COVID-19 testing street in Vlaardingen

Last week, we could share an initiative to do COVID-19 testing at our office in IJmuiden, and it looks like other colleagues have taken the testing to our own premises as well.

Last Tuesday, Susanne Hamelink, HR Director Continent, Jorik van Oosterom, Terminal Operations Manager, and Richard van Kleef, Manager Stevedoring Gate & Security, opened a COVID-19 testing street for colleagues from Ferry and Logistics on the terminal in Vlaardingen.

Susanne says: “Our Terminal workers, truck drivers, Workshop staff and all office staff are tested in their car and receive the results within 15-30 min. Initially, we are testing two hours every day in the week. After two weeks, we will review and hope to scale down.”

Our local authorities really struggle with taking the tests. The number of infected people is increasing resulting in a waiting period for up to 1.5 week and for a daily operation that can cause a real catastrophe as we need our staff more than ever.”

With this we minimize the risk of spreading the virus and keep our colleagues safe while ensuring a smoother operation. The testing centre is hosted by SOS International via Euro Cross Assistance – the same supplier that we use in Amsterdam (IJmuiden) for our seafarers.

Beautiful image of Flandria Seaways

Flandria Seaways seems to be doing well in Vlaardingen. Kim Carlsson, Master of Hollandia Seaways, was so lucky to enjoy this beautiful sight from the deck of Hollandia and kindly shared it with us. Thank you, Kim!

Vlaardingen Terminal to be extended

Visualisation of the new terminal layout.

Like with everything else, the pandemic put the extension of our terminal in Vlaardingen on hold. However, with the recent approval to continue from the Executive Management Team and starting the final rounds of the tender process last weekthis major project is finally gaining some tailwind once again. 

When planning approval is passedconstruction is expected to start in December or early January. With an efficient new layout with more capacity, a new gate system and many other improvements, customers and colleagues can look forward to a massive improvement that will drive and grow our businesthroughout Europe for many years to come. 

New terminal layout
The expansion by 9.4 hectares of land for the parking of an additional 450 trailers will create great conditions to accommodate the two mega freight ferries that will operate between Vlaardingen and Immingham.  

Ralph Bosveld, Terminal Operations Director, says: “One of the initiatives that I am excited about is the new fishbone layout in the parking area to enable forward parking instead of the current setup where reverse parking is required. This will increase overall speed of operationwhile being safer too.

Visualisation of new fishbone layout in the parking area

The existing railway line connected to the terminal will be renovated and extended onto the new site, enabling rail transport. A big warehouse will be placed close to the rail connection to accommodate shipping logistics activities.  

Visualisation of the new warehouse to accommodate shipping logistics activities

We very much look forward to further collaboration with BU Industries & Client Engagement as I am certain that we will attract a lot of new business with the extra capacity,” says Ralph. 

New gate system 
The existing gate system with three gates in and two gates out will be completely renewed with a total of five gates in and four gates out. This will enable the terminal to cope with the high volumes from the two mega freight ferries, while eliminating any congestion issue 

The current gate system tends to cause bottlenecks and a lot of traffic on the surrounding roads. To avoid this, two of the exit gates will be placed at the north end, leading about half of the outgoing traffic in a different direction than it moves today. The new terminal layout will also have a waiting area that can accommodate up to 35 trucks without causing any queues.

New gate system to cope with the high volumes from the two mega freight ferries, while eliminating any congestion issue

A more environmentally friendly terminal 
The terminal is not only becoming bigger and more efficient but also more environmentally friendlyRalph says: In early 2022, we will install solar panels on the terminal buildings and we are continuously looking into the possibilities for electric vehicles like forklifts and company cars. When the expansion is done, we will have plug-in points for electric cars and a further 20 for reefer trailers to keep the loads at constant temperatures, and so they don’t have truon diesel. This will significantly reduce noise and harmful emissions. 

Loading record in Vlaardingen

Vlaardingen terminal

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the ships left Vlaardingen fully loaded. The many trailers caused delays on the roads leading to the terminal.

