Master Data launches site and vessel lists

Master Data has recently deployed two lists in the Microsoft Master Data Services (MDS). One presents information about all locations where our colleagues work, while the other is a vessel list showing a set of information about the fleet.

The lists allow better planning of local support, incident handling, planning of equipment replacements etc. and they help prevent mistakes. This is because several Excel spreadsheets in multiple copies in the organisation are replaced with one central location for the data. This eliminates redundancy or inaccurate versions of the same data.

The site list has information about the local site and the active IT equipment being used to access DFDS’ IT systems. Each local site has a unique name and a unique code that once utilised and built into the computer, server and network names can ensure tracking of all IT assets belonging to that specific site.

Currently, the vessel list contains general information about the ships. However, we are planning to collect the technical data from the fleet management system, Sertica, and compile it in Master Data Services. This will result in a complete list.

Once the master data is utilised fully in the MDS, the site list and the vessel master data will be the ‘foundation’ to eventually link that asset information to the necessary operational systems.

Centralised lists contribute to smarter working and smoother integration
Jaenet Viale, IT Operations & Support, and Pawel Siedlecki, Master Data, coordinated the lists, and introduced them for IT Field Engineers and others who need to register the data. Appointed stakeholders also have access to ensure that parts of the data about a site or vessel are updated.

Lloyd Middleton, IT Operations & Support, says: “As the control of adding and removing sites and site codes have been centralised, we are now able to delegate the maintenance of certain information, e.g. users per site, to the local field engineers in IT Operations & Support. This is without extra administrative work and republishing the list. Since the end of March, they have been able to maintain relevant data directly in the MDS.”

DFDS Direct now live

Logistics’ online booking service, DFDS Direct, went live today (15 May) and enabled customers to get a quote, book, track transport and manage freight documents directly from their own computer or phone.

“DFDS Direct displays our ambition to constantly improve our services, and it has already attracted many customers. I am also pleased to say we have received very positive reactions from customers who said they found it quick, simple and easy to use. This is exactly what we intended. To grow our business, we must make it easy for our customers to work with us,” says Niklas Andersson, EVP and Head of the Logistics Division.

DFDS Direct is a significant upgrade to My Logistics, which will be retired in the next few weeks.

“A lot of praise should go to Gauvain Haulot and his DFDS Direct team who succeeded in making it an efficient and extremely valuable service for our customers and DFDS as well as Riccardo Cereser, Product Owner, who was responsible for the design and technical delivery of DFDS Direct”. I am now really looking forward to seeing how it will help us strengthen our business during the coronavirus crisis, and how such digital solutions developed in fruitful co-operation between business and our Technology Division can support growth afterwards,” he says.

Rune Keldsen, Chief Technology Officer and Head of the Technology Division, says: “DFDS Direct is the beginning of an extensive digitisation plan with the goal of handling a substantial majority of the bookings digitally by 2023. And it is an excellent demonstration of how we will support business and growth by improving our integration capabilities and online services.

“We will keep you continually updated about major developments like this.”

IT & Digital kick off the work towards a new operating model

The kick-off of Momentum was the first online townhall meeting with more than 250 participants

On 11 May, more than 250 IT, Digital and colleagues from the other divisions gathered at a live online townhall meeting to kick off the change project “Momentum” towards a new operating model.

CEO Torben Carlsen and CTO Rune Keldsen presented the purpose of Momentum, which is first and foremost to make IT & Digital a more integrated part of DFDS.

Torben says: “IT has over the past years developed from being a cost center to becoming an integrated part of business and business development. Our future is non-existent if there is no Digital & IT to back us up. IT & Digital should not be a supplier and the business not a customer, but instead we will work together in One DFDS. This vision is supported by the entire EMT.”

To support the creation and implementation of the new operating model, Rune and his team have initiated five workstreams: Strategy, Structure, Process, People and Technology. These workstreams are headed by VP Sophie-Kim Chapman, CTO Rune Keldsen, CIO Office Manager Mikkel Growth-Andersen, Digital Fulfilment Manager Liv Olsen and Head of IT Architecture & Strategy Jakob Fredfeldt. If you have questions or suggestions, no matter where in DFDS you are placed, you are more than welcome to reach out to the sponsors.

Rune says: “There is a motivation and a willingness to take the next step towards a new operating model. An operating model which is more agile and flexible, which allows for more autonomy and freedom to act and which is centered around creating an impact and value for DFDS. I am looking very much forward to this change journey together with you, and I highly appreciate your motivation and support.”

Faster delivery of Proof of Delivery

IT Consultants, Logistics, Curzio Carabelli and Simon Brambley.

When DFDS won a tender to transport drinks around Europe for Monster Energy, they  required a Proof of Delivery (POD) receipt within a few hours after delivery. Since the new flows were to begin imminently, IT Consultants Simon Brambley and Curzio Carabelli quickly developed a robot using Kofax RPA (Robotic Process Automation), a software that automates manual workflows.

