New department in Technical

In order to support DFDS’ strategic ambitions, Technical Organisation has established a new Performance Department. It will be managed by Lina Barsøe Rønn Christensen, who has, at the same time, been promoted to Performance Manager.

Lina’s primary tasks will be to enhance and improve our current monitoring systems that monitor vessels performance, and define and set new standards, including target settings to provide sufficient guidance and support for the Climate Action Plans in the coming year,” says Thomas Mørk, VP Technical Organisation. 

“She will ensure this is done in close collaboration with other departments, such as Data & Analytics, to ensure we use our operational data in the best possible way to drive continuous improvement. It also aims to reduce actions and behaviours that increase CO2 emissions. 

“In close cooperation with the CSR Team, Lina is also representing DFDS on various industry forumssuch as IMO and EU, where the standards for emissions for shipping in the coming years are being set. 

“Lina is without doubt the bestqualified professional we could find for this role. After finishing her Master’s thesis in naval architecture on evaluating the effects of retrofits, she has proven to be theoretically extremely well-grounded, straightforward and smart in finding new solutionseven when she is met with scepticism. She is also a great colleague to be around and work with, and I warmly congratulate both Lina on her promotion, and DFDS for being able to attract such talented people  

Great video of ramp installation

This summer, both Belgia Seaways and Gothia Seaways had movable ramps installed. The ramps will function both as weathertight decks and driving ramps between decks 2 and 3 and with this, all decks can be loaded via the normal aft ramp instead of via an external ramp for deck 3.

The operation lasted approximately two months for each ship and included cutting one large hole of 60 x 5 metres and removing about 80 tonnes of steel, and after that installing some 110 tonnes of new steel and 90 tonnes of new ramp and equipment. Watching this video, you will get a good impression of how big a task that is.

Belgia Seaways serves on the Baltic routes and Gothia Seaways sails the North Sea, and they were back in service immediately after re-delivery from the yard.

Superintendent Nicolai Andersen says: “I am proud we managed to complete this project in the middle of a Corona pandemic, and it was only successful due to very good cooperation between DFDS LT, DFDS DK, Remontowa Shipyard, Naval Architect and other parties involved.”

You can read more details about the ramp installations in these articles:

Belgia and Gothia get new ramp

New images from the ramp installation on Gothia Seaways



New images from the ramp installation on Gothia Seaways

About two months ago, we informed about the ramp installation project on Belgia Seaways and Gothia Seaways.

Now the installation has been finalised on both vessels. The new ramps will function both as weathertight decks and as driving ramps between Decks 2 and 3 meaning that now all decks can be loaded via the normal aft ramp instead of via an external ramp for Deck 3.

Superintendent Nicolai G. Andersen says: “The project was a successful cooperation between the Lithuanian technical organisation and the Copenhagen technical organisation. It was delivered timely from all stakeholders, included yard and ramp manufacturer, this despite the Corona situation in Europe, and it was completed in just eight months.”

Remontowa Shiprepair Yard made a very nice video about the ramp installation on Belgia Seaways which you can see here.

Belgia and Gothia Seaways get new 110-tonne ramp

Belgia Seaways and Gothia Seaways are having a movable ramp installed while dry-docked in Poland. The delivery of the 90 tonne ramp for Belgia took place on 2 June, and as the picture shows, it was no small operation. The ramp will connect Decks 2 and 3, and enable the ship to load Deck 3 via the normal aft ramp. 

Superintendents Nicolai Andersen, Igor Kastanov, Igor Fokin and Chief Engineer Brian Bering Pedersen are busy with an impressive ramp-building task at the Remontowa Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland.

“We are having a movable ramp installed on Belgia Seaways and Gothia Seaways . The ramp will function both as a weathertight deck and a driving ramp between Decks 2 and 3. With this, all decks can be loaded via the normal aft ramp instead of via an external ramp for Deck 3. This means that the ship can use other berths that do not have the equipment for external loading of the upper deck. And as it is a movable ramp, we lose very little space for cargo,” says Nicolai Andersen who is Project Manager.

The project includes cutting one large hole of 60 x 5 metres and removing about 80 tonnes of steel, and installing some 110 tonnes of new steel and 90 tonnes of new ramp and equipment.