In Vlaardingen, they really look forward to welcoming Flandria Seaways, the fifth of the new mega freight ferries. She is scheduled to arrive from China at the end of September.

She is needed because volumes seem to be building up for the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December, and this gave her sister, Hollandia Seaways, a great chance to prove the value of the huge capacity.

On Tuesday this week, Humbria left Vlaardingen for Immingham with some 435 trailers on board – the highest number of trailers ever loaded on a ship in Vlaardingen. And the following day, pressure was such that trailers were left behind when Gardenia departed the port fully loaded with 260 trailers.

“Pressure was so great that we couldn’t get all the trailers through the terminal in time so departure was delayed, and I heard that it caused a slow-down of traffic on the motorway leading to the terminal,” says Jacob Andersen, Managing Director of the Ferry Division in Vlaardingen.

Jacob Andersen

“I am very pleased that we get those big ships as we really need them now, and I am confident that the challenge of getting the trailers through the terminal will be solved when we get our new, modern gate and we complete the expansion of the terminal area.”

“I am very pleased that we get those big ships as we really need them now, and I am confident that the challenge of getting the trailers through the terminal will be solved when we get our new, modern gate and we complete the expansion of the terminal area.”

“We couldn’t have done this without the extraordinary efforts of my colleagues in Vlaardingen, at the gate, in the terminal, in the booking department and on board – in fact everywhere.”

New shipping line in Vlaardingen

MS Akranes that will arrive at Vlaardingen every Sunday.

Even though things are tough right now, opportunities to grow and collaborate still arise all over DFDS. This time, a new cooperation between DFDS and the shipping company, Smyril Line, was a welcoming addition to the business in Vlaardingen.

Jorik van Oosterom, Terminal Operations Manager, says: “From now on, every Sunday, Smyril Line’s freight ferry, MS Akranes, will arrive at Vlaardingen where we will handle the discharging and loading of trailers, containers and machinery. It will then departure back to Norway the following Monday where it will call the Norwegian ports in Stavanger, Trondheim, Rørvik and Hitra.“

“It is great to see that we are able to attract additional volumes during the pandemic and Brexit. The route is mainly transporting fresh fish, however, together with our Logistics colleagues in Vlaardingen and Norway, we will do our best to push volumes of all kinds on this route to grow further. To support the DFDS network, we have also delayed the departure to Felixstowe from Vlaardingen with one hour to offer customers a connection from Norway to the UK.”

Robert Pieren, Area Manager at Smyril Line, says: “Our Norwegian service vessel ms Akranes has been handled and served really well just as expected of a professional and well-structured terminal.

“A short and straight forward meeting with Jorik van Oosterom and Ritchie Keemink made our corporation running smoothly as from day one. Thanks to all DFDS staff involved handling our vessel and cargo during its calls at the DFDS terminal in Vlaardingen.”

DFDS adds extra space to Vlaardingen terminal

This great photo has been slightly manipulated to show how the extra terminal space just added to the Vlaardingen terminal will look when completed. The area in question is the one to the left of the basin, seen from the ship entrance to the terminal.

As you know, DFDS has been working on extending the Vlaardingen terminal since 2016, when we started negotiations on the purchase of the 92,000 sq m adjacent land that has so far been used by the Rotterdam Bulk Terminal.

DFDS signed a contract in November 2018, and after almost two years of demolition, cleaning and levelling, the land was officially handed over to DFDS on Wednesday (27 May). It adds a total of 6.4 hectare to the Vlaardingen Terminal.

“We agreed on a 25-year lease contract for the extra land with Port of Rotterdam. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the project was put on hold so that the contractors for sewage, asphalting and lighting had to wait for approval to start up the project again. We also just received the approval for installing the fences required for terminals by the International Ship and Port Facility Security regulations, and for creating an area where we can park up to 150 trailers. This extra space is needed, especially on weekends when the terminal is often full,” says Ralph Bosveld, Terminal Director, Vlaardingen.

