“We carry for women” going strong

We Carry for Women, the CSR project by BU MED and the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGIDER), continues providing benefits to Turkish women entrepreneurs.

The project has been making a real contribution to the business world by transporting women entrepreneurs’ products to European countries for free. As an ongoing project, it is already making a notable change in the industry. Applications were received during the summer of 2020 and BU MED recently started transporting women entrepreneurs’ goods all over Europe. So far, BU Med and logistics partners carried 6 units from 5 different companies of women entrepreneurs. More is being planned for the rest of the year. 

The logistic partners, which are also BU Med’s key accounts, are a key part during this project. We Carry for Women is currently supported by 21 logistic partners, 2 of which are new accounts and joined the project after having heard in the pressAll these logistic partners collaborated willingly with the women entrepreneurs and showed them their wholehearted support. In addition, the project received more media visibility via the logistic partners’ communication activities. 

Besides the traditional press activities, the project’s communication is supported with a TV show and on social media. Nearly 6 million people were reached with the traditional and digital communication activities since July. 

“We Carry for Women”, which is a union of forces in the logistics sector during the pandemic, allowed DFDS BU MED to stand out as an opinion leader in the logistics sector and its stakeholders. 

Meet Danny Annan

As a Danish owned company in Turkey, the diplomatic links between the countries are of importance to DFDS. In this video, you will meet Danny Annan, the newly appointed Danish ambassador in Turkey.

Özlem Dalga, Corporate Communications & PR Manager in BU Med, interviews Danny Annan about how it has been for him to arrive in a foreign country during the Covid-19 pandemic, and he also explains about the activities still going on despite the pandemic.

Danny Annan describes how he sees the ambassador’s role in Turkey, and how he wishes to strenghten the commercial and political bonds between Turkey and Denmark. Finally, he gives his point of view on the BU Med CSR initiative “We Carry for Women”.

Interview with Lars Hoffmann

Listen to this interview with Lars Hoffmann, Vice President & Head of Business Unit Mediterranean, and hear him explain the background for the increased focus on DFDS’ intermodal services (combined rail-freight services).

New rail system in BU Med

You might have noticed that use of rail services as part of freight transport chain  intermodal transportation  is developing throughout DFDS. The Intermodal Department and Trieste terminal are well versed in this practice and are currently running about 56 round trips per week to many European destinations. 

To improve the shift from road to rail and ferry, BU Med has successfully implemented a new system called r2L-traileruse. It is devised by transport and logistics company and important customer for BU Med, VegaBefore going into what the new system can do, here is some context. 

Normally, only semitrailers that can be lifted by crane can be loaded onto trainswith a few exceptions. To overcome this, we use systems that use special equipment at the terminal and on the wagons. They ensure the loading of units which, due to their technical characteristics, cannot be loaded in the traditional way. 

Unfortunately, some units were still not compatible with our previous system, Nikrasa. This meant that some of our customers had to find other solutions to reach their desired destination. 

At the Logistics & Transportation Trade Show in Munich, Transport Logistics 2019, I was one of the first to be informed by VEGA about a new system that was being developed for units that could not be lifted by crane. 

New system, new benefits
It’s now a great pleasure to announce that, on 13 October 2020, the first Vega r2L-traileruse adapter was used on the Trieste – Bettembourg train. This allowed DFDS to load a FullSped frigo trailer that previously was unable to be loaded onto the train with the Nikrasa system. 

But these are not the only advantages of the new r2L-trailerus system from VEGAOther advantages: 

  • It is usable on DFDS current wagon sets. 
  • No extra equipment necessary in terminals. 
  • A wider range of units can be loaded onto the train other than by crane, for example glass trailers osilo trailers (pictured below). 
  • From mid-November 2020 it will also be possible to carry short silo trailers. 

The change of equipment is already complete, and we are offering six slots for trailers that cannot be lifted by crane for every Trieste – Bettembourg – Trieste train. 

Our intention is to offer this service on the Trieste – Cologne line in 2021. 

We are looking forward to welcoming back old customers who we were not able to satisfy and obviously new ones! 

Fuat Pamukcu, Vice President, BU Med Sales, says: “I look forward to developing more innovative intermodal solutions together with our new intermodal competence centre. 


