Project to improve safety in cargo operations

DFDS’ new project to improve safety in cargo operations, will be managed by Michael Stig, Designated Person, for on-board safety, and by Jesper Hartvig Nielsen, Fleet Management, for safety ashore.

DFDS launches project to improve safety at our terminals and on board our ships during cargo operations.

In recent months, we have experienced a number of tragic fatalities at our terminals and on board our ships during cargo operations. “This is completely unacceptable and causes tragedy for individuals, families and colleagues. Therefore, we must do whatever is in our power to learn from these accidents, and use our learning to prevent such accidents from ever happening again. As a caring employer, we should spare no effort to create and ensure a safe working environment for all our colleagues, ashore and at sea. Everyone throughout our network should come home safely from work,” says Torben Carlsen, CEO.

The project will be managed by Michael Stig, Designated Person, for on-board safety, and by Jesper Hartvig Nielsen, Fleet Management, for safety ashore.

“Inspired by Immingham, we have decided to call the project ‘Safety Starts with Me’, as this is a joint task. No matter how safe we make our work processes and procedures, we will always rely on every one of you to do your very best to stay safe, and to help your colleagues to stay safe as well,” says Michael Stig.

“We will start our work over the next months to create a safer working environment where fatal accidents such those we have seen recently do not happen.”

Covid-19: Headquarter adapts workforce to pandemic

The temporary reduction of passenger and freight activities reduce certain headquarter activities and therefore some colleagues will be sent on paid temporary leave.

Travel restrictions and other measures that aim to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus, have dramatically reduced our passenger services and are also beginning to impact our freight activities.

Due to suspended routes and reduced on-board services, colleagues at sea and ashore have been or are being sent on paid temporary leave.

This is possible due to the national aid packages that aim to ensure that companies like DFDS can better adapt their costs to the situation, maintain employment and be ready to regain activities and welcome people back as soon as the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Obviously, the lower activity level affects our headquarter functions as well. Therefore, from tomorrow, we will also start sending headquarter staff on paid temporary leave.

If you are among the 50 colleagues included, you will be informed about it today by your manager, and it is very important for me to underline the obvious: It has nothing to do with your performance. On the contrary, in the Executive Management Team and the Board, we are extremely impressed with your work and behaviour throughout the crisis. It is solely a measure to reduce our costs in the affected areas so we can get through the crisis in good shape and continue as a great place to work. In fact, we can’t wait to welcome you back and get business back to speed again.

In line with EMT measures

In general, we will follow the measures which we informed about last week.

This means that we will reduce functions that have been heavily impacted by the reduced operational activity level but keep focusing on delivering on strategic projects that are long term business critical. This includes projects such as the ERP project, DFDS Direct, the climate challenge, CSR and other strategic initiatives.

We are closely monitoring the situation and believe that, with these measures and your help, we will get DFDS well through this crisis – and we will maintain our fantastic teams that are our best guarantee for quickly regaining our strength and business.

On behalf of the Executive Management Team

Torben Carlsen

Chief Technology Officer Rune Keldsen now started at DFDS

DFDS’ new Chief Technology Officer Rune Keldsen took up his new role as Head of Digital & IT at DFDS on Thursday 20 February. He will now start planning visits to locations throughout our network.


Thursday 20 February was the first official working day for Rune Keldsen, our new Chief Technology Officer.

“I have been looking forward to this and I am excited to join an organisation which really shines energy, motivation and so much talent. I hope that I will have the chance to meet all of you very soon when I visit the various DFDS locations,” Rune says.

Rune will be placed both at DFDS House and at Harbour House where most of the Digital organisation is placed.

“I welcome Rune to DFDS. I look very much forward to working with him on continuing our journey towards a more digital future. I am also very pleased that we now have the full new Executive Management Team in place,” Torben Carlsen says.

Foundation stone-laying for the new HQ

Today is a very special day for DFDS. The construction of our new headquarters officially started at the foundation stone-laying ceremony in Copenhagen.

Marius Møller, Director of PensionDanmark, welcomed guests and presented the speakers: Torben Carlsen; Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen; Torben Möger Pedersen, CEO, PensionDanmark; Søren Mølbak, Director, PLH Architects; and Martin Manthorpe, Director, NCC.

Torben spoke about the aim for our new headquarters: a place with room for everyone; an all-embracing workplace, designed to bring people together, as is only natural for an increasingly international, diverse workplace with 700 employees from 40 countries.

“It needs to provide a framework that inspires collaboration and helps to break down boundaries between people and disciplines. A place where experienced employees and the children of a new and digital age can all thrive and be inspired by innovation and development. Therefore, the move from DFDS House to the new headquarters will be more than a journey of 800 metres between the current and the future office. It will be a cultural journey that sets the course for the future of DFDS,” said Torben Carlsen.