“Hopefully, volumes will pick up again soon so we can complete the refurbishment plans and turn the area into the fully equipped ferry terminal it is intended to be.

“When completed, the extra area will enable us to introduce a far better layout of the terminal and – in combination with new digital solutions – ensure a more efficient operation that eliminates the congestion issues we have previously experienced at the busy terminal.”

Fatal accident in Vlaardingen

Yesterday, on 13 March, a tragic incident made this week a horrible one.

A colleague found a driver unconscious and seriously wounded next to a trailer in Vlaardingen. He had apparently come between a standing and a moving trailer.

Both the deceased and the other person involved were external drivers.

The colleague who found the driver immediately alerted the DFDS first aid team and the emergency services.

Tragically, in spite of a swift response and an ambulance arriving within just a few minutes, and everyone doing everything in their power, his life couldn’t be saved. The police were also quickly on the scene and are now investigating the incident, and we will support them to the best of our ability, says Ralph Bosweld, Terminal Director, Vlaardingen.

“We will now have to wait for the results of the investigation before we can say more about this terrible case,” he says.

Torben Carlsen, CEO, says: “This is an extremely sad situation, and we all mourn such meaningless loss of life. Our thoughts are with the driver and his family.

“In my view, we need – with the third parties who carry out work at our premises – to ensure that we improve safety together with them, so we do not ever again see such tragedies at our terminals or on our ships.”

Humbria Seaways named in Vlaardingen

The moment where Pernille Andersen gave the name to our newest addition to the fleet. Thank you to Mirit Bisholt for sharing the video with us.

Ever since the six mega ferries were ordered from the Chinese Jinling Shipyard, our colleagues in Vlaardingen have been looking forward to welcoming and presenting one of them to our customers and the local community.

Today was the day, and the occasion was celebrated. With wishes of fair winds and safe journeys, godmother Pernille Andersen officially named our fourth mega ferry Humbria Seaways.

On the naming platform, Pernille released the ceremonial champagne bottle that immediately shattered against the hull, and this was followed by the Danish and Dutch national anthems playing in the background.

Pernille was accompanied by Torben Carlsen and Jacob Andersen, Jacob’s daughter, Victoria and Captain Orpheus Kekus and Captain Kim Carlsson, who had safely delivered Humbria from China to Europe.

Both Torben and Jacob welcomed everyone to Vlaardingen and made speeches to celebrate the event, the ship and the many customers and official guests who had come for the ceremony.

After the naming, guests were invited to a lunch which was introduced by Ralph Bosveld.

In Torben’s speech at the lunch, he took a little moment to review the history of our ships’ growth in size which naturally follows the growth in trade. He spoke about how we with new technology, customers and partners take our responsibility for the climate seriously in the longer term, and he mentioned our preparations for future customs formalities.

Finally, Pernille Andersen presented Captain Kim Carlsson with the memorial coin that was placed under the keel of the ship when it was built. According to tradition, this is done for good luck to the crew and ship at sea.

The whole event concluded with a tour of Humbria Seaways.

Torben Carlsen, Pernille Andersen, Kim Carlsson and Orpheus Kekus

Godmother Pernille Andersen

Smiles and applauding as the champagne bottle smashed against the hull naming Humbria Seaways

Guests and colleagues had the opportunity to feel the overwhelming size of Humbria Seaways

Getting a first-hand impression of the bridge onboard Humbria Seaways

Being a better neighbour in Vlaardingen

Vlaardingen: Noise complaints from residents near the terminal were taken seriously and resolved, as parked reefer trailers were found to be the cause.


Often we find opportunities to improve best practice and take steps to be a more responsible neighbour where we have our operations. This was the case in Vlaardingen recently, when reefer trailers were at times parked in unfortunate locations and causing a noise nuisance to nearby residents because of their cooling systems.

The Vlaardingen terminal had been receiving complaints from residents for some time and it was not possible to identify the cause, as there were never any vessels in the port at time of night mentioned in the complaints. A low, humming noise audible in the neighbourhood was causing restless nights despite regular checks by the Dutch Environmental Department, who could not detect the noise and found that our operations were within the legal noise limits.