“I need to thank Igor Fokin & Igor Kastanov for at the same time handling a regular 20-year dry-docking of the ships while they are docked,” says Nicolai.

“I also need to extend warm thanks to Brian B Pedersen. He lives in Poland and therefore – being very flexible and agile – was able to join the project almost instantly at the end of March, in spite of travel restrictions due to COVID-19 being implemented in Poland. Normally, Brian is on Ark Futura and he left home for his normal tour of duty, without knowing he would be deeply engaged in this project. In my opinion this is the real ‘Yes we will’ attitude of DFDS.”

It was a spectacular view on 2 June when the ramp was delivered for Belgia Seaways.

Reducing energy consumption by retrofit

Victoria Seaways and two MR tankers from Hafnia and Maersk Tankers are part of Green Ship of the Future’s Retrofit project.

Green Ship of the Future has released a report to show how retrofitting can result in significant reduction of energy consumption decreasing fuel consumption and emissions on board three vessels including Victoria Seaways. According to the project findings, this can be achieved through technology that is available today with a return of investment of less than three years.

Last week, Green Ship of the Future released a report that explores how retrofitting and the addition of new technology to older systems, can significantly reduce energy consumption on Victoria Seaways and two vessels from Hafnia and Maersk Tankers.

The report finds that Victoria Seaways can potentially achieve up to 11.1% reduction of fuel consumption by implementing new and proven technology that is easily implemented such as new propellers and new hull coating exemplified by Hempel in this report. All the suggested solutions were calculated towards an estimated payback time of three years to show the potential of making a green investment in a manner that minimizes operational cost and improve the potential of profitability.

It is also worth mentioning that the report states that it was a challenge to identify fuel saving solutions with a payback of less than three years and acknowledges Victoria’s dedicated crew, Superintendent Sergej Duriagin and DFDS’ Technical Organization for their high focus on optimizing the fleet as many of the suggested solutions were already implemented.

Share solutions and inspire other vessels
Rune Jørgensen Daae, Project Superintendent, says: “Projects like this are welcome eyeopeners for potential retrofits that can lower our environmental impact and present a good business case.

“It is positive to see there are still large savings to be made. We must continue to optimise our vessels to become even more sustainable, reduce operational costs and stay competitive, but also to ease the change to alternative energy sources. We hope this project will bring concrete saving potentials and inspire others to optimise their vessels.”

For a more in-depth and detailed look – see the full report here.

Technical Organisation and Newbuilding & Major Conversions to stay with Ferry Division

Organisation: The Technical Organisation and Newbuilding & Major Conversions are now permanently placed in the Ferry Division under Peder Gellert, EVP.

When Henrik Holck left DFDS last year, the Technical Organisation and Newbuilding & Major Conversions were moved to the Ferry Division as an interim solution. However, the experiences have been good and now it has been decided to make this solution permanent. This means that Thomas Mørk, VP and Head of Technical Organisation, will continue to report to Peder Gellert as will Jesper Aagesen, Head of Newbuilding & Major Conversions.

“It has proven to be an excellent structure in spite of the more commercial nature of ferry. After all, reliability is a main parametre for our customers, and reliability of ships very much depends on their technical performance. At the same time, developing and constructing new ships is about offering the best solutions for our customers and meeting their requirements,” says Peder Gellert.

“Fleet Management that is a link between the technical and commercial departments is already part of the Ferry Division. And luckily, my own lack of technical expertise is more than compensated for by Thomas Mørk and Jesper Aagesen who are both extremely skilled and knowledgeable and supported by very skilled and motivated people in their organisations. I welcome Thomas and Jesper and their staff as permanent members of the Ferry Division and look forward to continuing working with them to provide the ships and services our customers need,” Peder says.

Marine standards to Torben Carlsen
At the same time, it has been decided to place Marine Standards directly under Torben Carlsen. “Michael Stig who is Director of Marine Standards already reports to Torben in his role as designated person. And furthermore, Marine standard should not be part of the organisation it will be auditing for its safety and security procedures,” Peder says.