The robot retrieves Proof of Delivery documents from Velocity after the driver submits them, optimally via the DFDS Driver App. The robot automatically forwards the documents with identifying data to Monster Energy. This automates a process that had to be done manually and accelerates Monsters own invoicing process as well as improving their cash flow (Monster Energy also requested to receive a weekly performance report detailing the elapsed times between delivery and the sending of Proof of Delivery. Thanks to the robot, this is also now in place.

“Fantastic to see results so quickly. Probably won’t seem like much, but to Monster its honestly game changing stuff,” says Josh Jackson, Supply Chain Analytics Manager, Monster Energy.

Proof of Delivery email that are send to the customer shortly after being submitted by the driver

Available for every single client in Logistics

The robot is not only intended for Monster Energy. It is possible to quickly adapt it so other customers can benefit from it as well. In recent days, three customers have begun to receive Proof of Delivery in this way.

Simon Overkær Hansen, DIO Logistics, says: “The cooperation between Monster and DFDS really outline how we can use our IT and Digital capabilities to differentiate us from our competition. I hope and encourage that we in the future will see many other cases, where we actively use IT and Digital in our commercial activities”

Michael Bech, Vice President and Head of BU Continent says: “Digitizing the core is an essential part of the DFDS strategy, and handling Proof of Delivery is an essential part of Logistics. With the developments based on our client’s needs, we have solved a major logistic problem.

“The feedback from Monster Energy speaks for itself but at the same time we have created a tool and a set of processes that can apply to every single client in Logistics. We already see many clients asking us to deliver almost real time information. By using the DFDS Driver App (Truckcom), together with the POD robot, we are among the very few in the industry that can handle the client’s own paperwork instantly, not only dramatically increasing the service to our clients, but also benefiting our own cash and information flow. Great tool and ready to go, so all we need to do is to tell our clients and implement the process” says Michael.

If you have any potential candidates that might benefit from this new capability or to simply find out more, please contact Simon Brambley or Curzio Carabelli. relaunched

Remote working didn’t hold back major relaunch of that now features improved navigation, usability, transparency and a lightning fast experience.

At 16:25 on Thursday, 26th March, the dotcom team successfully went live with a major relaunch of our global web site. The new site features:

  • Improved navigation
  • New templates
  • Improved usability and transparency for choosing country

But the main story is largely invisible and has to do with how quickly the pages load. It’s too early to have precise data on the long-term improvement in loading times, but if you take a few moments to visit the web site on your phone or PC, you’ll get a lightning fast experience.

This video shows the difference in speed between the new site on the left and the old site on the right. Users now experience the page loading in around 1 second, compared to an average of about 6 seconds previously.

Dagny Lydsdottir, Product Owner, explains why this is so important. “Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of visits from mobile devices. Nowadays, most of the visitors to our site are viewing it on a mobile phone, and not always on a fast connection. So it’s really critical that the content loads quickly, as we know that one of the main reasons that people drop out of a web site is because they can’t wait for the page to load. If our site is faster than our competitors’, then more visitors will stay and buy or book something with us.”

This speed is the result of using a tool called Gatsby ( to pre-create pages and then cache or save them on our Content Delivery Network in the cloud, so that each individual site visitor gets the page instantly. Konstantin Dichev has been the main driving force on the development team for the adoption of Gatsby, and he’d love to tell you more about it in great technical detail, so please contact him if you want to know more.

As always, there’s a large number of people to credit when we launch something as fundamental as this, and our thanks go to the core team of Caroline Lehmann Nelsen, Dagny Lydsdottir, Frederik Zillmer,

Igor Pluznikov, Jannik Staunstrup Nilsson, Jeppe Engell Hansen, Konstantin Dichev, Murat Ayik, Sia Gythfeldt, Aleksandr Dubinskiy and Sami Maher Dieb. We’re also grateful for the close and productive collaboration with our DIO colleagues and Business Drivers, especially James Butler and Liam Coulson in Passenger Marketing, and finally as always to the long-suffering and ever helpful Fadrique Avalle-Arce, our webmaster.

DFDS at analytics summit Superweek

Astrid Illum represented DFDS at Superweek 2020 with talk and panel


As technology develops – so does DFDS. On 28 January Astrid Illum, Head of Product & Digital Analytics, represented DFDS at the annual Superweek Analytics Summit, to be at the forefront of Digital Analytics with colleagues from around the globe.

Previous participants and new ones were back on the snowy mountaintop in Hungary that they visited last year, and what better place to have a summit than on one?

Here Astrid gave a talk. The topic was the familiar challenge of combining the needs of both customers and companies in relation to storing data about our website visitors – data which enables both functionality and higher relevance in the user experience. The angle on the talk however was a pretence of a visit to the future in which things look dramatically different to how they look now.