Operations Director for Vlaardingen Terminal Ralph Bosveld says: “Though we complied with regulations, it didn’t solve the problem, and I was invited to a meeting with the residents and the local Socialist Party (SP) to discuss a campaign to reduce industrial noise in Vlaardingen. The only thing I thought could make noise during the night were the running fridges of the reefer trailers, and we only have a few. We used to park them in random locations, but since the meeting, we parked them all close to the noise barrier.”

“A company of environmental specialists helped us find the best area for the reefers in order to minimise the noise. Since then, complaints have significantly decreased, and I was happy to hear that the SP appreciated our willingness to listen and our approach to solving the problem. They also gave the positive story to the press,” Ralph adds.

Head of CSR Sofie Hebeltoft says: “I was pleased to hear Ralph’s story about how he and his colleagues dealt with the situation and found a solution, taking complaints seriously and going the extra mile. It demonstrates our desire at DFDS to be a responsible and caring neighbour as part of our CSR strategy. It’s also a good example of finding best practice that we share with other parts of the business who may face the same problem.”

Britannia crew find migrants in refrigerated trailer

A critical situation occurred today as a large group of 25 migrants were trying to get to the UK hidden in a refrigerated trailer on board Britannia Seaways enroute from Vlaardingen to Felixstowe.

The migrants were found around 17:00 CET because they had made a hole in the trailer. Britannia decided to return to Vlaardingen, and police officers entered the ship from a police boat that met them as soon as Britannia entered the port.

When the ship arrived in Vlaardingen around 20:00, waiting ambulances transported the migrants to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia. The police is investigating the incident as we write this.

According to the police in Rotterdam, the two migrants who were taken to hospital to be checked for hypothermia, have both been released from the hospital again. The police also informed that they believe most of the migrants are from the Middle East.

The police’s press release can be found here (in Dutch):

Can a ship actually swallow this?

People who do not work in DFDS, would probably not believe that this huge bridge part could actually be loaded onto a ship and sailed across the water from Vlaardingen to Immingham.

44 meters long, 2.9 meters wide, and weighing 68 gross tons (including the trucks transporting the cargo), these parts were at a weight class in a whole other division than the usual cargo.

However, our colleagues know it can, and enthusiastically took up the challenge. After several weeks of preparation, six special transport loads were shipped by Gardenia Seaways on the Rotterdam-Immingham route in one lot. The bridge parts are used for the construction of a bridge for junction 7 on the M4 by Huntercombe.

Due to out of gauge dimensions lorries could only drive and enter our Vlaardingen Terminal in the evening-time under escort.

“With large cargo like this, manoeuvring during the day causes a lot of practical challenges in traffic. Doing it in the evening means that less cars on the road are affected by the transport ensuring a safer and easier escort to lead its movement. There is also less traffic on our terminal at that time.” says Ger van der Vliet, Shipping Logistics Manager.

“Thank you to all staff on the terminals in Rotterdam and Immingham, agencies and the crew on board Gardenia Seaways for the professional team support and collaboration. Job well done”.

Vlaardingen starts container service

On 1 October, DFDS Seaways in Vlaardingen opened the terminal gates to container traffic to ensure future growth.

Close collaboration between Ferry and Logistics ensured great customer service for a customer who required safe transportation of their high-value goods via containers.

This initiative was not without its challenges. To accommodate the containers, the terminal had to create a specific container area, lease a reach stacker (container lifting vehicle) and prepare the general operations, as containers require different handling compared to trailers.

“Despite the investments made, I am happy that we managed to find an exceptional solution for the customer as well as protect our business by ensuring additional streams of cargo, especially in a period where growth is no longer business as usual,” says Jorik van Oosterom, Terminal Operations Manager.

Ritchie Keemink, Agency Team Leader, says: “The cooperation between Logistics and Ferry is a win-win for everyone. We increase our flexibility in the market to handle different types of cargo and it is in line with the Win23 ambitions by offering a resilient combination of ferry route infrastructure and logistics solutions.”

