New Operations Manager for Italy

Caris Elaine Petersen gets new role in BU Mediterranean as Operations Manager for Italy


New Operations Manager for Italy will be Caris Elaine Petersen, who will take up her new role on 1 January 2020. She will be reporting to Fuat Pamukcu, VP Sales, Marketing, Business Development & Strategy

Caris (26) holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Shipping, Trade, and Transport from London Metropolitan University.

She has been working in DFDS since 2012, and her latest position was ‘Assistant Manager” at the Customer Service & Operations Department in Kiel.

In Istanbul, she will be working on operations management for Italy Route as well as facilitating Phoenix integration and being a role model with the DFDS Way.

“I look very much forward to start my exciting journey with BU Med in Turkey and I’m glad that I have the opportunity to expand my know-how further within DFDS. I’m excited to start working with all the friendly and kind-hearted colleagues in Istanbul,” says Caris.

Philipp Mayworm, Head of Customer Service & Operations in Kiel, says: “I am extremely pleased to see that DFDS provides exciting career opportunities for talented employees such as Caris. She will of course be missed in Kiel, but I am confident that she will add great value for DFDS in BU Med. I wish Caris all the best in her future role.”

Lars Hoffmann, Head of BU Med, says: “ I know Caris from my time in Kiel, and I am confident she will contribute to making BU Med an even stronger operation and business as she has a lot of experience with customer service, operations and how we work in DFDS. Please join me in welcoming her to BU Med. I am confident you will all support her in her new role with us.”

New intermodal connection from Istanbul to Cologne

Our terminal in Trieste will ensure that our customers’ goods have a smooth transition between train and ferry

Our cooperation with transport company Ekol is turning out to be very good for our customer service. As a result of our agreement with Ekol on transport of trailers in the Mediterranean, DFDS can now provide a direct connection between the Istanbul region in Turkey and Cologne in Germany. Ekol will continue to use this connection, thus providing the volumes to make the start-up phase smooth.

Giancarlo De Marco Telese, Intermodal Operations Manager, says: “This became possible when the connection between Trieste and Cologne shifted from ‘Ekol only’ to ‘open’ for all customers of DFDS and Kombiverkehr (the railway partner in the project). With this, customers can reach northern Germany quickly. It is easier for our customers to plan transport as they only communicate with DFDS, and it reduces the lead time compared to alternative solutions. The train runs eight round trips per week with a weekly capacity of 512 units, and it only takes 20 hours to go between Cologne and the DFDS Trieste terminal in Italy.”

Together with Munich and Ludwigshafen, Cologne is the third direct connection with Germany, proving that intermodal transportation is a lively market as more and more customers realise the added value of moving unaccompanied units by rail.

Trieste – the gateway for Turkey to Europe

Jens Peder Nielsen, Managing Director of our terminal in Trieste. Here seen in front of Ephesus Seaways

A little over a year ago, Jens Peder Nielsen started as Managing Director of our terminal in Trieste, Italy. Since then, optimisation of the terminal has been a high priority. In March and June, our colleagues in Trieste welcomed Ephesus and Troy fresh from the Jinling Shipyard in China. There have also been several completed and ongoing developments in this thriving terminal.

Access to free trade flow and excellent infrastructure 
The Port of Trieste operates under free port regulations. This means it is outside the customs area and is a free-trade zone where goods may be unloaded, stored and shipped without payment of customs duties and with significantly reduced customs procedures. Additionally, in most European countries there is a limited number of annual transit permits provided to Turkish transport and logistics operators. However, the free port status provides access to a free trade flow without limitation of permits, making Trieste a very attractive terminal.

Jens Peder says: “The terminal also offers great intermodal solutions as the Port of Trieste has one of the best infrastructures in Italy when it comes to rail connections, a business segment with a lot of potential and already in growth. We are therefore very happy to see Emil Hausgaard joining the team in Trieste to work on intermodal connections between the Mediterranean and northern Europe as well as optimising shipping and intermodal schedules.”