DFDS at Barcolana Regatta

Even though large ferries are more our style, our colleagues at BU Med could not miss out on the opportunity to increase awareness about DFDS and our activities at the festive Barcolana Regatta. 

The Barcolana Regatta is an international sailing regatta and draws the largest number of racing sailboats in the world. Traditionally there are more than 300,000 visitors attending the event to look at some 2,000 sailing boats in the Gulf of Trieste. The event is over a week of celebrations on land and at sea and turns Trieste into the European capital of sailing.  

Jens Peder Nielsen, Managing Director in Trieste, was there to welcome some of the visitors. He says: “DFDS had set up on the main square of Trieste with its own 45’ container, distributing information material and family-friendly gifts. This was a good way to create visibility at local level and tell who we are, what we do and what binds us to Trieste and its port. Lars Hoffman, who was on a visit, also had a good chance to experience the impressive event and see our setup. Well done to all involved. 

“Unfortunately, due to very bad weather and a strong bora wind, the sailing race on Sunday 11 October was cancelled, to the disappointment of everybody involved. However, safety comes first and under the extreme weather conditions the safety of the participants could not be guaranteed and cancellation was definitely the right decision.” 

Mitja Gialuz, Chairman of the sailing club organising Barcolana, Società Velica di Barcola e Grignano, says: “We were glad to welcome DFDS to Barcolana. In such an intense and complex year, it is worth highlighting the foresight of anyone supporting local communities and events fostering their economy. This partnership proves once again that the sea is a strong bond from which new synergies and projects can originate, for the benefit of all. 

DFDS at Digital Transformation Summit

Our colleagues at the IT Development Center in Turkey help us with digital solutions and have already delivered multiple apps for both our passenger and freight business.

Therefore, Jan Berslen Devrim, Senior Director of the centre, was invited to a Digital Transformation Summit hosted by Bloomberg HT in Turkey.
At the summit, he shared his knowledge and view about the centre’s work, artificial intelligence, digitalization, and new technologies in the logistics industry.
Jan, says: “I believe that the logistics industry can generate more data than any other sector, and we must use all that data to make better decisions and to predict future information systems in logistics.”

New mobile apps
“At the Development Centre, we aim to focus on AI and machine learning to develop more efficient solutions. Currently, we are working on mobile apps for booking and solutions to support the management of storage and movement of units at the terminals,” he says.

National broadcast
The summit was broadcasted on national TV and more than 2.5 million people reached the webinar via the Bloomberg HT website and 267K people watched it live on Bloomberg HT social media accounts.
“It was a pleasure to bring attention to our work at the summit. The team is working hard to achieve better solutions for our customers and stakeholders. This webinar and other speakers prove that no one can survive without cutting-edge long-term solutions” says Jan.

New Patras-Trieste service

Gallipoli Seaways will operate between Patras and Trieste. Here she is seen in Patras.

To accommodate a welcoming increase in market demand, BU Med has started a new shipping line between Trieste and Patras. Previously, Patras only served as an intermediate stop between Pendik and Trieste but will now provide regular and reliable shipping between Italy and Greece with a dedicated service offering two weekly round-trips.

Lars Hoffmann, Vice President and Head of BU Meç, says: “We are very delighted to add this new line to the wide range of high quality services in the Mediterranean.”

BU Med launches Safety First

As shown in the video last week, BU Med launched the “Safety First” programme in late July, which will be implemented in all departments and locations.

The main target of the Safety Programme is to ensure the safety of employees, to increase awareness and to improve the existing Occupational Health & Safety System by engaging all our colleagues and the supplier/subcontractor employees with whom we work.

The steps in this programme are as follows:

  • “Safety First” meetings have started for all colleagues
  • The DFDS Safety Guide has been distributed
  • “Safety First” posters at terminals, on board ships and in related areas
  • The Health & Safety team continues to provide information about how to implement the Safety First programme, and how to report accident/incident/near-miss situations
  • Setting up a “Security Incident Reporting System”, with “SIRS” posters, ensuring that all employees can report incidents easily.

Özge Süalp Altun, Head of Health & Safety Environment at BU Med, says: “Although we already have a health and safety system, we know that health and safety need to be continuously improved. Safety is not only the job of health and safety specialists: it involves all employees, and I think we will maximize awareness of safety at DFDS with this company-wide Safety First project. This programme will support us in making this work more efficient by setting the standard in all locations and business units at DFDS. I believe that awareness will increase as the information is shared.”

