Successful integration model for Freeco

Collaboration is the key word in the great progress of the work to integrate business, systems and our 31 colleagues from Finnish Freeco Logistics into DFDS. The successful model can be used for future acquisitions.

At the end of last year, the Finnish Freeco Logistics became part of DFDS. This boosted our presence in the Finnish transport market, and our international business in Finland is now much larger and includes trailer, container, full-loads, part-loads, special cargo, project cargo, and contract logistics.

However, Freeco doesn’t become a fully integrated part of DFDS overnight. It takes a lot of work, and an integration team consisting of managers from both Freeco and DFDS, from HR, Finance, IT & Digital and Strategy & Consulting has worked hard to integrate Freeco into DFDS and secure the planned benefits.

Among the great results are substantial savings from suppliers, negotiated on the basis of new combined volumes.

Furthermore, the team devised a new business plan for the combined Finland business. “Up until 2023, we still plan to grow business by 10% year on year, mainly via strong collaboration with the Logistics offices in Gothenburg, Oslo, Karlshamn and Liepaja. But also, in Hamburg, Vlaardingen, Ghent, and in the UK, says Timo Ruusunen, MD Finland.


Timo Ruusunen, MD Finland

“Collaboration has been great with our new colleagues at DFDS. We have already seen the first cross-selling of loads between the offices, new business coming in and volumes increasing.  Of course, the coronavirus crisis will put a mark on developments, but so far, we are certainly on the right track for the longer term,” he says.

Access to DFDS network
Our new colleagues now have access to DFDS’ IT network (incl. the Bridge) and are on track to get on Velocity on 1 May.

HR has defined a leadership training program for managers including an introduction to The DFDS Way.

Digital/Branding are migrating the Freeco website to our dfds.com and assisting the change of on-site signage from Freeco branding to DFDS branding

“The timing will be affected by the Coronavirus situation, but things are well planned, and it has been incredible to witness the dedication we have seen from new and old colleagues alike. I can’t thank you enough for the  work you have done  and the enthusiasm you have demonstrated,“ says Valdemar Warburg, VP BU Nordic.


Valdemar Warburg, VP and Head of BU Nordic

The integration team consists of Timo Ruusunen (MD Finland), Kimmo Salmi (Logistics Director), Henri Hoikkala (Operations Director) and workstream leads (HR: Karolina Landin & Kristina Ziuliene, Finance: Jeppe Skivild & Marianne Peltola, IT: Chris Coughlin, Digital/Branding: Fadrique Avalle-Arce & Amalie Brodersen) with support from S&C (Morten Rødgaard-Hansen) and overseen by Valdemar Warburg (VP BU Nordic), Anne Rømer (CFO Logistics) and Niklas Andersson (EVP Logistics).

Niklas Andersson, EVP and Head of the Logistics Division, hopes that this approach will set the standard for future integrations.  “High involvement and a rigid structure with clear timelines have proven to be successful, and we will use the learnings for future acquisitions. Thank you to everyone for your hard work!”


Niklas Andersson, EVP and Head of the Logistics Division

See more about Freeco Logistics here.

April 3, 2020