Brexit minister visits Vlaardingen

UK Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, Stephen Barclay (third from right), visited Vlaardingen terminal to discuss Brexit and learn about DFDS’ preparations and concerns


The date for Brexit is not far off, and preparations for the no-deal scenario have been in full swing for a long time. Stephen Barclay, the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, paid a short visit to our terminal in Vlaardingen to see what is being done.

On 30 September the minister, who is responsible for the direct exit negotiations, brought a delegation including the British Ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Wilson, to discuss the near future regarding Brexit and learn about DFDS’ preparations and concerns.

Hosting the delegation was Jacob Andersen, DFDS Route Director in the Netherlands, Richard van Kleef, Manager of General Stevedoring, Gate & Security, and Lucien Stötefalk, Agency Manager. A tour of the terminal gave the delegation an insight into the expected impact on the terminal after Brexit, as well as gate operations, vessel handling and customs protocols.

“The British delegation was impressed with the efficiency of our operation and the functions of the Dutch Port Community System Portbase, but also made aware of the impact on the terminal of the UK leaving the Customs Union,” says Lucien Stötefalk.

A Q&A session followed at the Port of Rotterdam head office together with the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Portbase. The minister showed an openness and a sincere interest in logistics processes, and offered no further clues as to what exactly will happen on 31 October. The tour and conversation with DFDS were broadcast on the Dutch television news channel “Nieuwsuur”.

Jacob Andersen (middle) greets Stephen Barclay

Seaport Police does a check for illegal migrants in Vlaardingen

The Seaport Police organised for the second time a 100% check for immigrants in trailers on our terminal in Vlaardingen. The first time was in October 2018, where 11 immigrants were found.

Richard van Kleef, Manager General Stevedoring, Gate & Security, says “As we see a rise in illegal migrants trying to pass the border to the UK, the authorities once again organised, in cooperation with DFDS, a 100% check on every trailer that was coming into our gates prior for shipping. The check took place this morning between 05:15hrs – 09:30hrs and 200 units were checked. There were no illegal migrants found which we call a success.”

“The media was also invited and had permission to get insight into how the Seaport Police and authorities check a trailer with dog patrols. Normally we have our own dog patrol but for today we received assistance from the authorities.
We are extremely pleased for this cooperation with the authorities. We believe we all can learn by sharing experiences to ensure we all improve our skills and security, which is necessary in the light of the growing number of illegal migrants trying to get to the UK via our terminal and ships.”

Vlaardingen takes measures against an increasing number of migrants

In line with the recent development in our other terminals, the Vlaardingen terminal has seen an increased number of migrants trying to cross the North Sea to the UK. Last Saturday, security and dock patrols found 34 migrants in a trailer driven by a Romanian truck driver. The migrants are of unknown nationality.

“We have seen a trend lately, where an unusual number of trailer bookings are made via external agents and not directly with DFDS. This has made us suspicious and as a culmination on this trend and due to the already increasing number of migrants trying to cross the North Sea, we have made the decision to implement a new procedure. This procedure aims at increasing the chances of finding potential migrants before they cross to the UK,” says Ralph Bosveld, Operations Director at the Vlaardingen terminal.

Taking the right precautions is worthwhile for DFDS. If the UK border control finds migrants crossing from Vlaardingen, they will be sent back with a DFDS vessel, occupying cabins and leaving DFDS to pay the cost of the security staff that are obligated to escort them back to the Netherlands.

“On the terminal, we have for instance installed thermal imaging cameras at the gates and organised additional canine dock patrols that are effective at locating migrants who might be hiding in or under trailers. Additionally, every time a booking is made via a questionable external agent, our colleagues will flag the booking internally to make sure that the trailers will be checked on arrival. This method led to locating the 34 migrants.”

“It is always great to see that the initiatives we set in motion are working, and I want to thank the security crew and teams at Vlaardingen for doing a fantastic job,” concludes Ralph.