BU Med: One year with Sète

The Sète team celebrating one year with the route.

Precisely one year ago, BU Med moved all sailings between Turkey and France to Sète due to more intermodal opportunities and being strategically right for our customers as it is close to most of our markets such as Spain and Portugal.

With large vessels that can carry up to 300 trucks each trip, the route to and from Sète has made 24,147 transportations on Pendik/Yalova-Sète and 29,031 on Sète-Pendik/Yalova.

With the inclusion of our colleagues from the closed office in Toulon, the Sète team has become a strong unit that works to develop local business and operations. They are currently planning to make train connections in the Port of Sète and set up buildings for recreational activities for drivers in the port.

Ayberk Eskin, France Route Director, says: “I think the improvement we have shown in one year is really admirable. We started this route in the middle of a crisis and had serious problems at the beginning, but we have now reached an excellent service level. I sincerely thank all my friends in France, Turkey, ports, agencies and vessels who contributed for this to happen.”

Jimmy Marolle, Agency Director France, says: “It is now one year ago from when I stood under heavy rain and saw the first call of UND Ege (now Gallipoli Seaways) and I am proud of what we have achieved from that time until now with excellent teamwork at all levels to make this route a success”.

DFDS to establish Competence Center with primeRail

In joint venture with intermodal operator primeRail, DFDS Med will build an intermodal competence Centre in Cologne. Here are Peder Gellert and Lars Hoffmann at the day of the signing in Hamburg with Patrick Zilles (sitting), CEO of primeRail, and Kurt Pelster, Board Member in primeRail.

Today, a significant part of DFDS’ cargo transports between Turkey and Europe is managed from DFDS’ Mediterranean head office in Istanbul through intermodal solutions via Trieste.

In order to grow our intermodal solutions, we will, in addition to our existing set-up, establish a new Intermodal Competence Centre in the Cologne area where focus will be on developing competitive solutions.

DFDS will do this in a joint venture with rail operator primeRail that provides solutions to maximize mobility through innovative and cost-effective intermodal solutions.

Lars Hoffmann, Vice President and Head of DFDS’ Mediterranean unit, says” With our shared knowledge and expertise, we are confident that we will create a strong platform for developing even more efficient intermodal solutions. This will not only benefit our customers, but it will certainly also support the work to reduce our impact on the environment. ”

primeRail started successfully as an intermodal operator in 2019 and has already developed efficient digital solutions and will now immediately starts building the new DFDS Competence Center.

Peder Gellert and Patrick Zilles

Rebranding of BU MED vessels nears completion

You might remember Hasan Goler, Operations Superintendent, striking gold as he came up with the idea for renaming the BU Med fleet. It was to be after the Turkish UNESCO world heritage sites as part of a comprehensive rebranding.

Gemak Group at the Gemak Shipyard has been carrying out the rebranding that will finish at the end of June. BU Med will then be able to proudly present a fully rebranded fleet in DFDS livery and with new, unique names.

Cemil Bayulgen will be the last of the 12 ferries to be rebranded. She will be named Galata Seaways (formerly Cemil Bayulgen). Other names combined with ‘Seaways’ include: Cappadocia (UND Atilim), Olympos (UND Birlik), Assos (Saffet Ulusoy), Artemis (UN Marmara), Aspendos (UN Pendik), Dardanelles (UN Trieste), Zeugma (UN Akdeniz), Sumela (UN Karadeniz), Myra (Cunet Solakoglu), Gallipolli (UND Ege) and Pergamon (UN Istanbul).

Lars Hoffmann, Vice President and Head of BU Mediterranean, says: “This shows how far we have come in making UN RoRo an integral and essential part of DFDS. I am very happy to present a fleet that customers and the public can associate with DFDS and with names that mean something to the local communities in the Mediterranean, as well as being well-known internationally.”

Kemal Bozkurt, VP of Operations in BU Med, says: “The rebranding of the UN RoRo fleet was one of the main pillars in the integration plan. The plan has a comprehensive scope involving major areas that need to be integrated and aligned such as in Finance, Procurement, Sales, Operations, Technical Organisation, HR, Digital, Marketing and IT.

