Logistics Finland integrated into IT landscape

As we reported earlier, we started work to integrate the offices of Freeco Logistics (now DFDS Finland), in Turku, Vantaa and Tallinn into the main DFDS IT landscape towards the end of 2019. And as planned, all users were migrated to the DFDS Active Directory and domain during the first quarter of 2020, whilst Velocity, Visma and CapNordic went live on 1 May.

“A vital part of all integrations is to visit the sites, evaluate the business processes, make gap analysis, IT security checks, and on-site application training. And particularly important is the onsite go-live support to help all the new users with the daily challenges of adapting to the new applications. Even though the COVID-19 situation prevented people from travelling, we completed the integration of Freeco Logistics into the DFDS family as planned. The mantra was ‘If we see a problem, we fix it’. In fact, all DFDS behaviours were encapsulated in this integration,” says Chris Coughlin on behalf of the implementation team.

Online training
By using MS Teams and having new users with a very positive mindset, it has been possible to conduct online training sessions in Velocity, CapNordic and Visma, and the Freeco users are now all using the applications.

Daily operations are currently being supported virtually via MS teams, with Velocity being supported by Susanne Eriksen, Emelie Crofts, Simon Brambley and Chris Coughlin.

For the financial tasks, both Visma and CapNordic are supported by Jeppe Vestrup Skivild, Mattia Mariani, Alec Skat Larsen, Dennis Kyhl-Nielsen, Jennie Thorbjörnsson, Annika Ennok and Lene Frydenberg.

IT and infrastructure support has been provided by Paulius Kryzevicius.

“In addition to the system integration, we are also migrating most of the financial tasks to the Financial Shared Service Centre (FSC) in Poznań. Why not kill two birds with one stone?” Jeppe says. “Now, one week into the virtual go-live, everything has gone as planned. The main DFDS applications are in use, and all users and application supporters are in constant virtual dialogue via MS teams or Skype. It is not the same as being on site with face-to-face communication, but it is working.”

Learning process
“Sure, it has been learning process for everyone, but the targets have been achieved, and the DFDS IT-systems are successfully implemented in two different countries remotely. Really proud of all teams involved and perhaps some parts of the process will be taken as new routines in DFDS future implementations” says Timo Ruusunen, MD DFDS Logistics Finland.

A success of co-operation
Valdemar Warburg, VP of BU Nordic says: “I’d like to express a big thank you to everyone involved. It is a new and very challenging task to do a go-live fully remotely, but the excellent co-operation between the business, IT, Finance and other support functions demonstrated what DFDS is capable of. Without your positive attitudes and your determination to make this work, despite the circumstances, this would not have been possible.”

A special thank you goes to the teams in Poznań, such as Joanna Borucka (AR), Weronika Branicka (Cash Management), Halina Sobczak-Kempara (GL), Dawid Strozak (GL), Angelika Knapinska (AP), Joanna Adamczyk (AP) and others. Thank you also to the local finance staff – Marianne Peltola, Aili Metsamaa and Liina Kalam, who are learning these new finance applications whilst migrating tasks to FSC. And to Mikko Viholainen in Turku, for his help in the location co-ordination for all the operational tasks.

The integration team
From DFDS Logistics Turku: Mikko Viholainen, (implementation coordinator), Timo, Henri, Kristian Vihanto, Ulrike Rautarinta, Sami Uotinen, Tuomas Tuominen, Marko Rantanen, Mirka Loimakoski, Tuukka Pulliainen.

From: DFDS Logistics Vantaa: Jukka Jurvela, Ville Kalsta, Teemu Korpinen.

DFDS Logistics Tallinn: Marko Sokk, Asko Lepiksaar, Deniss Vassiljev, Lilian Kaasik, Rainer Kuusemets, Signet Kruger, Kersten Loppe, Liina Kalam, Merlin Anton.

Successful integration model for Freeco

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

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

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

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

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

Timo Ruusunen, MD Finland

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

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

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

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

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

Valdemar Warburg, VP and Head of BU Nordic

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

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

Niklas Andersson, EVP and Head of the Logistics Division

See more about Freeco Logistics here.

DFDS acquires Freeco Logistics in Finland and Freeco Oü in Estonia

Dear everyone,

I am extremely pleased to inform you about a promising expansion of our logistics network. Today we signed the contracts that made the Finnish company Freeco Logistics and Freeco Oü in Estonia the newest part of DFDS.

