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Maria Franksen new MD of Gothenburg Ro-Ro Terminal

Maria Franksen

The Gothenburg Ro-Ro Terminal has found its new Managing Director. From 1 November 2020 the position will be filled by Maria Franksen, an international businesswoman with a mountain of experience in the supply chain business, which the terminal is there to serve.

Maria’s career in the supply chain industry began as a forklift driver   in a warehouse in the port during her studies, and this taught her an important lesson: Nearly everything is related to supply chain. This took her to Volvo Logistics and a 20-year long management career in various Volvo companies. She continued her career as a Supply Chain Director and Production Manager at Stena Steel and, finally, as National Warehouse Manager at Carlsberg Sverige from 2018 – and now she joins Gothenburg Ro-Ro Terminal.

“I get energy from seeing people develop and from being able to do things better and together, and I look very much forward to getting to know my new colleagues at Gothenburg Ro-Ro and working with all the terminal’s many stakeholders,” Maria says.

Morgan Olausson, Vice President and Head of Business Unit BU North Sea North, says: “With her strong leadership skills, her vast experience of supply chain operations and cooperation with customers and unions, I believe she will be exactly the right person to bring the Gothenburg Ro-Ro terminal forward towards excellence and ensure that the company stays a key terminal in the trade from and to Sweden. And, not least, a good workplace that provides many jobs.”

“I warmly welcome Maria to DFDS and hope you will all join me in giving her a good start in her new job.”

Challenging situation in the Gothenburg Terminal

The Gothenburg Ro-Ro terminal will be hit by loss of business during the Covid-19 crisis. As the trade union, in contrast to other employees in Sweden, refuses to go on leave based on the Swedish Short- Time Work Allowance, management has no alternative to starting negotiations on staff reductions to bring the terminal through the Covid-19 crisis.

The Gothenburg Ro-Ro terminal in Sweden will also be hit by a Covid-19 reduction in volumes. However, the terminal’s management team is facing a challenging situation as the negotiations about the Short- Time Work Allowance failed.

“Both Sweden, the terminal and our many customers are in an extremely difficult situation. To mitigate the consequences for us and our customers, and to bring the terminal safely through the crisis, we have had a dialogue with our trade union Transportarbetarförbundet in order to temporarily adjust staff in the terminal to the lower workload and at the same time maintain the flexibility of staffing we need to serve ships that depend on weather and wind,” says Björn Wånge, Managing Director of Gothenburg Ro-Ro.

Paid short-term leave in accordance with the Swedish Short- Time Work Allowance has been positively received by employees of many Swedish companies and is seen as an opportunity to jointly help companies and workplaces through the crisis, without permanently damaging the company and employment. Employees get more than 90% of their salary during the leave.

“However, in spite of long negotiations, we failed to reach an agreement on temporary leave for our workers. Therefore, we see no other option than to begin negotiations for termination due to shortage of work. It is a very sad situation, which I regret very much, but we are simply left without any alternatives,” says Björn.

Freesia back from Remontowa Shiprepair Yard

Freesia Seaways in Gothenburg, Sweden

All flowers need careful tending in order to blossom, and that applies to flowers made of metal as well. Last Sunday, one of our six flower vessels, Freesia Seaways, came back from a 12-day dry-dock stay at the Remontowa Shiprepair Yard in Gdańsk, Poland.

Superintendent Albert Lars-Olof says: “In addition to the usual maintenance of the machinery and systems, a hull inspection including cleaning and repairing was carried out, to make Freesia sail more smoothly through the water and to save fuel. She was also rebranded with the modern DFDS logo.”

Martin Larsson, Traffic Manager in Gothenburg, has just shared some amazing drone photos of a fully-loaded Freesia back in business, just arriving outside Gothenburg Terminal.

New collaboration with Volvo Trucks: Autonomous trucks

In 2018, our customer Volvo Trucks presented its first electric and autonomous truck, Vera. Vera is designed for transporting large volumes of goods in repetitive assignments over short distances and with high precision.