Optimisation comes in many different shapes and forms
The terminal was recently visited by Sam De Wilde, MD in Ghent and head of the Terminal Excellence Project. They discussed the operations practices at the terminal and shared experiences from other terminals. The options were also evaluated for a new automatic gate system, like the one in Ghent.

Terminal layout and facilities
“During the visit, we also examined the capacity optimisation with regard to the terminal layout. As a concrete example, we realised that our parking slots at the terminal were rather wide. Instead of the 3.5-metre standard width at other terminals, they were four metres wide which meant that a lot of capacity could be created without expanding the terminal area,” says Jens Peder.

“Earlier this year we replaced the old lighting at the terminal with LED, reducing the energy consumption and maintenance costs and prolonging the lifespan significantly. The switch to LED will reduce the electricity consumption cost by EUR 50,000 per year and have a two-year payback period.

“At the end of the year, we will also have installed a new CCTV system at the terminal. With the old system, we were bound to have several guards patrol the terminal every day and night which is very costly. The new CCTV will allow 24/7 surveillance, with guards observing from the control room and ready to respond at any time. This is also something that the government is very happy to see as illegal immigrants often try to cross the border.

“During September we will launch the correct mooring facilities to accommodate our mega freight ferries, Troy and Ephesus. This means that all three ramps will be utilised during loading and unloading operations. We will of course share this story when it is ready.”

Promotions in BU MED

Emil Hausgaard and Christina Mørup

Emil Hausgaard to Trieste
After organising and facilitating the work to integrate U.N. Ro-Ro into DFDS, Integration Coordinator Emil Hausgaard has been promoted Deputy Director in Trieste, Italy from 1 September.

In Trieste, he will be working on intermodal connnections between the Mediterranean and Northern Europe as well as optimising shipping and intermodal schedules. Further, he will be responsible for terminal optimisation programs in Trieste and select European customers.

Jens Peder Nielsen, Managing Director of Samer Seaports & Terminals, says: “I am very pleased to see Emil as Deputy Director in our great team. I am sure that he will continue his successful career here in Trieste.”

Lars Hoffmann, Head of BU Med, says: “Emil has proven his ability by managing the integration process of U.N. Ro-Ro to DFDS over the last year. With his knowledge and expertise, he is an excellent choice as Deputy Director for Trieste.”

Christina Mørup to Istanbul
Furthermore, Christina Mørup will move from DFDS’ Strategy and Consulting Department to a postion as Senior Commercial Development Manager in BU Med in Istanbul on 1 September, reporting to Lars Hoffmann. “I welcome Christina Mørup and wish her all the best in her new position. We look forward to working with her and welcoming her to BU Med,” says Lars.

Her primary role will be to link the intermodal business with the rest of the DFDS’ network, review the pricing setup, and explore new business opportunities.

Despite headwind: Growth in DFDS’ Mediterranean network

In April 2018, DFDS acquired the Mediterranean freight ferry company U.N. RO-RO and became a major operator in the freight market between Turkey and Europe. Since then, DFDS has grown considerably in this market, even through it has been hit by a general downturn in the Turkish economy and industry.

“Shortly after the acquisition we added Greece to the service, and at the end of 2018, we entered into an agreement with Turkey’s largest logistics company Ekol. This expanded our volumes between our terminals in Turkey and in Trieste in Italy by 30 %. This means that even though the current downturn of the Turkish economy has affected margins, we enjoy a very healthy growth in this market,” says Selçuk Boztepe, Head of DFDS’ BU Mediterranean.

“We expect the volumes growth to continue, not least as we have the flexibility in our fleet to quickly add capacity to our Mediterranean business. During March this year, we added the newly built mega freight ferry Ephesus Seaways to the fleet of 13 large freight ferries we operate in this market while at the same time, added sailings from the new terminal Yalova to our network in record time. “

Ephesus Seaways is the first of a series of six mega freight ferries being built in China, and the next ferry in this series will also be added to DFDS’ Turkish network.”