Michael Stig will in the future report to Torben Carlsen, both as designated person and as Director of Marine Standards.

Testing new fuel performance programme

BU Med vessels to test advanced fuel saving system. The team implementing the fuel-saving programme – from the left: Hasan Göler, Operations Superintendent, Rune Daae, Project Superintendent, Lina Christensen, Naval Architect, Ahmet Ender, Performance Superintendent and Jacob Pedersen, Head of Projects & Implementation.


A big step in fuel efficiency for DFDS’ fleet is in sight, and Technical Organisation have exciting news to share.

Recently they began the implementation of a new Fuel Performance Program (FPP) on seven BU Med vessels.

The system is AI-based, and it is expected to lead to fuel savings of around 6% and up to 10% on each vessel. It supports decision making for the officers on the bridge, taking all factors affecting fuel performance into account: from wind and waves to speed, water depth and more.

Additionally, the system provides the operators with insight into exactly where the fuel is spent between those areas, automatically doing a large amount of analysis that is easy to work with and helps officers make efficiency adjustments.

Jacob Pedersen, Head of Projects & Implementation, says: “Making a fuel saving upgrade of this scale will have a great impact if implemented across DFDS’ fleet. It saves the environment from a substantial amount of emissions, in line with reaching IMO (International Maritime Organisation)’s 40% reduction by 2030 compared to 2008 numbers.”

“The FPP is a revolution in the way we work with fuel performance optimisation. It’s a combined program that connects output from simple, high frequency auto-logged sensor data with continuous back-office support.”

How the FPP works

1. Installation of sensors to continuously collect data without burying the crew in the tedious manual data collection work. New hardware and software will leverage the knowledge in the collected data.

2. New decision support tools on board the vessels to dynamically advise on the optimum speed, route and trim to minimise the fuel consumption during the voyage.

3. Data will be used ashore for decision support as well as to evaluate the continuous improvements that are constantly carried out and to ensure that good practices are shared fleet wide.

Lina Christensen, Naval Architect, says: “Today we do performance monitoring differently across the fleet. The FPP is meant to standardise our approach, transforming DFDS into one of the most connected and AI influenced ship operators in the world. We have great collaboration with colleagues in the Mediterranean fleet, and this is an optimal region to start in because of their well-developed fuel reporting already in place.”

The work is carried out in close collaboration between Projects & Implementations, BU Med and the crews onboard the vessels. P&I and BU Med will evaluate the collected data and give an update on the testing and the further scope of the project at a later date.

Projects & Implementation is ready to support

Some of you might not know, but DFDS has a team ready to support vessels and crews all over the DFDS network. The team is called Projects & Implementation and works as a part of Technical Organisation with developments and implementation of solutions in relation to our fleet’s performance, maintenance and safety.

Jacob Mygind Pedersen is Head of Projects & Implementation and manages the team of nine. He says: “One of our main purposes is to support the very high competence levels of the crews. We are very privileged at DFDS because the crews on our vessels are incredible at making independent decisions and it is our job to support their ability to act by providing them with tools and support that increase insight into the vessel’s operating conditions.”

Projects & Implementation consists of two smaller teams. The Projects & Performance Team overviews the on-going initiatives and projects in the fleet that improve the internal knowledge-sharing in the organisation and among the vessels. One of the team’s main tasks is finding solutions to reduce vessel fuel consumption and environmental footprint. To achieve this, the team is developing tools that provide standardised and qualified insight into vessel performance through internal reporting and system analysis.

The Sertica Fleet Support Team supports the vessels and vessel stakeholders with matters related to one of the fleet management tools, Sertica. Support covers implementation on our vessels, contribution to the development of Sertica, and facilitating training for our colleagues at sea.

Projects & Implementation are always ready to help you if you need any kind of support in relation to the vessels or if you have suggestions in relation to Sertica or the vessels.

You can contact Jacob Pedersen on

Prototyping wireless data transfer for ships

Jacob Mygind Pedersen has developed a wireless sensor data system for use on ships. It communicates with an on-board device developed by the Smart Data team that collects useful data and then sends it to the team when at the quay.


A new prototype for onboard wireless data transfer has just been installed for testing on Ark Dania, and it has a unique job to do.