Now DFDS has entered into an exciting collaboration with Volvo Trucks in order to implement Vera in a real transport assignment. This will be in the continuous flow of containers from DFDS’ Arendal Logistics Contract centre in Gothenburg via our Gothenburg Ro/Ro Terminal to APM Terminals, which is our neighbour in the port.

Over the next couple of years, the aim is to implement this as a connected system consisting of several Vera vehicles. The vehicles will be monitored by a control tower and provide a seamless and constant flow that will be able to meet demands for greater efficiency, flexibility and sustainability.

DFDS’ role will be to develop our systems so we can communicate directly with and handle the autonomous trucks when they arrive at our gates from where they will be taken to the APM Terminal for further transport into the world.

We are extremely pleased with this collaboration with Volvo Trucks. It will make our terminals the first to be prepared for a future that will without any doubt bring more autonomous trucks on the roads. Therefore, we aim to develop an efficient, flexible and sustainable solution for receiving autonomous vehicles arriving at our gates. It will benefit our customers, the environment and pave the way for future business,” says Torben Carlsen.

He emphasizes that safety will be the primary focus of the transport that will move at a maximum speed of 40 kilometres per hour.

“Autonomous transports with low noise levels and zero exhaust emissions have an important role to play in the future of logistics and will benefit both business and society. We see this collaboration as an important start and want to drive progress in this area. Testing has already started and we intend to implement the solution within the coming years”, says Mikael Karlsson, Vice President Autonomous Solutions at Volvo Trucks.

DFDS’ involvement is managed as a DFDS project (not Ferry or Logistics) by Selina Lindquist on the commercial side and Matt Ellis on the technical side in close cooperation with the rest of the project team within DFDS Logistics Contracts, Gothenburg Ro/Ro Terminal as well as members from Headquarters. They report to an internal Steering Committee to ensure DFDS progress. Joint project progress is reported to a board represented by Torben Carlsen on DFDS side.

Niklas Andersson, Sophie-Kim Chapman and Morgan Olausson also played a big part in making this happen when we were asked if we wanted to team up. The project is located within Valdemar Warburg’s organization Digitizing the Core and Innovation.

The project is at an early stage, and the partners will be back later with more detailed information.

Follow Vera’s first assignment from logistics center to terminal and learn more about Volvo Trucks’ autonomous transport solution:

Torben Carlsen talks about DFDS’ role in Volvo Trucks’ autonomous transport project and the strong partnership that the two companies share:

Read more about the autonomous transport solution and get access to more images and videos here.

Peace in Gothenburg: Industrial dispute is over

This is probably the best news, which Björn Wånge, MD of the Gothenburg Ro-Ro terminal has had in a long time: The industrial dispute between the Port Workers Union and Ports of Sweden ended yesterday at 18:00, and the workers are back to work again.

The parties have agreed on new terms, which means they will work according to the collective agreements made with the transport workers union and the Ports of Sweden association. The agreement includes a so-called peace agreement which obliges the parties to refrain from industrial disputes as long as the parties honour the agreement.

“This is really, really good news. Our customers and the terminal have suffered under the many strikes and lockouts that came in response to the strikes, and there was nothing we could do about it locally. We are now back on full capacity and can focus fully on servicing our customers and deliver the services they should be able to expect in a world where time becomes ever more important and delays ever more unacceptable. It is now time to look forward and hope all parties take their responsibility to make Gothenburg RoRo Terminal a truly flexible and efficient terminal that can meet the everyday expectations from our customers,” he says.

Gothenburg Ro-Ro Terminal strike: Notice of Lockout

Sveriges Hamner (Swedish Ports) have given notice of Lockout to Hamnarbetarförbundet (Dock Workers Union). The notice includes salary deduction on free days, ban on overtime, ban on new employees (use of Blixt) outside ordinary working schedules and ban on use of manning company on overtime.

The notice starts on 6 March and is valid until 31 July and does only concern members from Hamnarbetarförbundet.

The notice of Lockout is sanctioned by The Swedish Confederation of Transport Enterprises and the industry.

All Swedish ports are obliged to follow the notice of Lockout.