“I wanted to take a couple of the key challenges in our current data landscape and turn them around. What if there was an even higher abundance of data about users? And what if that data was never owned by companies but by the users themselves?” Astrid explains. In the future scenario data was part of a trade between companies wanting to sell a product and the potential customer. Astrid continues: “My aim was to focus on what value data can bring to all parties, and how we can safeguard the interests of our customers while at the same time allowing companies to sell their services and goods.”

The same topic was explored in a panel in which Astrid participated alongside acknowledged analytics figures such as Stéphane Hamel and Aurélie Pols, who are well known for also caring deeply about data privacy and an ethical use of customer data.

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

Astrid Illum appointed Head of Product & Digital Analytics

Astrid Illum

As of February 2020, Astrid Illum will take a new role in the Digital department. Previously responsible for digital analytics, Astrid will now extend her role to take responsibility for the digital product portfolio and roadmap. As Head of Product & Digital Analytics, Astrid will be the DIO for Digital & Marketing, and will manage the team of product owners who drive the development of our digital customer experience on, related booking applications and the DFDS mobile app.

“The work we do with our digital customer experience needs to be data-driven, so it is excellent that we have someone like Astrid, with a deep expertise in analytics, to take responsibility for the product portfolio,” says Sophie-Kim Chapman, Vice President, Digital & Marketing. “As one of the current Horizon talents, Astrid has always had a broad, strategic grasp of our Digital objectives, and now has also had the opportunity to extend her knowledge of DFDS’s business, and to work on commercial and strategic case studies. I am delighted that she is stepping up into this key role in the department, and looking forward to seeing her make a significant impact on our product portfolio and way of working.”

Astrid’s appointment coincides with a new structure for the Product Owners working in Digital, which has been designed to make it easier for the team to collaborate cross-functionally. The new structure goes hand-in-hand with changes introduced in the Logistics Digital and IT area.

Astrid emphasises the strengthened focus on data, saying, “I am humbled by the opportunity and look very much forward to help achieving our strategic objectives in this new role, working with our skilled and ambitious Product Owners. Asking the right questions at the right time can drastically improve our efficiency and the satisfaction with our solutions both internally and from our customers – and that is exactly what a data-driven way of working is about.”

The level 1 Digital & Marketing organisation chart is now as follows:



The DFDS app is developing at full speed

In just over three months, the DFDS app has had more than 5,000 downloads for iOS (the mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc.). The Android version, released on 24 October, has been downloaded more than 1,500 times.

Hasan Ünal, Product Owner, Digital, says: “In our first version only the English language was available, but we have recently sent an update to both the App Store and Google Play Store, including seven new languages that the app will support. Now the DFDS app can also be used in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, French, German, Dutch and Polish. Together with Passenger marketing, we are planning updates for the remaining languages that we support on in January next year.”

So far, the DFDS app has only been promoted to customers travelling on Newcastle – Amsterdam and on our Channel routes, since these routes are mostly being booked by English speaking customers but now the team will extend the promotion to customers who booked other routes as well.

“We have gathered really useful feedback from our customers and are already improving and adding functionalities into the app according to the customer feedback received so far,” says Hasan.

“As we targeted in our KPIs, our app is being rated with more than four stars both in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, and we’ll keep monitoring this metric to make sure that we keep up and exceed our customers’ expectations.”

The team is currently working on consolidating two DFDS freight apps into the DFDS app universe, and at the same time adding functionalities to increase efficiency at our freight terminals.

Hasan says: “We have conducted user testing at Ghent, Immingham, Dover, Dunkerque and Calais and gathered valuable information regarding how we can decrease the time spent in DFDS terminals by freight drivers for a more efficient flow. We expect to issue our first update with freight driver functionalities as early as Q1 next year. Then we aim to move our users from the terminal app to the DFDS app and decommission the terminal app later next year.”

The DFDS app is downloaded mostly by the 25-34 age group followed by the 35-44 and 45-55 age groups, and 69% of our app users are male.

Ghent terminal user testing with freight drivers

DFDS Direct setup fully in place

The collaboration between Logistics, Digital, and IT, which forms DFDS Direct. From left: Riccardo Cereser (Digital), Gabriella Simon (IT), Ignas Bagdonas (IT, external), Christian Jess (IT), Tynan Debold (IT, external), Casper Michaelsen (IT), Gauvain Haulot (DFDS Direct), Valdemar Warburg (BU Nordic), Rebecca Colvin (DFDS Direct), Rasmus Pedersen (Smart Data), Henrik Killander (DFDS Direct) and Baran Ozan (DFDS Direct)


A few months ago, we shared the news of a new DFDS Direct department taking shape. The team being led by Gauvain Haulot will build the digital business within the Logistics Division in line with the strategic goals of Win23’s Pillar B.

For this purpose, the team has several main priorities.
• Boost adoption of current digital booking and post-booking services by our existing customers.
• Roll out and develop automated quotes in close collaboration with Smart Data.
• Enhance digital value proposition with instantly priced products for our existing customers.
• Scale digital value proposition to new customers.