“Even though it has been a challenge, everyone involved has embraced the purpose to learn from the DFDS way of doing business while respecting and adapting to the local culture. This has truly resulted in the creation of a unique DFDS company culture.

“Now we are almost at the final step of a process that will end the UN RoRo era with the last vessel in the Turkish fleet to be rebranded.”


Most of the rebranded vessels from the BU Med fleet. Artemis, Pergamon, Olympos and Galata are missing.

BU MED connects women entrepreneurs

BU MED’s DFDS Academy brought Turkish KAGİDER (Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey) and Italian AIDDA (Italian Association of Women Entrepreneurs and Managers) together with the participation of Marie Christine Oghly, World President of World Association of Women Entrepreneurs (FCEM), on Wednesday, June 10th.

The meeting started with the opening speeches of Marie Christine Oghly and National Presidents of AIDDA and KAGİDER, Maria Claudia Torlasco Mastelli and Emine Erdem respectively. During the webinar, members of AIDDA and KAGİDER discussed the ways in which Turkish and Italian entrepreneurs are planning to relaunch the economy after the pandemic.

Members from two businesswomen associations, mostly active in tourism and health sectors, shared their experiences and best cases during the Covid-19 period, together with their newly initiated projects to inspire further cooperation between Italy and Turkey.

National presidents of AIDDA and KAGIDER also “virtually” signed the Memorandum of Understanding to officialize cooperation and the beginning of a more intense dialogue. This will be the first step in a series of other collaborations with similar associations in Europe and in the world.

Özlem Dalga, BU MED Corporate Communications Manager, says: “Originally, this meeting was supposed to be in Trieste, however I am very glad that we were still able to bring these passionate women entrepreneurs from Turkey and Italy together anyhow. We truly believe that the “maritime bridge” which connects Turkey to the city of Trieste will get stronger with this cooperation. We also believe wholeheartedly that this meeting and DFDS Academy will support and empower women in business especially in tourism during the new normal.”

You can see the full webinar here.

The special moment where National presidents of KAGIDER and AIDDA, Emine Erdem (top) and Maria Claudia Torlasco Mastelli (at the bottom) respectively, “virtually” signed the Memorandum of Understanding.

DFDS Academy launches webinars

Top, from let to right: Özlem Dalga, Corporate Communications Manager in BU MED and Arzu Ekiz Akyol, Ekol Logistics Turkey Country Manager.
Bottom, from left to right: Zeybek Atabek, Tur Transit Executive President Şebnem and Berna Akyıldız, Association of International Forwarding and Logistics Service Providers Board Member.

BU Med’s DFDS Academy, where customers familiarize with DFDS’ brand, network, and way of doing business, came back after a long break. This time to demonstrate the impact of Covid-19 outbreak with leaders of logistics sector and monitor the Covid-19 period most effectively.

DFDS Academy has successfully completed two webinars regarding “The Definition of New Normal in Logistics” and “The Continuity of Trade During Covid-19 Period” with the participation of board members of key accounts such as Ekol Logistics, Mars Logistics and associations like UTIKAD, Association of International Forwarding and Logistics Service Providers. Alongside sales and operations employees from different companies, DFDS Academy extended the target group with the webinars and reached 890K people (approx.) through press and social media channels.

DFDS Academy is re-designed as an online platform where people working in logistics share knowledge. For the upcoming weeks, more webinars and several online initiatives are planned by the BU MED Corporate Communications team.

Özlem Dalga, Corporate Communications Manager in BU MED, says: “Now that international offline events are out of the question for a while, we found the best solution was to carry our marketing and communication events online in order to help people to network and have discussions on topics of the industry through arranging webinars and online events. And we realised that there is a need for our community to keep engaging. With the use of the webinar schedule and online events, we are underlining our company’s position as the sector leader during the post COVID-19 stage in order to accelerate the recovery process.”

BU Med celebrates International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day was celebrated all over the world last Sunday on 8 March. The day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also marked a call to action for accelerating women’s equality and to support and empower women, not only on this day, but on all other days as well.

For this important occasion, our colleagues from BU Med took time to reflect on how it is to work at DFDS and in the maritime industry in general as a woman. See the great video above where some of our colleagues share their point of view and wish everyone a happy International Women’s Day.