Last Saturday, security and dock patrols found 34 migrants in a trailer driven by a Romanian truck driver. The migrants are of unknown nationality.

Yet another successful claims handling seminar

“Claims handling is not a marketing of our services but proper claims handling – is a marketing tool!” says Martynas Jonkus who is in charge of organising Annual Claims Handling Seminars at DFDS.


Every year DFDS Legal & Insurance Department holds Annual Claims Handling Seminars where claims handlers from Ferry division gather to consider the latest developments in this business area, share best practices and, not least, improve their claims handling skills. Although a common venue for the last decade used to be Immingham, for the first time it was decided to hold the 2019 Claims Handling Seminar in Vlaardingen.

That was not the only change experienced by the participants during the seminar. This year we were joined by some colleagues from Logistics and also visited by some of DFDS’ customers and DFDS‘ managers, who have shared their views about the claims handling quality and service level at DFDS.

As per initial participants’ request, the 2-day seminar on 28-29 April was focused on claims related workshops, prepared in close cooperation with DFDS‘ Insurers (TT Club and West of England) and DFDS Insurance department. Overall, the participants found the workshops comprehensive, challenging and relevant for their everyday work and recommended to organise more training workshops in the future.
A tour of the terminal enthusiastically guided by Ralph Bosveld and Henk van den Broek was well received and appreciated by all attendees as well.

“Some people believe that claims handling work is not so exciting and quite stressful compared to other business areas at DFDS. I tend to disagree – indeed, claims handling is not a marketing of our services but proper claims handling – is a marketing tool!” says Martynas Jonkus who is in charge of organising Annual Claims Handling Seminars at DFDS.

DFDS is testing intelligent drones

Watch the video featuring Lorenz AI-Link® trailer detection technology, which is being tested in DFDS terminals and is designed to assist with efficiency and safety using autonomous drones.


DFDS is developing and testing drones that can help us keep track of the trailers in the terminals in cooperation with Lorenz Technology, a Danish company developing drones based on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The drones can autonomously zip around the terminal locating trailers, scanning and analysing trailer numbers, while integrating a real-time data flow to terminal management systems. This data can help terminal staff with different tasks, including precise location of trailers and improved weight management when loading ferries for increased operating efficiency.

The capabilities were successfully demonstrated in Vlaardingen and Esbjerg on 10 April 2019 and will be demonstrated to an EU delegation and to Danish Maritime Authority and the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology at two separate events in Copenhagen on 28 May.

The drones will be further developed and expanded in the EU-funded OptiPort project with partners; Lorenz Technology, G4S and DFDS. The project will develop and integrate trailer ID and location, damage detection, verification of labels for hazardous materials and furthermore with partner G4S develop numerous security features, including detection and tracking of intruders, displaying their location real-time on 3D maps.

Mads Bentzen Billesø, DFDS Senior Project manager says: “The development of vision technology, AI and drones are going really fast and as with other technologies we would like to be involved and support this development. We will gather valuable knowledge about using intelligent tools which will undoubtedly be part of the future of just about everything.”

If you want to hear more about this, please contact:
Mads Bentzen Billesø –

The video was provided by Lorenz Technology. You can read about their work with DFDS here and also watch a short interview with Mads.

New volume record on Immingham route created ships get-together in Vlaardingen

A rare sight in week 11 – Four DFDS ferries converge in Vlaardingen, gathering to alleviate the pressure of an extraordinary number of waiting trailers. Pictured are Tulipa, Finlandia, Anglia and Britannia.


The record from week 9 did not last for very long, as employees at the Dutch and UK terminals and offices managed to organise and load a staggering 52,328 lane metres in week 11, beating the previous record by 2,012 lane metres. This also meant that on two occasions, four DFDS vessels were in port together.

This was only possible due to the capability and flexibility of our fleet and our colleagues, both in Vlaardingen and in the UK. The demand for extra capacity to the UK is probably the result of stockpiling, due to a potential Brexit in late March. Finlandia Seaways assisted on the Felixstowe route this weekend, and both Gardenia and Tulipa Seaways made additional roundtrips to and from Immingham on Sunday, which resulted in high volumes at both terminals.