Ephesus Seaways’ first arrival in Trieste

Ephesus Seaways arriving at the Trieste terminal

Yesterday, Ephesus Seaways completed her maiden voyage and arrived with 450 trailers at the Trieste terminal in Italy. And she was suitably greeted by a welcoming committee with Jens Peder Nielsen, our MD in Trieste, and Samer & Co Shipping executives, the Mayor of Trieste together with government and port authority representatives.

In place to welcome Ephesus Seaways on her first arrival in Trieste were: (From left) Jens Peder Nielsen, MD of Samer Seaports & Terminals; Antonio Gurrieri, Trieste Port Authority; Pierpaolo Roberti, Regional Government; Enrico Samer, President & CEO, Samer & Co Shipping; Capt. Hasan Can Gümüş, Master of Ephesus Seaways; Roberto Dipiazza, Mayor of Trieste; and Lilli Samer, CFO Samer & Co Shipping.

“All the teams in Trieste, especially the operations team, were really excited to welcome her. Having such a colossal ship operating at a terminal takes a lot of preparation, and in Trieste infrastructure improvement is already in progress to fully accommodate the ferry’s unique ramp system,” Jens Peder Nielsen says.

Trieste terminal stevedores unloading Ephesus Seaways

“When I finally saw the ferry up close, it fully lived up to my expectations of how grand she is, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing what benefits she will bring, not only DFDS, but also to the customers using her service. Hopefully Ephesus will be really busy on the route where her capacity is surely welcome,” Jens Peder says.

Thank you to Samer & Co. Shipping for sharing the pictures with us.

Spectacular shot of Trieste and Ephesus Seaways. Does anyone need a new desktop wallpaper?

Ephesus Seaways and UND Atilim in Trieste

The best kind of view

New rail service between the Mediterranean and Sweden/Norway

Following the completion of a missing rail link, DFDS now connects Sweden and Norway with Turkey and Southern Europe via efficient and environmentally sound routes that combine ferry and rail services.

From 11 March, trains with trailers and containers from customers throughout Spain and Southern France will arrive at the DFDS terminal in Ghent for sea transport to Gothenburg for the Swedish and Norwegian markets. Or vice versa. This adds a further service to our intermodal links between the Mediterranean and Scandinavia, which will in the future offer the following services:

Spain-Sweden/Norway in 4-5 days
From Barcelona, trailers traveling between Spain and Sweden/Norway can from 11 March transfer between road and rail.
Additionally, the trailers can be transferred in Le Boulou, just north of the Spanish border.
In Ghent, the trailers transfer between rail and the Gothenburg-Ghent ferry service.

Lyon- Sweden/Norway in 4 days
In Lyon, the rail-ship connection links the industrial region in and around Lyon with Sweden and Norway via the Ghent-Gothenburg freight ferry route.

Turkey-Trieste-Sweden/Norway in 8 days
In Trieste, trailers from Turkey are transferred between ship and rail for rail-ship connection via Ghent to Gothenburg

The rail link to Ghent became complete when Ghent was connected directly with the railway hub in Bettembourg where trailers were taken to and from Ghent by road until now. “We will start up with 5 connections per week”, says Jens Juel, Head of Strategic Sales, Ferry Division

Lifting ‘non-craneable trailers’
“For the connection between Trieste and Ghent, a new lifting system enables us to lift any type of trailers onto the trains, including the so-called ‘non – craneable trailers’. This makes things easier for our customers, as there is no need to plan for a specific trailer to benefit from the rail connections”, says Jens.

Several off-the-roads benefits
“There are several benefits for our customers and the general environment in using this intermodal link as it takes a substantial number of trailers off the European roads and reduces congestions. In addition to this, it reduces the need for trucks and drivers at a time where the availability of drivers is low. It has taken the combined efforts of many colleagues to make his happen. A particular thank you goes to Nicola Nelli who has a big stake in this,” says Jens.

Transit times and schedules of shipping routes can be found here.

