development and investment for the massive newbuildings was mentioned.

Vlaardingen takes measures against an increasing number of migrants

In line with the recent development in our other terminals, the Vlaardingen terminal has seen an increased number of migrants trying to cross the North Sea to the UK. Last Saturday, security and dock patrols found 34 migrants in a trailer driven by a Romanian truck driver. The migrants are of unknown nationality.

“We have seen a trend lately, where an unusual number of trailer bookings are made via external agents and not directly with DFDS. This has made us suspicious and as a culmination on this trend and due to the already increasing number of migrants trying to cross the North Sea, we have made the decision to implement a new procedure. This procedure aims at increasing the chances of finding potential migrants before they cross to the UK,” says Ralph Bosveld, Operations Director at the Vlaardingen terminal.

Taking the right precautions is worthwhile for DFDS. If the UK border control finds migrants crossing from Vlaardingen, they will be sent back with a DFDS vessel, occupying cabins and leaving DFDS to pay the cost of the security staff that are obligated to escort them back to the Netherlands.

“On the terminal, we have for instance installed thermal imaging cameras at the gates and organised additional canine dock patrols that are effective at locating migrants who might be hiding in or under trailers. Additionally, every time a booking is made via a questionable external agent, our colleagues will flag the booking internally to make sure that the trailers will be checked on arrival. This method led to locating the 34 migrants.”

“It is always great to see that the initiatives we set in motion are working, and I want to thank the security crew and teams at Vlaardingen for doing a fantastic job,” concludes Ralph.

Last Saturday, security and dock patrols found 34 migrants in a trailer driven by a Romanian truck driver. The migrants are of unknown nationality.