BU Med signs new collective agreement

From left: Seran Yüzbaşıoğlu, HR Director; Kemal Bozkurt, VP Operations, and representatives of the Turkish Seafarers’ Union celebrate a successful collective bargaining process

After a series of meetings with the Turkish Seafarers’ Union, a new, collective agreement has been signed for the benefit of our colleagues on board BU Med vessels and at the terminals. The agreement has already come into force and is valid until the end of 2021.

Seran Yüzbaşıoğlu, HR Director, says: “The new collective agreement provides improved working conditions and a number of benefits.

“We took into account the Bearing Survey results while preparing the agreement, as equal opportunities and working conditions are the most significant areas requiring further improvement. With the agreement, I believe that we are going to improve our colleagues’ motivation and job satisfaction.”

Kemal Bozkurt, VP Operations, says: “We experienced a very positive, collaborative negotiation process with the union. The outcome is much more satisfactory for both parties, and we have managed to conclude some of the long-standing issues.

“The terms improved to 2 months on and 1 month off for the officers and 3 months on and 1 month off for the ratings. Additional social benefits and working conditions are now aligned with the rest of DFDS. The wage levels for land-based employees have been standardized.

“I believe these improvements will contribute to increasing yet further the loyalty and dedication of our colleagues. I would like to thank all who participated in the process.”

New Director in BU Med

Önder Ulaş Başboğa, former Sales Marketing Manager at Ulusoy Sealines, started his new role as Sales & Business Development Director in BU MED on 18 February. He will be reporting to Fuat Pamukçu, VP Sales, Marketing, Business Development & Strategy.

Önder will be working on developing sales and marketing strategies and creating new business opportunities for BU Med. In his new role, he will also focus on existing and future trends of operational methods which are applicable and supports BU Med.

Önder says, “First of all I am glad to be a member of the DFDS family. Wıth my experience in the RoRo business, I look forward to work on customer satisfaction, all sales activities and market strategies of the BU. Along with my colleagues, I am certain that we will move the DFDS brand and services into an even better prestigious position.

Fuat says: “The first block of DFDS Way is to be customer driven, and I believe Önder’s appointment as the Sales Director for BU MED is an important step in promoting DFDS’ Ferry services and brand in the Turkish market, not only to the large logistics customers but to a larger variety of Turkish logistics and transport companies. I warmly welcome Önder to the DFDS family and wish him success in his new role.”

Testing new fuel performance programme

BU Med vessels to test advanced fuel saving system. The team implementing the fuel-saving programme – from the left: Hasan Göler, Operations Superintendent, Rune Daae, Project Superintendent, Lina Christensen, Naval Architect, Ahmet Ender, Performance Superintendent and Jacob Pedersen, Head of Projects & Implementation.


A big step in fuel efficiency for DFDS’ fleet is in sight, and Technical Organisation have exciting news to share.

Recently they began the implementation of a new Fuel Performance Program (FPP) on seven BU Med vessels.

The system is AI-based, and it is expected to lead to fuel savings of around 6% and up to 10% on each vessel. It supports decision making for the officers on the bridge, taking all factors affecting fuel performance into account: from wind and waves to speed, water depth and more.

Additionally, the system provides the operators with insight into exactly where the fuel is spent between those areas, automatically doing a large amount of analysis that is easy to work with and helps officers make efficiency adjustments.

Jacob Pedersen, Head of Projects & Implementation, says: “Making a fuel saving upgrade of this scale will have a great impact if implemented across DFDS’ fleet. It saves the environment from a substantial amount of emissions, in line with reaching IMO (International Maritime Organisation)’s 40% reduction by 2030 compared to 2008 numbers.”

“The FPP is a revolution in the way we work with fuel performance optimisation. It’s a combined program that connects output from simple, high frequency auto-logged sensor data with continuous back-office support.”

How the FPP works

1. Installation of sensors to continuously collect data without burying the crew in the tedious manual data collection work. New hardware and software will leverage the knowledge in the collected data.

2. New decision support tools on board the vessels to dynamically advise on the optimum speed, route and trim to minimise the fuel consumption during the voyage.

3. Data will be used ashore for decision support as well as to evaluate the continuous improvements that are constantly carried out and to ensure that good practices are shared fleet wide.