These aim to support the business and, adding new online revenue streams while digitalising the current way of doing business and increasing operational efficiency, for instance by helping sell empty runnings.

The team is truly cross-functional and is a collaboration between Logistics, IT, and Digital: Gauvain and his team (Henrik, Rebecca, and Baran) report to Valdemar Warburg, VP and Head of BU Nordic. Rasmus and Riccardo are part of Sophie-Kim Chapman’s Digital department, and the IT colleagues (Gabriella, Casper, Christian as well as the external developers) are part of IT.

DFDS Direct will also collaborate closely with the Automated Quotes team from Smart Data and Sarah Holloway from Logistics, as they have built and are improving the pricing engine – one of the core capabilities of DFDS Direct.

We welcome three new team members

Rebecca Colvin, Operations Lead. Rebecca has almost 10 years of experience with DFDS Logistics, with more than half of it as route manager in Immingham then Vlaardingen. She will ensure close collaboration with the Logistics offices and smooth integration of the digital tools in daily operations.

Henrik Killander, Business Development and Marketing Lead. Henrik has been with DFDS for four years as Marketing Manager. In the new role he will leverage his knowledge of state-of-the-art digital business and marketing.

Baran Ozan, Business and Data Analyst, who will support DFDS Direct with data analysis to make informed, data-driven decisions. Baran just graduated from CBS in finance and accounting.

Gauvain Haulot, Director of DFDS Direct, says: “We approach this huge challenge with humility. It’s a fresh start for this ambition that we have for developing the online business in Logistics, and we look forward to closely collaborating with our Logistics colleagues. We have prepared well and assembled the team, and we are also learning a lot as we progress.”

Valdemar Warburg, VP and Head of BU Nordic, says: “I welcome our colleagues, both new and those transitioning to Logistics! DFDS Direct is much more than an online booking platform. It is how we interact with our customers and automate our processes. And while we now have a strong, experienced, and dedicated support team, we in the Logistics Division are the ones who will implement the changes, as we transform our booking, post-booking, and spot selling activities in the coming months.”

Istanbul team joins Integration support

Three developers in the Istanbul Integration team have now joined the rotation in EDI and Integration support. From left: Haluk Iltas, Yusuf Tezcan and Kemal Teke


DFDS continues to gather locations into a fully unified business. The newest example of this is the addition of our Istanbul office into the EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) and Integration support teams, which handle a large variety of request tickets from across the organisation. Many parts of the business rely on this support, including Logistics, Ferry, Finance, Sertica, Product Owners and Human Resources.

To strengthen the function, three developers in the Turkish Integration team, Haluk Iltas, Yusuf Tezcan and Kemal Teke, have now joined the rotation in EDI and Integration support, adding Istanbul as our third location for this function together with Vlaardingen and Copenhagen.

The developers began handling support in week 42 with Integration Developer Jan Kierstein on location to assist and to train them in all the different support requests. The trio will have support duties, often in the first weeks to quickly acquire experience, with dedicated backup support from colleagues in Copenhagen and Vlaardingen.

Jan says: “We went through all tickets in Topdesk for EDI Support, handling internal alerts, emails from external parties, internal users, etc. Even though they handled a big variety of support requests a lot more will probably come over time. Handling EDI/Integration support is an opportunity to look at many different solutions and set-ups, interacting with many different parties and learning more about all DFDS’ systems. The issues faced can be technical, operational, wrongly entered information, network problems, external parties having issues and much more.”

After their initial support weeks, the EDI/Integration support will be handled in rotation by:
Bent Christensen, Vlaardingen
Frans Faneker, Vlaardingen
Haluk Iltas, Istanbul
Yusuf Tezcan, Istanbul
Kemal Teke, Istanbul
Rajesh(waran) Kalaiselvan, Copenhagen
Mikael Lund, Copenhagen
Thor Fischer-Olsen, Copenhagen
Jan Kierstein (Hansen), Copenhagen
John Andersen, Copenhagen

Huge milestone for the Unified project

On 31 October, the teams integrating our Passenger web presence into the overall, launched the final (and biggest) Passenger web presence. The UK site went live just two days after the German site, and despite it being Halloween, without any major bumps.

Over the last four years, Digital and parts of the business have worked on a long-term integration of our web presence and online booking tools. In 2015 we merged our Freight Shipping and Logistics websites together into a new, mobile-friendly We followed this in 2016 with the inclusion of the Group section on and in 2017, we launched new freight and logistics booking experiences within the family. For the last two years, has focused on supporting the Passenger business. And after a great deal of work and with great collaboration, we have now finished migrating all local Passenger sites.

Why are we unifying the web presence? One key reason is creating more value with less cost. We have high ambitions for automated personalisation, and we want to make it easy to approach new audiences online, wherever they may be. With the new we can quickly launch a high quality, new country version of the site simply by going through a translation process.