New rail freight service between Turkey and Belgium

The first intermodal rail freight train from Genk arrives in Trieste

DFDS can now offer its customers an intermodal freight route between Turkey and Belgium and the first intermodal rail freight train from Genk arrived in Trieste on 20 January. The new route, between Genk and Trieste, will allow customers to better utilise the DFDS network, broadening the range of choices for connections between Turkey and northern Europe.

Taking a mere 28 hours between Genk and Trieste and adding (at full capacity) three weekly round trips of about 34 slots per train, this train is a welcome addition to the DFDS Trieste terminal as its intermodal terminal capacity is in great demand.

“This is another result of our efforts in the continued development of our intermodal cargo capabilities,” says Nicola Lelli, Head of Intermodal, adding that new routes are becoming available to allow for more efficient transport and thereby making inland transportation faster and more environmentally sustainable.

DFDS partnered with the European operators Lineas, LTE and InRail to make this new intermodal service available for our customers, with the main part of the slots taken over by H.Essers, a valued customer of DFDS.

Major contract renewal with Wellman International

The DFDS Dublin office has signed a new logistics management contract with Wellman International, extending a 13-year relationship for a further three years.

Wellman International is western Europe’s leading manufacturer of polyester staple fibre used to produce padding for products such as car seats, bedding sets and nappies.

DFDS manages Wellman’s complete global logistics requirements with a dedicated on-site team of 11 colleagues, supported by our Dublin office and other relevant offices within the network.
“We have a strong track record of delivering cost-efficient supply chain solutions and a high service level. So, whether it is raw material coming in from Thailand or the Netherlands, or finished fibre being exported to Germany or the US, we have Wellman covered from both a service quality perspective and a total landed-cost perspective,” says John Coleman, MD of DFDS Logistics in Ireland.

“Every year, we handle 140,000 tonnes of raw material and finished fibre, corresponding to around 7,000 full loads, of which 2,750 are transported on our own trailers and containers, through a strong carrier management platform. We also operate two dedicated warehouses in Ireland, and are responsible for third-party warehousing and distribution in the UK, Germany and Italy on behalf of Wellman.

Additionally, in order to maximise unit fill for Wellman’s raw material imports, we have recently renewed investment in new 45ft max-bulk high cube containers, which are operating in a very busy round-trip cycle.”

Commenting on our contribution to their business, Brett Gillison, Sales Director for Wellman International, says it is “a real professional outfit, made up of people who have a genuine interest in doing what’s right for the common good of everyone involved.”

Well done, and congratulations to all our teams involved in making this longstanding relationship even stronger.

Wellman process – raw material to the left and finished bales to the right.

Jubilee Seaways in Trieste

Last weekend, Jubilee Seaways came out of her hibernation to visit Trieste on one of the main squares. It was a gorgeous, sunny Saturday and hundreds of people saw our very own Guinness World Record holder for the largest LEGO ship. The media came out and Jens Peder Nielsen, Managing Director of our new terminal in Trieste, was interviewed by both print and television journalists. Rico and Lily Samer, co-owners of the terminal, came out to see Jubilee as well. It was once again amazing to see how people, young and old, respond to Jubilee – our colleagues at the event had to run to the office to print more info flyers about her twice and nearly 1,200 in total were handed out!

Jubilee will now head on to Istanbul to make several appearances there, including at LogiTrans from 14-16 November.

Jens Peder Nielsen proudly showing Jubilee Seaways and welcoming viewers with open arms.

Investment in environmental compliance for Mediterranean route network

DFDS will in 2019 invest DKK 300m to install scrubbers on 12 freight ferries deployed on our routes in the Mediterranean between Turkey, Italy, Greece and France. The investment will ensure compliance with the new global rules that from 2020 aims to reduce sulphur emissions through limiting sulphur content in marine fuel oil to 0.5% or through other means, such as scrubbers, with at least a similar environmental effect.