After the final speech, a time capsule was buried in a steel box that later will be placed into the foundations. The capsule contains objects from each speaker, and symbolises the year when construction started. Torben contributed a DFDS route map, pictures of Hollandia Seaways and a DFDS truck, representing our core services, and a letter to the future describing DFDS in 2020 and the issues that we are focusing on. You can read the letter here by clicking here.

A big thank you to our colleagues who sent in suggestions, and to Group Marketing for the design.

From left: Torben Möger Pedersen, Frank Jensen and Torben Carlsen about to put the time capsule into a steel box.

Frank Jensen and Torben Carlsen ready with the trowel.

Niklas Andersson, EVP and Head of Logistics Division; Anne-Christine Ahrenkiel, EVP and Chief People Officer; and Peder Gellert, EVP and Head of Ferry Division, were also present at the ceremony to see the start of their future workplace.

New CFO visits Gothenburg

As part of the Executive Management Team’s visit to Gothenburg this week, the team was invited to see Volvo’s high-tech truck models – here seen with DFDS’ CFO Karina Deacon at the steering wheel.

Karina Deacon, our new CFO, is busy visiting various DFDS locations as well as meeting and getting to know our colleagues and businesses. This week offered an excellent opportunity to do this as the Executive Management Team placed one of their regular meetings in Gothenburg. The visit also included participation in the One-DFDS initiative which Morgan Olausson of Ferry and Niklas Andersson of Logistics had initiated to bring managers from all our Gothenburg activities together to discuss how they can support each other and work together to grow business. The day even included a visit to Volvo where the EMT members got a first-hand impression of Volvo Truck’s high-tech models –  as shown on the picture with Karina at the steering wheel.

On Tuesday, Karina had organized one-to-one meetings with Morgan Olausson, Mathias Dahlström, Head of Sweden International, Logistics, and Jeppe Skivild, Finance Manager Sweden.

On Tuesday, there was also a small bonus:  A tour of Hollandia Seaways that was in port during the visit.

“It was a pleasure to meet so many of my new colleagues and experience the dedication and professionalism with which people go about their work. Thank you to everyone in Gothenburg for your kind hospitality and for making the visit a very good experience,” says Karina

Rune Keldsen met his new IT and Digital colleagues

There was lots of laughter and smiles last Friday when Rune Keldsen visited DFDS

Friday 10 January, our new Chief Technology Officer Rune Keldsen visited DFDS House to meet some of his new colleagues.

Nearly all IT and Digital colleagues at DFDS House showed up to meet Rune and hear about him and his thoughts regarding his new role.

Rune says: ”I know that a very big digital and IT transformation is taking place at DFDS right now. Considering all the talent that DFDS has, it is a privilege to be included in this exciting journey. The maritime industry is totally new to me, and I can’t wait to get started and learn more about DFDS. I am very humble about my new job, and I am going to ask a lot of questions, which I hope you will be kind enough to answer. I look very much forward to working with you.”

Rune Keldsen to be our Chief Technology Officer

I am extremely pleased to announce that Rune Keldsen (40) will join us as our new EVP and Chief Technology Officer by 1 March at the latest.

As Chief Technology Officer, he will be a member of the Executive Management Team with responsibility for the digital organisation headed by Sophie-Kim Chapman and the IT organisation formerly headed by Gert Møller. Sophie-Kim will report to Rune, as will Gert’s former direct reports.

Rune comes to DFDS from a position as Chief Digital Officer of the Nuuday Group (TDC), which consists of media and technology brands like Yousee, TDC Business, Telmore, Fullrate, NetDesign, Hiper and Blockbuster. He brings with him an impressive track record from the Nuuday Group, where he was first responsible for the development of the customer experience across the entertainment platforms. For the last three years he has been the frontrunner of a digital transformation, moving Nuuday towards becoming a digital service provider. Most recently, he was responsible for the digital organisation across all of Nuuday’s brands.

Rune gained a Master’s degree specialising in IT from Copenhagen Business School in 2005. He started his career at the software company ScanJour (now part of KMD) in 2006 and moved on to the Media-Saturn Group in 2010 as VP of the Project Management Office. He joined Yousee/Nuuday in 2013.

I very much look forward to welcoming Rune to DFDS. I am confident you will all support him in his and our work to take our digital transformation to the next level and make our IT and Digital organisation an even more important contributor to the success of DFDS and our Win23 strategy.

Torben Carlsen


With Rune Keldsen as Chief Technology Officer, the Executive Management team is complete. The team now consists of: Torben Carlsen (CEO), Karina Deacon (CFO), Peder Gellert (EVP Ferry Division), Niklas Andersson (EVP Logistics Division), Anne-Christine Ahrenkiel (Chief People Officer) and Rune Keldsen (Chief Technology Officer)