“It’s great to celebrate this milestone, and to know that we are one major step closer to realizing the Digital vision,” said Sophie-Kim Chapman, VP Digital. “I’d like to thank Roberta Skugaraite, Project Manager, who successfully navigated all involved teams through to this final launch. Equal thanks go to Dagny Lydsdottir, Product Owner, who realised the vision for It was inspiring to work so closely with our colleagues in Passenger Marketing, who rely on the web site for generating the majority of their revenue, and I look forward to continuing the same productive cooperation in the future.”

The Unified project will now be closed, but that doesn’t mean we stop developing our online customer experience. Dagny Lydsdottir, Product Owner for, has a packed roadmap including developments for the DFDS Spot value proposition to Freight customers, features around content marketing and lead generation for Logistics and the Industry teams, as well as the next phases of the Passenger Tour Operator initiative and re-engineering of the Passenger booking flow.

Pete Akerman, Passenger Marketing Director, says, “The strong collaboration between teams has been a real success in my view. This is a strong starting point to now continue our development of the DFDS web presence to deliver a more personalized and engaging experience that will support us to convert more customers. I’d like to thank everyone involved for their dedication and hard work to get us to this point.”

James Butler, Head of Conversion Marketing “It was an incredible journey for the entire conversion marketing team. As part of our strategic direction to increase conversion rates and ultimately increase revenue, we can now harness the power of a modern website on one domain which can be localised by territory. This has been a classic example of collaboration between the Marketing community and the Digital team in Copenhagen. I would like to mention the incredible effort of the Conversion team and our colleagues in Marketing for supporting us to deliver this project”.

UK team photo: from left, Charlotte Barlow, Bente Lunde, Diana Groos, Heather Barsby (front), Liam Coulson, James Butler, Deborah Akun (front), Jordy Peters, Katherine Scott, Eimante Subaciute and Ea Pedersen who could not join the photo.

BU Med wins ‘The Coolest Agile Board’

Yesterday, on 24 October, BU Med was among the sponsors of the Agile Turkey Summit, the biggest Agile event in Turkey gathering Agile enthusiasts from all over the country. The Oxygen Team was among colleagues from BU Med that attended the summit where they won the award “The Coolest Agile Board”.

The team who develops mobile apps and systems attended the summit to share how they are being agile and brought their self-designed agile board to showcase. The board was so well received that it was awarded “The Coolest Agile Board” in the competition held by the Agile Turkey Committee on Twitter.

Hakan Adıgüzel, Scrum Master, says: “Our agile board keeps everything about a project visible to everyone. We already knew the value it brings to the team however it’s super cool that other Agile enthusiast acknowledges it as well.”

Volkan Biçer, Lead Developer, says: “Transparency is the most important thing in the team. The agile board is the biggest piece of this puzzle.”

Oxygen Team’s award winning agile board

Ayşe Bilgin, UX Designer, says: “The design tells much about DFDS’ transport operations. On the board; we start with a warehouse full of boxes called “PBI’s”. Then boxes are loaded into a truck and transported to a DFDS ship. The truck represents the TO DO part and the DFDS ship sailing to another port represents IN PROGRESS. In the final part, we see some trailers which are ready to pick up, and it is called DONE. We added some dinosaur skeleton and fossils at the bottom, just for fun. And there is also an undersea view to represent our curiosity, passion, and wonder to the work we do. Our board motivates us. We are very glad that it won the best agile board in 2019 in Turkey.”

Getting the team together

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Success for IT Development Centre in Istanbul

Our teams at the IT Development Centre in Istanbul have many reasons to be happy these days. They just moved into a brand-new office, joining the rest of their BU Med colleagues, and since the start of the centre last November, they have welcomed over 25 new team members. With Senior Director Jan Devrim at the helm, the centre now employs over 30 colleagues working with IT solutions for mobile apps, cross-docking and warehousing for Volvo and Arendal. The team works on electronic data interchange (EDI) that automates the way we communicate and exchange business documents, such as invoices and purchase orders, and they provide integration services too. Very soon a Phoenix team and a warehouse team is expected to join the office, increasing the number of colleagues to 40.

Gert Møller, VP & CIO, says: ”In its short lifetime, the Development Center has already created great value to DFDS. The cooperation regarding cross-docking and warehousing is highly appreciated by business representatives at both Arendal and Volvo also Logistics in DFDS is very pleased with having dedicated EDI developers in Istanbul. Likewise, Sophie-Kim Chapman, VP & Group Digital Officer, is very complimentary about the mobile app team.