Pulling signal cables for large ships is a lot of work and can be costly, and conventional radio data transfer does not work in the radio-hostile environment inside a ship. So how do you make the task of data transfer both simpler and cheaper for our ferries? The answer could very well lie in the combination of long-range radio (LoRa), Internet of Things (IoT) technology and edge computing.

Jacob Mygind Pedersen, Head of Projects & Implementation, Technical Organisation and the Smart Data team have developed the prototype. Jacob says: “This is much more than ‘just’ the world’s first maritime LoRa-based sensor data system; we’re including the ships in the digital strategy. It makes it easy and cost-effective to pull in data from all sorts of systems on board, to visualise these for the crew, send data between systems and log the data for later analysis onshore. We can optimise operations and explore possibilities for automating reporting requirements, hence limiting the growing administrative requirements from our ships.”

The Smart Data team has developed a data logger that connects to the sensor data infrastructure and receives the wireless transmission. A fast and stable internet connection is out of reach for most of a ship’s journey, making direct streaming of data for analysis unfeasible.

Martin Morset, Data Engineer in Smart Data, says: “We have deployed an IoT (Internet of Things) device running edge computing software on Dania, with the installation done by Jacob. The idea is to have a device on board the vessel that can save useful data during voyages and send it wirelessly to a cloud-based storage system when the vessel is at the quay. The idea is that the same piece of software can be reused across multiple vessels and be deployed simultaneously without anyone having to physically board the vessel.”

He adds: “The Smart Data team continuously evaluates and executes optimisation and automation use cases through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the business. By digitising our physical assets, we make it possible to also use our expertise to run optimisation projects on our vessels.”

Michael Stig is Designated Person

Michael Stig, to the right, took over the role as Designated Person from Thomas Mørk, to the left, at the beginning of the year

When we wrote about the recent change in management, we told that VP Thomas Mørk will report to Torben Carlsen in his role as Designated Person. However, Thomas Mørk passed on the baton as designated person to Michael Stig at the beginning of the year.

This is the structure:

Michael Stig is director of Marine Standards. In this role he reports to Thomas Mørk who reports to Peder Gellert, EVP of the Ferry Division.

Michael Stig is also designated Person for the Danish flagged fleet (The responsible person for DFDS’ safety and security standards towards the Danish Maritime Authorities. In this role he reports to Niels Smedegaard, and to Torben Carlsen when Torben officially takes over as CEO.

Successful debut for eAuctions

“Our first eAuction could not have been held without the combined efforts of Technical Organisation and Group Procurement,” says Ketan Luhar. From left: Otto Ingstrup, Ketan Luhar, Breda Čok, Allan GrodinUnfortunately Nikolaj Schmidt could not be present when the photo was taken.

Last autumn, Group Procurement kicked off their eSourcing initiative, launched to digitise and automate the sourcing and negotiation process. Now, the first eAuction since the relaunch has been successfully conducted.

Ketan Luhar, Category Manager, says: “Our first eAuction could not have been held without the combined efforts of Technical Organisation and Group Procurement. DFDS needed to find a new technical system to implement across the entire fleet. The process leading up to the eAuction was a joint team effort: Technical Organisation was central in ensuring that the specifications were clearly defined and that the invited suppliers could meet the needs of DFDS in relation to both commercial and non-price related elements. With their input and guidance, Group Procurement was able to facilitate the process.”

“Lasting for 26 minutes, the eAuction had an additional positive financial outcome of 5%, which was on top of the 5% we had already negotiated face to face with the suppliers. However, the real success was the cross-functional collaboration and transparency between all the stakeholders involved, resulting in this great outcome.”

Allan Grodin, Project Manager & Naval Architect, says: “It was a very interesting process to be part of and I am sure we will derive future benefits from this new method of procurement. Apart from price, all the other variables were taken into consideration and penalties were used to counterbalance non-price-related variables such as payment terms and experience. It makes this tool very suitable for major purchases.”

The eAuction has also been noticed on the fourth floor of DFDS House. “We need tools like this to continue to strengthen our competitive cost advantage. I therefore encourage all stakeholders to engage in this journey together with Group Procurement,” says Torben Carlsen, CFO.