Freeco Logistics is based in Turku in southwestern Finland and has additional offices in Vantaa and Tallinn in Estonia, employs 31 staff and operates 150 trailers and 8 trucks.

Freeco Logistics is a fast growing company and one of the most profitable road freight companies in Finland

Together with the combined skills and knowledge of colleagues from both companies, we will get critical mass in a market where we have previously only operated with six people from DFDS Finland. Together, we will be able to expand and strengthen Freeco’s and DFDS’ current activities between Finland, Estonia and the Nordic, Continental Europe, the Baltics and UK & Ireland. We will also get more products on the palette as our services will include trailer, container, full-loads, part-loads, special cargo, project cargo, and contract logistics.

In the future, DFDS Logistics will thus have offices in Turku, Kotka and Vantaa in Finland as well as in Tallinn in Estonia.

So now, it is up to us all to support this new and expanded team to get the most out of this fantastic situation.

To do this, we will now start the integration of the two operations in the well-known DFDS Way, in this case with 11 workstreams. The workstreams will be comprised of people from both Freeco Logistics and DFDS and Timo Ruusunen, Henri Hoikkala and Kimmo Salmi will guide the work. The integration work will be overlooked by a Steering Committee consisting of myself and Valdemar, and there will be capable assistance from Morten Rødgaard-Hansen from Strategy & Consulting and Marianne Peltola from Freeco finance.

Please join me in giving our new colleagues from Freeco Logistics a warm welcome to DFDS. We have high expectations, and with our Staying Ahead project and our Win23 strategy, I am confident we can increase our combined Finnish revenues from EURO 35 million to 50 million in 2023 – and in this process win many new and satisfied customers and create new jobs.

We will soon inform you about the integration work in more detail and keep you regularly updated about the process via the Bridge and

Congratulations to everyone in Logistics and DFDS, and thank you to those of you who contributed to this.

Niklas Andersson, EVP and Head of DFDS’ Logistics Division.


Niklas Andersson is Executive Vice President of DFDS, Head of DFDS’ Logistics Division and member of the DFDS Executive Management Team of six. He was promoted EVP on 1 September this year from his previous position as Head of Logistics’ BU Nordic and Continent. Niklas is from Gothenburg in Sweden and moved to DFDS House in Copenhagen, where he now has his office.

Valdemar Warburg is Vice President and Head of BU Nordic. Valdemar joined DFDS in 2017 as Head of Transformation Office and was in 2019 appointed Head of BU Nordic. The new Finnish organisation is part of BU Nordic and Timo Ruusunen will report to Valdemar Warburg.

Timo Ruusunen, who is co-owner of Freeco Logistics will be DFDS’ new MD for our Finnish activities. He will report to Valdemar Warburg, VP and head of BU Nordic, Logistics Division.

Henri Hoikkala, who is the other co-owner of Freeco Logistics, will be the new Operations Director in Finland and Estonia.

Kimmo Salmi, DFDS’ current MD in Kotka, will be our new Logistics Director in the new and much larger Finnish organization.

New refreshing surroundings for Logistics Kotka

Everyone knows that moving to a new address can be a tough job but when it’s finally done, the feeling of satisfaction is usually great. And that’s exactly how they feel at the DFDS Logistics office in Kotka.

Kimmo Salmi, Managing Director, says: “November was at least twice as busy as usual. We moved our Kotka office to a new address and, additionally, we also opened a new sales office in Jakobstad on the west coast of Finland for our new Sales Manager, Johan Grönroos.
It took a few weeks to settle down and design our new office, but it was all worth it. Now we are finally ready to welcome our customers and colleagues to visit us and show them the DFDS team spirit.”

“Most of us spend much of our lives at work and the job satisfaction also reflects on our private life. And for sure the physical conditions and environment at work play an essential part of the enjoyment of going to work every day. I’m therefore very happy and proud that we can now offer our colleagues a fresh, healthy and motivating place to work,” says Kimmo.

A record-breaking purpose moment in Finland

The Kotka team, our logistics colleagues in Finland, set a new record and created a purpose moment in January.

Kimmo Salmi, our Managing Director of logistics in Finland, had a great January. “Everyone worked hard and spent many hours in the Kotka office this January when the team handled more than 520 trailer loads in our trade lanes. This is an all-time high for us, representing a growth in volume of a staggering 37% compared to last year.

“This is a great start to 2018 and a fine example of the DFDS values and behaviours. To me, the Kotka team has fully embraced our purpose and created a true purpose moment,” he says.