The products are delivered on time, and they are also both sustainable and developed in the correct way. The IT Development Centre is a great example of our ability to constantly develop the most effective IT and digital solutions that support our future growth and success in line with Pillar B of our strategy WIN23. It gives us the opportunity to establish development teams for projects and tasks we previously outsourced, and it provides important support to our IT development teams in Copenhagen and Immingham. Jan Devrim has been fantastic at managing his teams, and he has contributed heavily to the current success of the IT Development Centre” says Gert

Senior Director of the IT Development Centre in Istanbul Jan Devrim says: “Our great cooperation with the other IT teams at different locations ensures that we always end up with a solution that has been tested and reviewed thoroughly. I hope this rapid success will continue and pave the way for more solutions. We have to keep the momentum going, which is why we are sending teams to attend relevant training and events around Europe to be up to date on cutting-edge technology for implementation in the end product. “

New mobile app launched for ferry passengers

A passenger app has been developed by the team in Turkey, together with the product owner and UX and design team lead, all pictured here. Back row: Osman Yalın, Mikolaj Matyaszczyk, Volkan Bicer and Reha Kılıç. Front row: Hasan Ünal, Ayse Bilgin, Bedirhan Güven, Hakan Adiguzel, Melike Demir and Kadircan Türker.


A brand-new DFDS mobile app will help our passengers with their journeys with DFDS. The app went live on the app store on 4 September and an Android version is set to follow soon after.

With the app, users will be able to check timetables for passenger routes all over Europe, buy tickets, log in or enter booking details to store tickets in their iPhone, and they can keep up-to-date with information about their journey and on-board opportunities. This app development supports Pillar B in the Win23 strategy concerned with the digitising of services and making travels easier for customers. It provides substantial benefits and reduces the need to assist individuals by sharing information relevant to passengers through the app.

“We want to offer a DFDS mobile app to ensure a smooth, coherent and satisfying journey when travelling with DFDS. Later in the year, the team will focus on consolidating our two freight apps and will add them to our digital app universe, further supporting the Win23 strategy. This app is the first to be developed with internal DFDS resources. One of our targets, and part of our vision, is to develop and own all DFDS app code internally in order to remove the costs of using third parties to maintain and develop apps for DFDS,” says Hasan Ünal, product owner of DFDS Mobile apps in Digital.

Using implemented tracking, this early version collects feedback and tracks how it is used, and how engaged our users are with the app, which will help in the further development.

This is how the app looks to the user.

Working closely together across teams

Passenger, Digital and IT colleagues across a number of different teams have been collaborating effectively to make sure that we create value for our customers. Working closely and efficiently, they have successfully launched the app, and proved that geographical distance and functional reporting lines do not have to be barriers to great cooperation.

“We are beginning by promoting the app in our pre-travel emails on the Newcastle – Amsterdam and Dover ‒ Calais/Dunkirk routes to customers travelling in the coming weeks. We will monitor responses and broaden the promotion as its success grows,” says Angela Fixter, Head of Retention Marketing, who together with James Butler, Head of Conversion Marketing, has provided valuable input into the development process right from the start.

Jan Devrim Barsel, Senior Director of Development Center Turkey, says: “Creating the app was exciting and full of surprises. The result is easy to use, and gets us closer to our customers, providing many digital services that will create value for them and boost sales and customer satisfaction for us. I’m proud of our young development team in Turkey which has worked hard, focused on delivering their best and achieved such a good result.”

Watch this video and learn more about how Tableau enables better decision-making

Maybe you have heard about DFDS’ data visualisation tool, Tableau, but do you know what it is and how it benefits our work at DFDS?

In this video, DFDS’ very own Tableau consultant, Iga Kotra, explains how Tableau can help make sense of a sea of numbers, and how it makes it easier to spot patterns and outliers and get to the bottom of an issue faster. You can also get an idea of how Tableau is used in specific areas of the business.

Iga says: “Tableau is a tool that is concentrated around the process of data analysis and it is supposed to help you get answers to questions in the shortest possible time. It allows you to create online interactive dashboards, which you can easily share through our Tableau server with the rest of the organisation. It also allows you to forget about manual updates of your data, thanks to the automatic data refresh.”

Jonas Holstein, Head of Business Intelligence, says: “We see Tableau as a tool that enables our users to learn more about our business through data. During a normal day, we all make hundreds of decisions. Whether small or big, they could all benefit from introducing an element of data. Tableau is here to help by allowing you to process the data in a visual form.”

If you have questions or ideas regarding Tableau, please do not hesitate to contact us via

New service: Customers can select a specific time to pick up their trailer

Soon, customers will be able to select a time to pick up their trailer. The project is called Pick-up-Based Booking (PBB), and seeks to reduce the waiting time for drivers with new services. Two services have already been launched on selected routes: Priority Discharge and Available Pick-up Time.

Guaranteeing trailer availability within the first hour
Priority Discharge guarantees trailer pick-up availability for numerous trailers within the first hour of the ferry’s arrival. In this way, drivers can manage their routes even more smoothly and efficiently; for example, making it possible to unload one trailer and load another while the ferry is in port. Priority Discharge was launched on the Vlaardingen – Immingham route on 1 May.