“We are happy to already now start preparing for complying with the new limit on sulphur content in emissions in the Mediterranean. This will bring environmental benefits for all. By applying DFDS’ extensive experience of procuring, installing and operating scrubber systems we are achieving both operational and financial synergies,” says Niels Smedegaard.

In line with DFDS’ CSR policy and to comply with IMO’s (International Maritime Organisation) upcoming regulation, hybrid scrubbers were chosen as the optimal solution for the fleet in the Mediterranean.

Arrivederci to my Italian colleagues

Dear everyone,

Developments beyond our control, such as the collapse of the railway tracks in Rastatt in Germany and the lack of uniform systems among European countries, have disrupted our railway business in Italy. I had personally hoped we would have been able to turn around the business, but unfortunately, developments were against us in spite of the hard work and impressive commitment demonstrated by you.

Many of you will be leaving now and the time has come for me to express my warmest thanks for your contribution to DFDS and for the privilege I had of working with you all. Therefore, please accept my warmest thanks to every one of you for the dedication you have shown and for your  professionalism during the last months and weeks. Also, I am very grateful for the collaboration and support you offered me personally when I came to Italy and the office.

I sincerely hope and believe that your personal and professional skills will help you to pursue the successful future careers, which you all deserve.

With the best wishes for the future,

Anton Tiggelman



DFDS acquires major Mediterranean shipping group U.N. Ro-Ro

With U.N. Ro-Ro, DFDS will operate Turkey’s largest Ro-Ro fleet and be the major player in the strong and continuously growing trade between Turkey and the EU. U.N. Ro-Ro operates five routes connecting Turkey with Italy and France, 12 large ro-ro ships and two major port terminals. DFDS will welcome 500 new colleagues. The deal has to await the authorities’ approval.

Today, DFDS signed a historic agreement to acquire 98.8 % of the shares in U.N. Ro-Ro from Turkish private equity companies Actera and Esas for a price of EUR 950 million.

U.N. Ro-Ro is Turkey’s largest operator of Ro-Ro freight ships, and it is a major Ro-Ro network in the Mediterranean Sea, where DFDS is only represented by a single route between France and Tunisia.

In one move, it gives us five major routes, four to Italy and one to France, a fleet of 12 large Ro-Ro ships, access to key Mediterranean ports and a large number of new freight customers. In cooperation with rail operators, U.N. Ro-Ro also offers intermodal transport between the ports and key EU markets.

Several factors make this an ideal move for DFDS:

Vast and growing market

With a population of 81 million, Turkey’s economy grew by 7 % in 2017 and is among the world’s 20th largest. Trade with the EU is extremely dynamic and is expected to grow faster than our other markets. Since U.N. Ro-Ro was founded in 1994, seaborne trade has continued to take market shares from the roads where congestion, border controls and customs formalities hinder the flow. Today, 55 % of the trade is seaborne – and the share continues to grow, benefitting not least U.N. Ro-Ro, which is the major operator in this market.

It is our core expertise

The operation of Ro-Ro ships and operation of port terminals handling a high number of unaccompanied trailer units – 202,000 units in 2017 – as well as project cargo and containers for intermodal transport are very similar to our own Ro-Ro shipping and freight terminal operation in the North Sea. The goods transported are machinery, automotive parts and vehicles, electronics, computers, plastic products, textiles, clothing, food, fruit, beverages. This is a business we really understand.

We know the ships

The 12 Ro-Ro ships were all built by the Flensburger Shipyard in Germany in the period from 2001 to 2013. They are basically of the same design as our flower class vessels, though the younger vessels are of a newer design. Similar to our ships, two vessels have been lengthened and further lengthenings are planned. This means we are very familiar with the ships and see potential for synergies.

All U.N. Ro-Ro’s ships were built at the Flensburg Shipyard between 2001 and 2013. The ships offer between 3214 and 4605 lane metre cargo capacity and they all fly the Turkish flag. 