Lina Christensen, Naval Architect, says: “Today we do performance monitoring differently across the fleet. The FPP is meant to standardise our approach, transforming DFDS into one of the most connected and AI influenced ship operators in the world. We have great collaboration with colleagues in the Mediterranean fleet, and this is an optimal region to start in because of their well-developed fuel reporting already in place.”

The work is carried out in close collaboration between Projects & Implementations, BU Med and the crews onboard the vessels. P&I and BU Med will evaluate the collected data and give an update on the testing and the further scope of the project at a later date.

A trip around locations in BU Med

Jimmy Marolle (left) and Lars Hoffmann (right) with the Socotu Shipping team

The first week of February was a busy one for Lars Hoffmann, Vice President and Head of BU Mediterranean and Jimmy Marolle, Route & Agency Director. Together they went on a trip to Tunesia and France meeting colleagues, local partners, and agencies as well as seeing the facilities. They ended the trip in Sète for a town hall meeting.

The purpose of the trip was to give Lars Hoffmann an overview and a first-hand impression of the facilities at the Port of Rades and La Goulette, the two ports that we are calling in Tunisia and of course getting a chance to talk to colleagues about the operation and local business.

Newly promoted Jimmy Marolle, Route & Agency Director, says “In Tunesia, we met our local partners, third party agent and transport and logistics company, Socotu, who has represented DFDS for over 20 years and Tunisian ferry company Cotunav with whom we have a technical partnership with and the port authorities as well. We introduced them to our new structure and organization in BU Med and discussed cooperation reinforcement as well as Turkey-Tunisia business opportunities and possibilities.”

“We concluded our trip in France with a town hall meeting at the newly established office in Sète where it was a pleasure meeting our enthusiastic team handling the Istanbul – Sète route. The meeting focused, among other things, on recent development in the Business Unit, and how we can contribute to a successful delivery of our Win23 ambitions” says Lars Hoffmann, Vice President and Head of BU Mediterranean.

Photo taken at the 
office in Sète: From left to right: Alexandre Sabatte, Lars Hoffmann, Atakan Alkan, Marjorie Magnier, Jimmy Marolle, Julien Mestre, Saïd Sid, Cécilia Escolano, Arthur Claude.


Lars Hoffmann accompanied by Zohra Souab from Socotu in the middle of a tour at the Port of Rades.

BU Med is targeting improved Health and Safety

Özge Süalp Altun is new Head of Health and Safety in BU Med.


BU Med is targeting improved HSE (Health, Safety & Environment) standards in operations as an important goal for 2020. As a new resource for this purpose, C. Özge Süalp Altun started her role as Head of HSE in BU Med on 3 February, reporting to Kemal Bozkurt, VP Operations for BU Med.

Özge will be working to improve standards on Health and Safety Management on terminals and vessels, aiming to establish a common monitoring, reporting and management approach within the unit. She is a “Class A Occupational Health & Safety Specialist” with experience in international working environments.

Kemal Bozkurt, VP Operations, says: “Following the unfortunate incident we had in Trieste back in October, 2019, we have launched an Health and Safety project to review and improve the HSE standards within our area of responsibility.”

“Detailed analysis and field inspections were conducted within the scope of the project. The action plan is being executed with most of it are already in place, and we are now restructuring the Health & Safety organisation to further strengthen our operational control in the field. I’m excited to see the contribution of Özge and wish her the best for her new endavour.”

Özge says, “I am very excited to be a member of such a big international family and I have felt the warm welcome from the very start. I’m also fully aware of the challenges ahead of me and I believe that I will contribute to the new Occupational Health and Safety structure with my experience and knowledge.”

Phoenix implemented on Sète-Yalova

Our colleagues working on the IT and Digital integration of our Mediterranean offices into the DFDS network

Following months of dedicated work both from the development teams as well as the local offices learning the new ways of working, Phoenix, our core IT system for the freight business, went live on the Sète-Yalova route and reverse route on 22 and 23 January. This is the first ex-UN Ro-Ro route to switch to the new booking system in BU Mediterranean. More routes will follow in the next couple of months.

This marks an important milestone in the IT and Digital integration of our Mediterranean offices into the DFDS network as well as a contribution to Pillar B of the Win23 strategy. The successful go-live required a great effort in preparation by the Phoenix, EDI, MyFreight, BI, Website, and Marketing teams as well as the valuable input of our offices in Sète, Yalova and Istanbul in order to come up with smart solutions under the coordination of Michael Herbaek and Attila Gulyas as project leads.

