DFDS at Barcolana Regatta

Even though large ferries are more our style, our colleagues at BU Med could not miss out on the opportunity to increase awareness about DFDS and our activities at the festive Barcolana Regatta. 

The Barcolana Regatta is an international sailing regatta and draws the largest number of racing sailboats in the world. Traditionally there are more than 300,000 visitors attending the event to look at some 2,000 sailing boats in the Gulf of Trieste. The event is over a week of celebrations on land and at sea and turns Trieste into the European capital of sailing.  

Jens Peder Nielsen, Managing Director in Trieste, was there to welcome some of the visitors. He says: “DFDS had set up on the main square of Trieste with its own 45’ container, distributing information material and family-friendly gifts. This was a good way to create visibility at local level and tell who we are, what we do and what binds us to Trieste and its port. Lars Hoffman, who was on a visit, also had a good chance to experience the impressive event and see our setup. Well done to all involved. 

“Unfortunately, due to very bad weather and a strong bora wind, the sailing race on Sunday 11 October was cancelled, to the disappointment of everybody involved. However, safety comes first and under the extreme weather conditions the safety of the participants could not be guaranteed and cancellation was definitely the right decision.” 

Mitja Gialuz, Chairman of the sailing club organising Barcolana, Società Velica di Barcola e Grignano, says: “We were glad to welcome DFDS to Barcolana. In such an intense and complex year, it is worth highlighting the foresight of anyone supporting local communities and events fostering their economy. This partnership proves once again that the sea is a strong bond from which new synergies and projects can originate, for the benefit of all. 

Fatal accident in Trieste

A fatal accident occurred on Ephesus Seaways in Trieste on Saturday

I am very sad to have to inform you that a fatal accident occurred on Ephesus Seaways in Trieste on Saturday evening. Tragically, a fire watchman employed by an external company overseeing the loading of hazardous cargo was hit by a trailer on board the ship. Although immediate assistance was provided and a rescue team arrived shortly after, it was too late to save the man’s life.

The incident is now being investigated by the Italian authorities and we will do everything we can to assist them. We all share the responsibility to ensure a safe working environment where fatal accidents do not happen.

In light of this tragic accident that has affected us all deeply, we decided to cease operations in the terminal on Sunday.

We are deeply saddened by the incident and our thoughts go to the deceased and his family.

Lars Hoffmann, VP and Head of BU

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.”

DFDS and partners increase services between Luxembourg and Trieste

DFDS is strengthening its fruitful collaboration with Mars Logistics and CFL Intermodal by taking over the contract to increase rail services between Bettembourg in Luxembourg and Trieste, going from nine to 12 round trips per week by Q4 2019. This will allow for a reduction in costs and an improvement in management, with very much a DFDS-style, customer-oriented approach, with smooth operations of this essential solution for Mars and our customers as a result.

With the increased need for intermodal logistics solutions throughout Europe, the intermodal hub of Luxembourg is a vital rail connection to Ghent and Zeebrugge, where ferries connect to the UK and Scandinavia. It also has important connections to Lyon, Le Boulou and Barcelona. Trieste of course connects to Turkey, completing the excellent Europe – Turkey intermodal service we offer to customers. Managing the train and increasing the circulation will also help to improve the integration between northern and southern DFDS business units as DFDS owns the whole Scandinavia – Turkey connection.

“This partnership will increase the attractiveness of our intermodal services, further connecting Europe by sea, road and rail. Even for those customers who do not own intermodal transport units which will be transported by using the DFDS-leased NiKRASA platforms,” says Giancarlo De Marco Telese, Intermodal Operations Manager, Trieste.

More intermodal connections are planned to be developed to provide an even better service and to help our customers reach their final destinations with ease.

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

First mega freight ferry delivered to DFDS

The entire team that handled the delivery of DFDS’ new mega freight ferry from Jinling in China. Front row, second from the left: our own Henrik Tidblad, Jesper Aagesen,Jens-Peter Baltsersen and Ole Færge.

This was the moment we had all been waiting for. Finally, following a long process from negotiations over construction to sea trial – the glorious moment came when we could call the new mega freight ferries ours. They are by far the largest ever to enter our fleet.

This happened yesterday, 31 January 2019 at 20:50 local time, when Henrik Tidblad, Director of Fleet Management, concluded that the necessary documents had been exchanged and that the yard had safely received payment.

“Congratulations to the team – Henrik Tidblad, Ole Færge, Jesper Aagesen and Jens-Peter Baltsersen – who were in China to take delivery of her. And thank you very much for a job well done. We are well aware of it being a tough time. And congratulations to DFDS. We are now looking forward to deploying her in the Mediterranean and enjoy the great benefits of this step change in our fleet,” says Peder Gellert, EVP and Head of the Shipping Division.

He adds: “We will soon be back with more information about her voyage to Turkey and the re-naming that will take place before she enters into service between Turkey and Trieste to cater for the growing volumes there.”

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.

Management visit to the Samer Seaports Terminal and partners in Trieste

On the rooftop of the terminal building, from the left: Selçuk Boztepe (SVP, Head of Med BU and President of Samer Seaports and Terminals), Lilli Samer (Head of Samer and Co Ship Agency), Peder Gellert, Kemal Bozkurt (VP Operations Med BU) and Doriano Mistrangelo (Managing Director of Samer Seaports Terminal)

With U.N. Ro-Ro, DFDS also got a new and exciting terminal and partnership in Trieste in Italy. On Thursday 21 June, Peder Gellert, Selçuk Boztepe, Kemal Bozkurt and Fuat Pamukçu visited the Samer family, who are our new partners in the operation of the Samer Seaports Terminal in Trieste, that services our routes to and from Ports in Pendik, Ambarlı and Mersin from Turkey, Port of Patras in Greece and Port of Bari in Italy.

“The Samer family has a 40 % stake in our Ro-Ro terminal in Trieste and are in addition to this acting as our ship agency. Enrico Samer, the second generation managing their business, has been the honorary consul for Turkey and has operated the ship agency services for the connections to Turkey since 1987 – even before U.N. Ro-Ro was established. So it is a very knowledgeable and experienced family in this field, and it was not only very productive but also a pleasure visiting the terminal and the Samer management,” says Peder Gellert.

The visit included all parts of operations, administration and management as well as meeting representatives on board UN Karadeniz while in port. In addition to this, Peder was invited to the annual traditional lunch arranged by Rotary Club Trieste which – as usual – took place on board U.N. Ro-Ro vessel in Trieste with 92 attendants from the club, from Samer and U.N Ro-Ro. It was founded in 1924 and is the second oldest Rotary club in Italy.

Capacity needs

“However, a core aim of the visit was to discuss the future developments of the terminal where we have seen such growth in volumes that we face a pressure on the capacity. This could be seen directly. You can solve capacity challenges in two ways: by extending the area or by developing operational models that create more efficient flows in the terminal. We discussed both options, and I saw opportunities in both ways,” says Peder.

I thank the management in Trieste, the Samer family, the staff ashore and on board for their warm hospitality and our very constructive discussions that made my visit a real pleasure and very productive,” says Peder.


Below, please find a selection of photos from the Samer Seaport terminal in Trieste

On the Bridge of the UN Karadeniz: During his visit in Trieste, Peder Gellert, Selçuk Boztepe and Fuat Pamukçu met representatives of the officers and crew on UN Karadeniz, from the left: Bayezid Ögutueren, (2. Engineer);  Selcuk Boztepe,  Can Gimen (1. Engineer), Peder Gellert, Murat Saltik (Master) Emre Kalkan (Chief Officer) and Fuat Pamukcu.