Klaus Erik Hansen from Strategy & Consulting says: “The project is a result of cooperation between Ferry, Digital, Smart Data and Strategy & Consulting. We worked with the terminals and Business Intelligence to standardise booking and loading/unloading operations. Since the launch of Priority Discharge, we have seen a 97% discharge success rate, with drivers picking up the selected trailers within the first hour. We are now looking to expand Priority Discharge to other routes, and are looking in particular at launching this on the Gothenburg to Ghent and Immingham, and Vlaardingen to Felixstowe routes.”

Using data to predict available pick-up time
The second service is called Available Pick-up Time (APT). Alessandro Pirrotta, Data Scientist from Smart Data, explains: “With APT, we base the approximate on-board location of a trailer to predict the available pick-up time for the trailer on board. This reduces the waiting time drastically for drivers who could otherwise wait up to five hours to pick up their trailer. The service was tested on customers and reduced waiting times by up to 50%. Over the course of the summer, APT will be launched for a selected few customers.”

BU Channel adds Newhaven – Dieppe route to Freight Ferry Alerts App

Digital and BU Channel are adding to the Freight Ferry Alerts App, and we will soon be offering this tool for both Dover and Newhaven – Dieppe routes. Pictured is Seven Sisters departing Newhaven.


DFDS is well known for going the extra mile, nautical and otherwise, for its customers. In general operations that takes many forms. One service we are very happy to offer is live service updates for our customers and their drivers with the Freight Ferry Alerts App, which will soon be supported for both the Dover and Newhaven – Dieppe routes.

From 13 May the app will become available for the Newhaven – Dieppe route as part of the ongoing development. Hasan Ünal, Product Owner in Digital, says: “Digital and all business units are working closer on app projects, with good results. For instance, a previous project added QR code-compatible check-in gates for freight drivers in terminals. Our long-term strategy is to create a DFDS app universe where we ensure a smooth, coherent and satisfying journey when engaging with DFDS services. We have established a product team in Digital with exciting projects on the way.”

Cheryl Hawes, Freight Customer Service Manager, Freight Sales, UK & EC, says: “This is great news that following the idea from our Dover route we will now be launching this for our customers on the Newhaven – Dieppe route. BU Channel have been working with Digital and external developers to expand on the success of this app that gives much needed information about real-time traffic situations, along with safety messages and marketing of USPs to our customers and their drivers, without hassle, confusion or delays in information. A special thanks go to Stephanie Hure and Stephanie Goux for supporting the swift implementation. This has been an excellent example of working together and where sharing best practice benefits our freight customers.”

Sean Potter, Ferry Divisional Head, Digital & Systems, adds: “We are always looking for ways to ease and improve the constant and necessary cooperation with our customers. One significant area we are focusing on is how, with a straightforward app, we can communicate very efficiently to ensure that our customers’ daily operations go smoothly on our vessels. I look forward to this type of customer communication being established in the near future across the rest of the Ferry Division network as part of our ongoing strategy with the Digital team towards development opportunities.”

Another welcome addition is Turkish language support on the app. You can read about the digitisation benefits of this app from an earlier article.

Jette Lundquist appointed Head of Marketing

Jette Lundquist is not new at DFDS – since 19 November she has been interim Head of Marketing, and now she can erase interim from her title. Big congratulations to Jette with her now permanent responsibility for the important marketing of our services.

Jette brought extensive marketing experience with her when she joined DFDS, most recently from a position as Global Marketing Director at Tia Technology, delivering software solutions for the insurance industry.

“I am very excited to continue my work as Head of Marketing and I look forward to diving deep into the strategic marketing work that lies ahead together with my skilled colleagues in Marketing,” says Jette.

She will be heading a team of dedicated marketing professionals covering a broad variety of responsibilities, and as it is a relatively new department, we are showing the structure of the department’s functions and services in the picture below.

Jette Lundquist reports to Sophie-Kim Chapman, VP, Digital & Marketing. Sophie-Kim says: “I am very pleased to appoint Jette as permanent Head of Marketing. She is a team player with just the right skills and understanding to innovate and reinforce our marketing strategy and efforts. She is also a great people manager, and I very much look forward to working with Jette to improve communication of our value proposition, our brand awareness and market share.”

The team is responsible for developing the group brand, which we also are responsible for activating in our freight businesses. In Passenger, they have their own team to activate the brand on the basis of the group brand developed by Marketing.

The demand generation team – so called because it works on generating demand for our services in the market.

The Strategy and Planning team is responsible for campaigns, social media, Search Engine Optimisation and Analytics. Analytics is used across DFDS to optimise the way we use web data to continuously improve the website and increase visits and sales.

The web team is responsible for the Digital Services Catalog, updating content, web site localization and translation as well as domain management.


App update can cut 30% of terminal check-in time for lorries

With a clever app update from Digital we will start reducing check-in times in several terminals, Klaipėda being the first to support the QR code system.


Putting a product to a real-life test is when you discover whether it’s really adding value. In February two members of Digital, Mikolaj Matyaszczyk from the UX (User Experience) team and Hasan Ünal, App Product owner, went to Klaipėda to test an update to the DFDS Terminals app. They were joined by Gintaras Laucius, product manager in the Ferry Division.