Below the notices of Strikes that we have received from HF:

  • On Wednesday 27 February, strike notice is for 04.00-06.00
  • Thursday 28 February, strike notice is for 13.00–15.30 + 21.00–23.00
  • Sunday 3 March, strike notice is for 06.00–13.00 + 18.15–22.15
  • Monday 4 March, strike notice is for 04.00–10.00 + 20.00–23.45
  • Tuesday 5 March, strike notice is for 08.00-12.00 + 16.00-20.00

Notice of strikes in Gothenburg Ro-Ro Terminal continues

The dispute between Sveriges Hamnar (Swedish Ports) and Hamnarbetarförbundet (Dock Workers Union) about the right to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement parallel to the one with the Transport Workers Union is still ongoing.

Björn Wånge, Managing Director, says: “Unfortunately the union Hamnarbetarförbundet (Dock Workers Union) turned down the mediators’ proposal already on Monday instead of waiting until the stipulated timeframe on Wednesday 20 February at 14.00.
The Swedish Ports have withdrawn all Lockouts for this and next week, meaning that we only have to deal with the strikes. I have now received new notices of strikes for Gothenburg Ro-Ro Terminal.“

Notice of strikes going forward:

Week 8
On Tuesday 19 February between 13.00-16.00

On Thursday 21 February between 13.00-15.00

On Friday the 22 February between 04.45-08.45

Week 9
On Wednesday 27 February between 04.00-06.00

On Thursday the 28 February 13.00-15.30 and between 21.00-23.00

Further strike warnings for Gothenburg Ro-Ro Terminal and Karlshamn on February 20, 21 and 22

The dispute between Sveriges Hamnar (Swedish Ports) and Hamnarbetarförbundet (Dock Workers Union) about the right to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement parallel to the one with the Transport Workers Union is continuing with further strike warnings. The strike situation now looks like this:

Gothenburg:

The strikes at the Gothenburg Ro-Ro Terminal are (this) set to take place on Sunday 17, Monday 18, Tuesday 19 and Thursday 21 February (note no warning for Wednesday 20).

  • On Sunday 17 February, strike notice is for 14:00 to 18:00, and as the counter measure is a lock-out, it means that the terminal will be closed for business from 14:00 to midnight.
  • On Monday 18 February, the strike notice is from 4:45 to 8:45, and with lock-out, it will be closed from 4:45 to midnight.
  • On Tuesday 19 February, strike notice is for 13:00 to 16:00, and with lock-out, it will be closed from 13:00 to midnight.
  • On Thursday 21 February, strike notice is for 13:00 to 15:00 and with lock-out it will be closed from 13:00 to midnight.
  • On Friday 22 February, strike notice is for 04:45 to 08:45 and SH will as a counter measure lockout between 04:45 to midnight.

The gate in Gothenburg RoRo Terminal will however be open, so customers can drop off and pick up cargo.

“We very much regret the effect the strikes have on our customers’ business, and we are working closely with our customers to mitigate the effects, among other things, through daily meetings,” says  Björn Wånge, Managing Director, Gothenburg Ro-Ro

Karlshamn:

  • On Tuesday 19 February, strike notice is for 13:00 to 16:00, and with lock-out for workers from dock workers union from 13:00 to midnight.
  • On Wednesday 20 February, strike notice is for 13:00 to 16:00, and with lock-out for workers from dock workers union from 13:00 to midnight.
  • On Thursday 21 February, strike notice is for 13:00 to 16:00, and with lock-out for workers from dock workers union from 13:00 to midnight.

 

“Our Karlshamn service will not be closed. The gate will still be open and 2-3 dock workers outside Hamnarbetarförbundet will be working, so we expect to be able to service most customers without them noticing delays,” says Per-Henrik Persson, Route Director.

New strike warnings for Gothenburg Ro-Ro for 17 to 19 February

MD Björn Wånge and his team are informing their customers about the strike notice for the Gothenburg Ro-Ro terminal and with them planning for handling the situation in the best possible way.

The dispute between Sveriges Hamnar (Swedish Ports) and Hamnarbetarförbundet (Dock Workers Union) continues. The dispute is about the right to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement (Swedish ports already have one with the Swedish Transport Workers Union).