The course of the eAuction

New superintendent in Technical Organisation

Dear all,

It is a great pleasure to announce, that Allan Kaae Jensen has agreed to move on to new challenges shore side as superintendent in Technical Organisation as of 1 March 2019.

Allan commenced his career in DFDS in 1996 and has a long and distinguished track record with DFDS, building up the true DFDS DNA, living and breathing the DFDS Way. Besides from that he is extremely technical well founded, 41 years old, and a really fun and pleasant gentlemen.

Allan comes from a position on Pearl Seaways as Chief Engineer.

After a thorough introduction and docking of Ark Germania in April, Allan will take over the responsibility for Germania and Dania and be based in Head quarters West (Esbjerg).

Please help me in welcoming Allan to the DFDS Dream Team. I am confident that you will have a long and great cooperation with him.

Best regards / Med venlig hilsen

Thomas Mørk, Vice President Technical Organisation

Steen Haurum sets course for a new position in China

From 1 January 2019, Steen Haurum will be the Site Manager overseeing the construction of the two 4500 lm Ro-Pax newbuildings for the Baltic routes which will be built at the Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) in China.
Steen will be involved from the drawing board to the fully completed ship, supervising the complete design and building process.

Jesper Aagesen, Director of Newbuilding & Major Conversions, says: “With Steen’s vast experience as a Superintendent in charge of Pearl and Crown since 2010, Steen was a clear and obvious choice for the position in China. His knowledge of DFDS and expertise in Ro-Pax ships will be an exceptional asset to the site team and I am sure the whole construction of the two ships will be in good hands with Steen at the helm.
We have now for more than one year been running our site team at Jinling Shipyard also in China, where our 6700 lm Ro-Ro vessels are being built, and we will of course draw on the experience gained from there, including the fact that the role of the site team is paramount for a successful newbuilding project. Steen has already visited the site team in Jinling.”

New world for the whole familiy

Together with his wife and three children, Steen will up sticks and move to the land beyond the Great Wall. He says: “I am excited about the challenges that lie ahead. It is one thing to supervise a ship with a full crew like I have done with the best imaginable colleagues on board, but it is an entirely different task to start from scratch. And with the construction being in China, some things might be done differently than in the shipyards in Denmark and Poland that I am used to, which I am sure will require some adjusting. It is certainly going to be an interesting challenge, not just for me, but also for my family. We are all looking forward to the big move and are ready for the experience of a lifetime.”

A temporary farewell

Steen will relocate to China on secondment and will return to the head office in Copenhagen when the two newbuildings are delivered in 2021.

Thomas Mørk, VP Technical Organisation, says: “Even though it is a major loss that Steen with his high level of competences and professionalism leaves Technical Organization, I am very happy on behalf of Steen as this is a rare and fantastic challenging opportunity to broaden his expertise. I am certain that he will perform extremely well and return even smarter and clever, which will be beneficial for the whole ship management activities in DFDS. I wish Steen and his family a lot of fun and all the best in China.

Changes in the Bunkers Department

Technical Organisation and the Bunkers Department are happy to introduce a new and optimised bunkers care team to ensure there is always the correct quantity and quality of bunkers on board our vessels.

Martin Fuglsang Knudsen joined the team on 1 July 2018 from a position as a bunkers and cargo surveyor at Saybolt Denmark where he had been for six years. With a background as Chief Officer on various vessel types including tankers, Martin brings a sound knowledge about bunkers surveys to the department.

Bunkers surveyor and Chief Engineer Niklas Öhrn has been serving on most of the Danish–flagged DFDS ro-ro vessels as a Chief Engineer since 2007. He joined the bunkers care team on 1 May 2018.

Besides the two new team members, the team consists of bunkers surveyor and Chief Engineer Tonny Lucas and Technical Superintendent Nicolai Andersen, who heads the team.

In autumn 2018, Tonny Lucas will return to sailing in the Danish-flagged DFDS fleet, but for the next couple of months he will ensure a thorough handover to the new team members. A warm thanks to Tonny for his engagement and great customer service.