The update allows truck drivers to pass the terminal gates using a simple QR code. The test suggests the new feature will improve the flow into the terminals by allowing drivers to save 30-50 seconds, more than 30% on average of the check-in time.

Several more terminals are preparing to use the new codes, with Vlaardingen nearly ready, then Ghent planned for May, and later Immingham and Gothenburg as well.


Thinking ahead and good collaboration

The QR code scanning is possible due to a timely effort, says Gintaras: “I’m very pleased that back in 2016 together with the General Terminal Management System team we predicted the future and made a set-up to use mobile devices at the terminal. Now we have agreed with IT and Digital to push further developments.”

The project is a great example of collaboration between the business, IT, and Digital. Mikolaj explains:
“In the UX team we rely heavily on passionate business drivers to help us build seamless and valuable digital products. In this case, the collaboration has been outstanding.”

The app update is part of an increased focus on using apps to improve efficiency and user experience on the go. Digital also started work on a brand new DFDS app, a travel and transport assistant developed by our skilled Turkish development team. The new app will be personalised to accommodate the needs of individual users, be they truck drivers, solo passengers, business travellers or a family on holiday.

From left: Gintaras Laucius, project manager, Hasan Ünal, product owner on the mobile app and Mikolaj Matyaszczyk, UX team manager in Klaipėda

DFDS represented on panel at the Superweek Analytics Summit

Panel at Superweek with Astrid Illum (right), DFDS. The other participants included, from left: Simo Ahava, widely recognised as a Google Tag Manager expert, Scott H. Herman, Product Manager at Google Tag Manager and, lastly Brian Kuhn, Lead Developer at Google Tag Manager.


Our marketing efforts continue to rely more and more on the growing digital sphere, and it is necessary for a company like DFDS to stay up to date and involved with the development of these marketing tools.

One of these powerful digital tools, Google Tag Manager, which is used for tracking and analytics on websites, was the focus of a panel discussion at the Superweek Analytics Summit, which took place from 28 January to 1 February on a snowy mountain top in Hungary. Hosted by a group of analytics professionals, the five-day event boasted a wide range of topics within analytics, and DFDS was represented on this panel by Astrid Illum, Web Analytics Specialist at DFDS.

One of the questions addressed to the panel concerned what direction the role of Google Tag Manager is moving in, and how we will manage governance for tools as powerful as Google Tag Manager. Originally, Google Tag Manager was perceived as a marketing tool which decreased IT and developer-dependency, but as the role of Google Tag Manager grows more complex and functionally rich, that interpretation is no longer feasible.

“At DFDS, this means working to place Google Tag Manager firmly within a cooperation between analytics, marketing and IT. This will allow us to embrace the future of web integration services in a world of increasing plug-and-play possibilities while maintaining a high level of reliability and transparency,” said Astrid Illum.

As Google Tag Manager and other tools are developed and become integrated in our business, DFDS is making it a priority to stay ahead of the trend in this area.

Successful launch for Digital – a leap forward for our customers

Our colleagues from Digital are in the process of merging every DFDS website into one unified site – It is a comprehensive task that involves cooperation with many business units throughout DFDS and the teams have already delivered group, freight shipping and logistics sites.

Roberta Skugaraite, Digital Project Manager, says: “On 21 February, we reached another big milestone in digitising the customer experience. Last year we successfully went live with sections for Group, Freight and Logistics and we can already see our initial strategy of unifying the websites is yielding great results ranging from monetary benefits to obtaining more clients and leads.

“We were very eager to get the Passenger section up to speed as well. Through excellent collaboration with teams throughout DFDS’ network, who all made sure that we launched a quality and timely product, the Passenger section has now gone live in 10 different languages at once! It has been a great learning curve for the teams and the increased efficiency of launches is now visible more than ever.

“We are expecting all 22 languages to be launched by the end of Q2 this year, which would not be possible without great support from the Conversion team in the UK, the extended family of team in Copenhagen and our partners outside DFDS, all of whom have gone way and beyond in their lines of work. Thank you all for making it happen!”

Watch DFDS’ webinar with customers

How can we best prepare for Brexit? The answer to this was DFDS’ very first webinar -a very successful online  seminar –  which our Brexit team and Marketing had invited customers to, and which took place on Thursday 10 January from 16:00 to 17:00.

It had an upper limit of 500 participants, and as interest among our customers was extremely high, it was completely ‘sold out’.

However, it is now available for all to see. Enjoy – and If you have any questions related to Brexit, please contact a member of the Brexit team (Emma Leam, Michael Mortensen , Rodney Ferguson or Jean Aubert). For questions related to webinars in general and related marketing activities, please contact the campaign planners in the Freight Marketing team (Daniel Hovedskou, Marketa Urbanova, Mirit Bisholt or Henrik Killander).

The teams are planning further webinars and customer meetings, including local managements meetings with their customers.