“Mediators are trying to find solutions that can be accepted by both parties, but so far the Dock Workers Union have turned down all proposal, and the parties have now been called to meetings with the mediators during Thursday and Friday,” says Björn Wånge, MD of Gothenburg Ro-Ro.

In spite of the ongoing mediations, several ports, including the Gothenburg Ro-Ro terminal, have received new strike notices.

The new strikes at the Gothenburg Ro-Ro Terminal are set to take place on Sunday 17,  Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 February.

On Sunday 17 February, strike notice is for 14:00 to 18:00, and as the counter measure is a lock-out, it means that the terminal will be closed for business from 14:00 to midnight.

On Monday 18 February, the strike notice is from 4:45 to 8:45, and with lock-out, it will be closed from 4:45 to midnight.

On Tuesday 19 February, strike notice is for 13:00 to 16:00, and with lock-out, it will be closed from 13:00 to midnight.

“We are informing our customers about this and together with them planning for handling the situation in the best possible way,” says Björn.

Strike looming in Gothenburg Ro-Ro Terminal on Sunday and Monday and in Karlshamn from today

As we have previously reported, there is an on-going dispute between the port workers union in Swedish Dockworkers Union (Hamnarbetarförbundet), and the ports’ association Svenska Hamnar about the right to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement (Swedish ports already have a CBA with the Swedish Transport Workers Union).

Due to on-going negotiations, there were no open conflicts until now. Unfortunately, this seems to end now as a solution that was accepted by Swedish Ports was turned down by the Dockworkers Union. Due to this there is now a strike warning for Gothenburg Ro-Ro (and other selected ports ), and as the strike warning is followed by a lock-out from Swedish Ports, this means that Gothenburg Ro-Ro terminal will be closed for business on Sunday 27 January from 14:00 until midnight and Monday 28 January from 14:00 until midnight. The gate in Gothenburg RoRo Terminal will however be open, so customers can drop off and pick up cargo.

“We regret this very much and are planning meetings with our customers to see how we can best mitigate the consequences on our services,” says Björn Wånge, MD of Gothenburg Ro-Ro Terminal.

Karlshamn to be affected from today
The strike and lock-out will also affect the handling of unaccompanied trailers in Karlshamn from 23 January 09.30 – midnight and 24 January from 09.30 to midnight. On 25 January, it will affect our operation from 12:00 until midnight.

Driver accompanied traffic and passengers will not be effected. Unaccompanied traffic/trailers will have a reduced capacity ranging from 30-70 % per day.

“We will be able to arrange moorings so the ship will be able to arrive and depart, however with reduced capacity for the unaccompanied trailers,” says Per-Henrik Persson, Route Director.

He does not expect that operation in Kapellskär will be affected.

 

The Gothenburg Ro-Ro terminal team shrinks 

If you visit the Gothenburg Ro-Ro terminal, you can look forward to meeting the same nice colleagues as before. Yet the team is considerably smaller as it has shrunk by 185 kg in total. This is the great result of real teamwork.

As the team stood together and endured a 16-week weight loss challenge, 22 of the 26 participants made it to the finishing line in week 48, when they celebrated an impressive average weight loss of 7.13 kg per person.

“Our goal was to lose 5% of our weight, but we did even better because we were good at supporting each other. We kept up our drive, and one of our team members managed to leave impressive 19.2 kg behind,” Mikael Karlsson, Gothenburg Ro-Ro, says.

“Of course, we want the very best for our nice colleagues in the Shipping and Logistics divisions too, so we plan to challenge Morgan Olausson’s shipping team in Gothenburg. However, we sincerely doubt that they will exhibit the same stamina as us. It is up to them to prove us wrong – if they dare.”

The editors congratulate the team and feel inspired.

Gothenburg RoRo terminal hit by lack of workers

Unfortunately, we are seeing disturbances to traffic and delays affecting cargo and trailers at our ro-ro terminal in Gothenburg today.