Link to our current market

As this is a vital link between Turkey and the EU, it also links into our own network. Many of the trailers transported are destined for customers in Northern Europe, and will also be using our ships in the North Sea, the Channel or the Baltic. This is supported by a rail terminal directly in the port of Trieste, which enables U.N. Ro-Ro to offer customers efficient railway links to and from their European markets.

Selcuk Boztepe will continue as CEO of U.N. Ro-Ro.

Profitable and promising

U.N. Ro-Ro is a highly profitable company, and we are confident that joining forces will create new exciting opportunities as we can expand services to existing and new customers and combine sales organisations.

We also achieve a greater platform for developing new transport solutions for the benefit of our customers in the EU and Turkey, enjoy the increased flexibility of tonnage, which a bigger fleet provides, and increase the benefits of new digital solutions, among other things.

This will all be on the agenda in the coming months when we discuss how U.N Ro-Ro can best be integrated into the Shipping Division’s network from June when the deal hopefully will be approved and completed.

I also want to underline that even though it is a major investment, we will continue developing and extending our network through acquisitions, and continue to renew our fleet and invest in developing our business.

Here and now, I think we should all celebrate this historic event and warmly welcome our new Turkish colleagues and U.N. Ro-Ro’s skilled management to the DFDS family. Together, we are on the threshold of a new promising future – working in a bigger company and moving for all to grow in the Mediterranean region as well as in the rest of Europe.

Niels Smedegaard

“The acquisition of U.N. Ro-Ro will make the Mediterranean Sea one of DFDS’ key areas. I warmly welcome our 500 new colleageus to DFDS,” says Niels Smedegaard. With U.N. Ro-Ro, DFDS will be even bigger company with more than 8,000 staff and annual revenues of more than DKK 17 billion.


DFDS to reorganise rail business

DFDS has decided to withdraw rail services between Italy and Denmark/Sweden/UK. Regrettably, this will affect offices and staff in Italy, Sweden and the UK. Danish staff to be transferred to DSV.
Intermodal services Italy-Benelux/Norway/Ireland will continue. Road services Sweden-Italy will also continue.

For some years, DFDS has worked hard to improve the results of our rail service between Italy and Northern Europe through new strategies, downsizing, change of organisation, a rail competence centre and other means. Despite these efforts, results have continued to be unsatisfactory.

In addition to this, the service has repeatedly been disrupted by breakdowns in the railway network, the latest of many being the collapse of the railway tracks at Rastatt in southern Germany. These disruptions have had a negative effect on volumes, profitability and customers’ belief in our rail service.
We have now come to the conclusion that we need to fundamentally change our business to and from Italy in order to make it viable. Therefore, we will no longer offer rail based services between Italy and the UK, Denmark and Sweden with effect from 1 April 2018.

This leads to a complete reorganisation of our rail business:
IN ITALY: Regrettably, the withdrawal affects all our 22 staff in Italy. Our attempts to find new owners for the business have been unsuccessful and the office and warehouse in Fagnano will be closed. Consultations with employees and representatives will commence immediately

IN DENMARK: As of 5 March, DSV will offer customers on the Denmark – Italy corridor to take over DFDS’ services. DSV sees a potential for synergies on this corridor, and this means that our five rail colleagues in Fredericia will transfer to DSV.

IN SWEDEN and the UK: The rail organisation in Gothenburg and Immingham consists of five and two staff, respectively. Consultations with employees and representatives will commence today.

NB: Our road services between Sweden and Italy operated by DFDS Lilla Edet (formerly Italcargo) will not be affected and will carry on business as usual.

Our offices in BENELUX, IRELAND and NORWAY will continue to offer rail services and intermodal transport using a combination of road and rail. Rail services to and from Italy will be operated and controlled from our offices in Oslo and Rotterdam, respectively

We are very sorry about the impact this decision will have on our colleagues who have worked hard to make the business successful in spite of the headwind caused by the lack of efficiency and continuity in the railway network. We are doing our utmost to find other employment for as many as possible and will inform about this on an individual basis.

Eddie Green,
Executive Vice President, Head of Logistics Division