The bunkers care team also focuses on consulting internally on bunkers-related matters for various stakeholders such as vessels, superintendents, Fleet & Chartering, and Procurement.

Group Procurement is responsible for the contracts, supplier selection and claims handling to do with bunkers. It is managed by Manisha Mathur, Senior Category Manager in Strategic Procurement, while ordering of bunkers goes through Operational Procurement, headed by Pernille Hüls Dyrmose.


Please join me in welcoming our new team members.


Best regards,

Nicolai Andersen

Technical Superintendent in the Bunkers Department

The Sertica Procurement roll-out reaches the next milestone

Picture from the training on Princess Seaways on 11 and 12 April. From the left: Johane Rebel, Morten Thomassen, Sylwia Pofelska, Paylo Cherniyenko, Laura Neimetaite (System Project Manager), Thomas Corfitzen (Purchasing manager), Anders Jørgensen.


The Sertica Procurement module, which handles orders from the requisition stage through to the approved invoice stage, was rolled out on all Baltic vessels last year. Now, the roll-out on the passenger vessels is progressing rapidly and with great success.

The most recent roll-out on King Seaways has been a smooth experience with great feedback: “Thomas Corfitzen and I have been on board King Seaways for two sessions to train about 40 staff members, who have all been very cooperative and eager to move to Sertica. They have already created their first 100 requisitions and they were all done correctly,” says Laura Neimetaite, System Project Manager.

For one thing, the implementation of Sertica means that Excel order handling in the Baltics has now been replaced by a digital system. The local procurement team (Zydrunas Martinavicius and Jurgita Martinkute) enjoyed the training and the roll-out, which was managed from Klaipeda.

Sertica will provide great transparency to the vessels’ cost and purchase patterns. This will ensure an improved strategic approach to the spend across DFDS. In addition, the system will add a level of control and compliance that was not feasible in the past.

“I want to thank Andrej Zamkovoj and Thomas Mørk, as well as the superintendents Claus Byder and Steen Haurum associated with the BU PAX roll-out, for the close collaboration on this project. In May 2018, all current DFDS vessels will be ordering via Sertica, and we can finally close down our very old procurement system PO Vessel, which is a benefit to everyone.The Sertica journey will continue. The system will be further developed in close collaboration with Finance, IT and TO to ensure that the user experience is continuously improved and new features are added,” says Pernille Hüls Dyrmose, General Manager, Operational Procurement.

Thomas Mørk, Vice President and Head of Technical Organisation, agrees: “The collaboration with Group Procurement on this project has been great, and I am looking forward to all vessels procuring through Sertica to reap all the benefits of standardised items and processes.

“Soon Workshops and Equipment Pools will purchase via Sertica as well, which is something that we are very much looking forward to,” adds Pernille, “and we are working closely with Christiaan van der Leest, who is the product owner for that part of our business.


Sertica training on Princess Seaways on 11 and 12 April 2018

DFDS learns about drones and digital technologies at exciting event on Funen

At a ‘reverse shark tank’ event on Funen, DFDS presented technological challenges for which a number of high-tech companies suggested solutions. “This could be a first step towards new, fruitful cooperations or partnerships,” says Mads Bentzen Billesø.

DFDS is actively monitoring the development of new technologies which could benefit our business. For this reason, Mads Bentzen Billesø from our Technical Organisation participated in a ‘Reverse Shark Tank’ event organised in cooperation with UAS Denmark and the Maritime Cluster Funen.

Inspired by the shark tank concept on television (in Danish: Løvens hule), DFDS presented a range of technical challenges to be discussed and solved using new technologies, or, rather, how the 10 technology companies at the event thought the challenges could be solved.

“It turned out to be an extremely exciting event with highly competent ideas and solutions. The companies were able to suggest concrete solutions, including the use of drones for inspecting ships, as well as ideas for smart future use of technology and data. This was followed by open discussions which made us all a lot wiser,” says Mads.

“Many of the companies are active in fields very different from maritime ones, but they offer solutions that, with minor adjustments, could be applied to ships, e.g. use of drones, IoT, machine learning, vision technology and improved connectivity,” he says.