“As with any project like this, the implementation process was not without challenges, however these have been efficiently managed through proactive coordination efforts and quick solutions by the team.” says Daniel Capes, FM Team Lead.

“Our teams of superusers, system analysts and developers were deployed across three locations in close coordination through the day, working together with our colleagues in Sète, Yalova and Istanbul to get everything ready for the sailings. We are thankful for the hard work of everyone involved.”  explains Sara Ryden – Product Owner Phoenix, BU MED.

Phoenix to be implemented on other routes 
This first go-live is just the start of the Digital and IT implementation roadmap in BU Mediterranean. Phoenix will be introduced on almost a bi-weekly basis to new routes and the entire process is expected to be completed at the end of March.

“We are pleased that the first go-live has been successful and look forward to providing our customers and colleagues in the Mediterranean with an improved Digital experience.” says Lars Hoffman, Vice President & Head of Business Unit Mediterranean.

Aligning with the rest of DFDS
“Some of the positive effects of the new system are already starting to show, while it is still early days, we can definitely tell that there will be significant efficiency benefits in aligning systems processes with the rest of DFDS” says Alihan Murat Tutuncu, Phoenix Superuser in Istanbul.

“We have put an enormous effort in implementing Phoenix in BU Med. This was a team effort so I would like to thank everyone who involved in the development phase. Once the users are fully up to speed with using Phoenix in these weeks, MyFreight will be introduced gradually to the customers as the new way of making bookings with DFDS” says Aslihan Tur – Software Supervisor.

Besides the mentioned systems, GTMS will also be soon implemented for gate operations in Pendik Terminal.

Our colleagues from the office in Yalova

Our colleagues from the office in Sète

Promotions in BU Med

Malte Lühnen and Jimmy Marolle

New Operations Manager for France route
Malte Lühnen, currently working in BU Baltic as Bookings Manager, will move from Klaipėda to İstanbul for a new position as Operations Manager. He will take up his new role on 2 March and will report to Ayberk Eskin, Route Director France.

Malte will be working on operations management for France and Phoenix integration.

Ayberk Eskin, Route Director France, says: “I’m excited that Malte will join my team. With his experience and know-how, he will provide a great contribution, especially in the solution to the operational problems we have experienced in Sète and in the transition to Phoenix and MyFreight.”

Aleksej Slipenciuk, Route Director & Agency Director, says: “I know Malte from my time in Klaipėda, where he lifted routing booking to the art of yield management. We will miss him, however I’m sure that he will contribute much more in BU Med and that step is best both for DFDS and Malte’s personal development. I wish him good luck with his new tasks.”

Lars Hoffmann, VP and Head of BU Med, says: “I look forward to having Malte in BU Med, as I know his capabilities from my previous work in BU Baltic. Malte and Caris Petersen will run our France and Italy routes in close cooperation, as they previous did on the Kiel – Klaipėda route. I am sure they will be a great benefit, as we will start integrating Phoenix and the DFDS Way of working. A special thanks to my colleagues in BU Baltic, especially Anders Refsgaard, Vice President and Head of BU Baltic, for accepting two colleagues to Istanbul from BU Baltic.”

Jimmy Marolle, new Agency Director of France
Furthermore, Jimmy Marolle is promoted to Agency Director, France, within BU Med and covering both our locations in Marseille and Sète.

He will also continue to act as Route Director for Marseille – Tunisia and report to Lars Hoffmann, VP and Head of BU Med.

Jimmy has been working at DFDS since 2012. He is an ex-employee of LD Lines (ferry section of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs) and used to be based in Paris. He moved to Marseille where he established the Marseille office in 2014 and the Sète office in July 2019.

“I am so happy to be part of this exciting new challenge and to contribute to the continuous development of DFDS in southern France,” says Jimmy.

Lars Hoffmann, Head of BU Med, says: “Jimmy has for many years been responsible for Marseille – Tunisia. He transferred to BU Med when we acquired UN RoRo in 2018, and during 2019 we decided to add Sète, which came under the management of Jimmy.