This is mainly due to a lack of staff. Only 10% of the additional workers whom we employ on a day-to-day basis have turned up for work after 16:00 hours. This means that we are about 30 persons short today, and as this unfortunately coincides with more ships in port than usual due to last week’s weather and subsequent delays, we have not been able to avoid interruptions to our services,” says Björn Wånge, Managing Director, Gothenburg RoRo.

“We have not received either a warning or an explanation, but we suspect that the Swedish Dockworkers Union (Hamnarbetarförbundet) is reacting to a new policy implemented by all Sweden’s ports in April 2018, which means they are only entitled to benefits stipulated by law. According to the policy, the companies can only negotiate further benefits with the contractual party, which is the Transport Workers’ Union for all Sweden’s ports, and for a few of our own permanent staff.

“We talked to a representative from Hamnarbetarförbundet yesterday, but he denied that any action is taking place. We deeply regret the reduced service which is affecting our customers, and hope that a solution will soon be found so we can once again deliver the service our customers expect and count on,” says Björn.

Gothenburg RoRo Terminal featured in story about Volvo Trucks innovation

Yesterday at an exhibition in Berlin, Volvo presented their new future-oriented invention: VERA. It is an autonomous truck intended to transport trailers between logistics hubs. The VERA is not ready for the real world yet, as she still needs a lot of testing and refinements.

Volvo made a video with the first model of the concept, which was revealed last evening. And as the sharp DFDS viewer might notice, parts of the video were filmed at Gothenburg RoRo Terminal.

“This is a really interesting concept and invention, which might also be of interest to us in the future. At DFDS, we are open to new digital possibilities, and if Volvo needs to test the VERA further on in the process, we are of course open to helping them explore possibilities,” says Björn Wånge, CEO at Gothenburg RoRo Terminal.

Great teamwork at Gothenburg RoRo

The Swedish national football team wasn’t the only Swedish team dressed in their kit to secure success last Tuesday.

In order for Petunia Seaways to depart with the planned car load, everyone at the terminal discovered their inner team spirit and helped each other get the job done, just in time to make sure that our colleagues and customers were ready to cheer for Sweden in the World Cup. Even our white-collar staff helped with loading and unloading Volvos during a planned break, and finished on time together with the regular staff.

“There is no doubt that everyone did a fantastic job, with an impressive 355 cars loaded out of a planned 350! It also turned out to be a great team activity where a lot of new contacts were made. I have to say, there is nothing better than bringing colleagues together to share experiences that can make us grow into an even stronger unit,” says Björn Wånge, Managing Director.

Great work, Gothenburg, and good luck to all teams – as DFDS isn’t just cheering on Sweden. At DFDS, we have colleagues in France, Belgium, England and Russia who will all be cheering on their own teams joining Sweden in the quarter finals.

An exceptionally heavy load shipped from the Gothenburg RoRo Terminal

Last week the nearly 3,000-tonne living quarters, Martin Linge, was shipped from the Gothenburg RoRo Terminal out to its final destination in the North Sea. This was an exceptionally heavy load and a job well done – the result of fantastic teamwork among our colleagues at the terminal.

 

Video: Gothenburg RoRo handled 3000 tonnes shipment

I am happy to announce that we today successfully shipped out the nearly 3000 ton heavy platform Martin Linge through our good terminal Gothenburg RoRo Terminal. A big thank you to all involved in making this a success. Because we can!

Björn Wånge

 

 

Our purpose is blossoming

Gothenburg RoRo terminal, photo by Bjørn Wånge.

In December we launched our purpose “We move for all to grow” and ever since, implementations and workshops have taken root in many DFDS locations.

“It’s great to see our purpose germinating in all locations and it is great to see people’s commitment to spreading the word. We have received quite a lot of photos from the events, which we were eager to share with everyone. We hope that the purpose will begin to bloom in all corners of our business, as a vital element of our future employer branding strategy,” says Rikke Gransøe Lange, Head of GBI and member of the purpose committee.

 


Felixstowe, photo by Mark Woodard


Crown Seaways, photo by Kristian Kristensen


Ark Dania, photo by Per Petersen


Larkhall photo by Robert Murdoch


Anglia Seaways photo by Kim Carlsson