Some of the solutions that were identified and new possible partnerships are already being explored further. “It became clear that the technology companies each possess skills and expertise that are unique and which we and other shipping and maritime companies will be able to benefit from through the development of partnerships. I am convinced that the enhanced use of partnerships will be the way forward for the development, testing and introduction of the new high-tech tools and solutions,” he concludes.

A similar event is being planned for the Marcod maritime technology cluster in Northern Jutland.

Testing hull paint with digital tools

In Technical Organisation they have recently launched Project Smooth Ship to ensure that we have the best possible hull coatings on our ships. Paint can be of great importance for ships- water resistance and fuel consumption. Over the past years, Technical Organisation has carried out an extensive auto-logged data collection on our vessels. Four ships will be included in the scope of the project, each of which will test a different type of paint from different suppliers over the next years.

Regina Seaways was in dock over Christmas and New Year, where she was painted with a special paint which should be more resistant to algae and creatures that usually stick to the hull and thereby increase the ship’s water resistance. Selandia, Magnolia and Petunia are to be painted during the summer.

“The aim of the project is to build an internal knowledge database so that, looking ahead, we can have a more data driven decision-making on which paint best suits the type of ship. There are many factors we need to take into account, and bringing the advantage of DFDS big data into play in combination with machine learning, can help us identify paint performance trends and coating degradation. For example, the paint must be tested in relation to the operation, depending on which waters the ship is sailing in, what speed, how long it is in port and many other factors. Choosing the optimal paint type and identifying at what point it’s beneficial to clean the ship hull will eventually reduce our fuel consumption and damage to hulls,” says Jacob Rebien Johannesen, naval architect, Technical Organisation.


The future at sea is by air: Wireless data transfer technology can pave the way for new digital trends

Civil engineer Jens Andresen of DEVELCO in Aarhus and Jacob Pedersen, Technical Organisation,  on board Ark Dania  where they placed the LoRa transmitters to investigate the opportunities in the LoRa wireless data transmission technology to speed up digitisation of ships and ship operation.


Jacob Mygind Pedersen from Technical Organisation – Projects has spent two days with the Aarhus engineering company DEVELCO on board Ark Dania to find out if a brand-new signal transfer technology can be used on board ships. The potential is vast. Read more about the exciting LoRa technology below. 

By Jacob Mygind Pedersen

LoRa (Long Range Radio) has been developed to transmit the data of the Internet of Things around the smart cities of the future where everything communicates and contributes to large amounts of data (big data). But why not use the technology to transmit sensor data on board and to and from ships – such as  sending emission data directly and continuously to the authorities – localise trailers in the terminals or start and stop pumps and other equipment without the need for expensive cables?

I considered these questions after reading about this technology online. In line with the general DFDS strategy to haul our on-board systems down the information highway in order to analyse and work smarter with our data, the project department moved quickly to implement their ideas. They were spurred on by the low-priced compact devices easily retrofitted on a vast array of systems capable of receiving and transmitting all current types of digital and analogue signals.

The challenge at sea has always been the many tonnes of steel that can block wireless signals. The tests on board Dania indicated that the LoRa signals can travel unobstructed despite the steel barrier. As part of the test, sensor data from the bow thruster room was transmitted to a LoRa gateway on the bridge and despite 0.02 W transmitting power, the data was successfully sent through steel, cargo, air and the windows of the bridge to the gateway.

DFDS are pioneers

Why haven’t we started using this technology a long time ago and why haven’t we purchased devices for installation on frequency converters, lights, GPS, AIS, trailers and other things? Well, the answer is simple: These devices do not exist yet. We are the first to conceive of this technology in a maritime context and if we want to use it, we first must develop the components.

In this way we are once again the proven frontrunners of the digital world and it is up to us to lead the development. We are the only ones who can. We are also more than happy to take the lead in cooperation with our partners but if we want to be at the front, we must run faster than everybody else because no-one will carry us.

The Dania test has shown us the potential of this technology. The entire ship can be covered and neither steel in deck or bulkheads nor the worst noisemakers in the engine room could keep the data from reaching preselected locations onboard. We have the blueprints for devices capable of receiving and transmitting all sorts of signals and our next step is to flesh out the production.