We have now closed down Toulon and terminated our external agency agreement. Jimmy has established a new team in Sète and he is now in charge of all BU Med activities in France. He has been with DFDS for many years, shown his capability to maintain and develop our activities in southern France, especially during our challenging times in Sète. I am glad we have Jimmy and his team in Sète. They make a difference to BU Med, and it is therefore also a pleasure for me that Jimmy gets this promotion.”

DFDS visits Turkish Minister of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications

On 30 January, Torben Carlsen, CEO, Peder Gellert Pedersen, EVP & Head of Ferry Division, and Lars Hoffmann, VP and Head of BU Med, met with Mehmet Cahit Turhan, the Turkish Minister of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications, to extend and strengthen the cooperation between DFDS and Turkey.

Ali Kurumahmut, former member of the Council of State appointed by the President of the Republic of Turkey, Selim Dursun, Deputy Minister, and Ahmet Selçuk Sert, Deputy Undersecretary & General Manager of Maritime and Inland Waters Regulation, also attended the meeting on behalf of the Ministry. Levent Şinel, Port Operations Manager, and Arif Akkoz, Agency Manager were also at the meeting on behalf of BU Med, alongside Lars Hoffmann.

During the meeting, the history of DFDS and current investments, including IT, made by DFDS in Turkey since 2018 were discussed by Turkish officials and DFDS executives. They also highlighted DFDS’ trust in Turkey and the Turkish logistics sector as one of the most crucial elements, and discussed the upcoming investments plan.

Lars Hoffmann says: “It was great to have Torben and Peder in Ankara to meet the Minister of Transport and the Undersecretary. The Ministry is handling most of the formalities relating to our Turkish-flagged vessels, terminals etc. It is important for BU Med and DFDS to have good relationships with the authorities in Turkey. I am sure this visit will benefit BU Med in the long term, as the Turkish Government values our investments in Turkey, and understands our business. A special thanks to Arif and Levent, who have achieved the extraordinary feat of establishing this meeting with the help of their relationships.”

The Turkish Minister of Transportation Mehmet Cahit Turhan and Torben Carlsen holding the honorable gift from the minister.

From left: Peder Gellert, Torben Carlsen, Mehmet Cahit Turhan, Lars Hoffmann, Selim Dursun, and Levent Sinel

BU Med starts DFDS Academy for customers

Earlier this month, BU Med organised the first “DFDS Academy” inviting more than 70 customers to familiarize with DFDS’ brand, network, and way of doing business.

Our colleagues from BU Med informed the customers about the DFDS network, intermodal operations, freight booking systems and health and safety issues in ports.

Each part had a following Q&A session, where our customers asked questions and expressed some operational issues, which made the event very benefical as our colleagues and customers got the chance to collaborate and make our operations much more efficient and smoother for both sides.

The highlight on the agenda was the customers introduction to MyFreight system, our online booking platform for freight customers, which they had the oppurtunity to see for the first time thanks to a sneak preview video.

Dursun Arslan, Superuser from BU Med, talked about all the details regarding the system. He also mentioned Phoenix to remove all question marks in customers’ minds.

The Academy ended with a great networking session.

Dursun Arslan, Italy & Greece Route Deputy Operations Manager says: “In the Academy, customers from company operations departments were informed about our new booking system My-Freight. Thanks to our managers for providing this initiative and all attendees for joining us on this event. This programme is the first one of the year but of course will not the be last.”

Here’s to a bright new year in BU Med

Our colleagues in Istanbul celebrated New Year’s Eve in high spirits


Colleagues in BU Med rung in the new year a few days early with a cracking New Year’s party in Istanbul loaded with entertainment.

This year’s entertainment was a harmony of different cultural traditions, beginning with an opera performance. Ave Maria by Schubert, O mio babbino caro by Puccini, and Aşkı Fısıldar Sesin by Neveser Kökdeş were sung by Ayşe Yüzbaşıoğlu, a Turkish opera singer.

After this amazing concert, BU Med’s folk dance team performed ‘Horon’, a traditional dance originating from northern Turkey.

Lars Hoffmann, VP and Head of BU Med, made a speech about the important developments in 2019 and gave an annual performance evaluation for the Business Unit. He also presented 15th and 20th anniversary awards, a DFDS-branded commemorative crystal ro-ro ship model, to seven colleagues.

The New Year party concluded with live music performances and dancing. BU Med welcomed 2020 with a night full of great company and fresh motivation.