Jeppe Guld to leave DFDS for new job

Jeppe Guld, Director of Marine Standards, has decided to continue his career outside DFDS.

We welcomed Jeppe earlier this year and it has been a pleasure working with him. However, it is a competitive world and Jeppe received an offer from Danish energy company Ørsted, which he could not resist. He will have his last day at DFDS on Friday 15 December and I wish him all the best in his new job.

We have already started looking for a new solution for the future setup, and we will of course report on it as soon as we have everything in place. Until the new structure is in place, Thomas Mørk, VP Technical Organisation, will manage Marine Standards. Thomas knows the area well as he was heading Marine Standards before taking responsibility for our Technical Organisation.

All Marine Standards Superintendents will continue to act as Deputy-Designated Persons according to our procedures, and reporting and communication lines remain intact.

Best regards,

Niels Smedegaard, CEO

Tomorrow’s digital infrastructure

Sea Traffic Management (STM) validation is an EU-funded project that connects and updates the maritime world with real time information exchange.

This means that data is exchanged among ships, shipping companies and service providers and will enable people on board and ashore to act on real-time information. This will reduce the administrative burden, give more precise arrivals, right steaming speed and decrease the risks related to human factors.

STM is already partly deployed, and when the concept is fully deployed by 2030, it is expected to achieve

  • 50% reduction in accidents.
  • 10% reduction in voyage costs and 30% reduction in waiting time for berthing.
  • 7% lower fuel consumption and 7% lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The project includes more than 50 partners from 13 European countries, and the concept will be validated in the European Maritime Simulator Network and in 13 seaports, four shore centres and on 300 ships test beds in the Nordic and Mediterranean – and – in the near future also include DFDS ships.

“This is the world’s largest e-navigation project, and the development will become even more user-friendly when shipping lines affect the operational aspects and therefore we are very happy that DFDS  are joining the team as associated partner and look forward to a close cooperation,” says Magnus Sundström, Project Manager of the STM Validation Project.

DFDS vessels will be fitted with test equipment, or existing equipment will be updated, to enable an easy exchange of data between vessels and shore authorities.

“This supports our digital transformation. We need smart and efficient use of data, in order to be able to reduce the on-board administration. By taking an active role in such projects. We get a say in forming the future requirements and a better understanding of how the  information flow between maritime stakeholders can be optimized. It is vital that our internal concepts, like e.g. the new Master Voyage System, jives well with the external reporting formats and requirements,” says Jakob E Steffensen, Head of Projects in Technical Organisation.

The STM Validation Project will run until the end of 2018.

Read more about the STM Validation Project here: or contact Mads Bentzen Billesø, Project Manager, Technical Organisation.


ECOPRODIGI: New project promotes maritime digitalisation in the Baltic Sea

DFDS has received EU-funding to take part in an ambitious project called ECOPRODIGI. “It focuses on increasing eco-efficiency of the maritime industry in the Baltic Sea region through digital solutions,” says Mads Bentzen Billesø, Project Manager, Technical Organisation, who is representing DFDS in the project.

DFDS is part of a unique environmental collaboration between research organisations and the shipping industry in the Baltic. The project is named ECOPRODIGI, and aims to create digital solutions which increase the eco-efficiency of ships throughout their entire life cycle.

ECOPRODIGI focuses on creating and piloting digital solutions for monitoring vessel performance and improving cargo stowage and shipyard processes. In addition, ECOPRODIGI will produce a roadmap for digitalisation in the industry, recommend policies for authorities, design training programmes for shipyard ecosystems and organise public events.

“This is an ambitious and exciting collaboration, and it will help position the Baltic Sea Region as a front runner in the digitisation of the maritime industry for the benefit of the region and the environment,” says Mads Bentzen Billesø, Project Manager, Technical Organisation. He is representing DFDS in the project.

The ECOPRODIGI project has received more than €3 million from the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme. With the partners’ own contributions, the total budget is €4.2 million. The project is led by the University of Turku, Finland and runs for three years, and activities will be communicated via and on Twitter, @ECOPRODIGI_BSR.

DFDS has a budget of EUR 75,000, co-funded by the EU Interreg BSR.