Delays during terminal operations and to vessel departures were inevitable, but thanks to the great efforts by everyone involved at all the ports, we managed to turn this into a success and to fly higher than ever before. Once again, a huge thank you for your hard work and dedication.

Credit for the photos goes to Peter Brusendal Sørensen, Chief Officer on Britannia, and Paul Lammers, Route Operations Manager, North Sea South.

A great view and a huge effort from all involved at sea and on shore. Pictured are Gardenia, Finlandia, Suecia and Britannia.

Week 11 saw a volume record at the North Sea Terminals made possible by our flexible fleet and the outstanding work of our employees.



Dutch Ministers visit DFDS Vlaardingen to discuss Brexit

Currently, Brexit seems to be the hottest lasting topic in European politics and media.

Netherland’s Brexit preparations were on the agenda on Wednesday 13 March when the ferry division in Vlaardingen welcomed a group of 50 people, including Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stef Blok, and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Corporations, Sigrid Kaag as well as media.

Following Route Director Jacob Andersen’s welcoming words, the ministers presented their views on Brexit, and a panel of directors from the Dutch Food and Consumer Authority, the Dutch Royal Military Police, Dutch Customs, Portbase, Dutch Police and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management answered questions about Brexit and how to prepare for it.

The director of Portbase (the Port Community System for the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam) explained the Dutch approach and, a campaign in which many ferry operators are taking part.

After the presentations, the group went to the main gate where all trailers enter and leave our terminal. Here, Brexit flyers were handed out to external truck drivers to make them aware of Brexit and what they and their employers should do to be as prepared as possible. Before the meeting ended, the ministers and the directors from the various authorities were interviewed one-to-one near Anglia Seaways, which was loaded for her departure to Felixstowe.

A special thanks goes out to all people involved in a well-organised meeting, which gave DFDS good publicity.

Panel of directors from the Dutch Food and Consumer Authority, the Dutch Royal Military Police, Dutch Customs, Portbase, Dutch Police and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management answered questions about Brexit and how to prepare for it.

Special Cargo welcomes new muscle

DFDS Logistics Special Cargo in Vlaardingen has recently seen the arrival of 10 brand new tractor units

Our Dutch colleagues can look forward to driving the Volvo FH Globetrotters, which have 500 horsepower and are fitted with the latest technology including tracking systems, forward, side and rear facing cameras, audible pedestrian warnings and much more.

Josh Timmis, General Manager of Special Cargo, says: “We renew our vehicles every third year to keep up to date with the latest technology and engines, ensuring that we can meet our customers’ demands and requirements.

“All our trucks are compliant with FORS Gold standards, which are becoming a more prominent requirement within the UK construction industry. FORS gold accreditation is only awarded to exceptional operators who have met exacting targets and having it shows our trustworthiness and deliverance of great customer service.”

The new vehicles will certainly be put to good use as they will be busy transporting everything from modular hotels, agricultural machinery, temporary bridges and will even carry stages for Bon Jovi, Pink and Take That.

Joint Brexit information meeting in Vlaardingen

Jean Aubert from DFDS’ Brexit team informed customers about Brexit preparations at a successful meeting initiated jointly by logistics and Ferry in Rotterdam. Other presenters were Michael Bech and Dick van Herwaarden from Logistics

A few days ago, 85 customers from a variety of industries set course towards the Delta Hotel in Rotterdam for an update on DFDS and Brexit. The meeting was a joined initiative taken by DFDS Logistics, DFDS Special Cargo and DFDS Ferry Division in Vlaardingen as part of their ongoing work to inform customers about our preparations for Brexit and at the same time inform them about the preparations that Brexit will require them to make.

Presenters from DFDS Group were Jean Aubert who is from our Finance Division and a representative of the Brexit team; Lucien Stotefalk from the Ferry Division and Michael Bech and Dick van Herwaarden from Logistics.

“It was a very interactive session with a lots of questions from our customers,” says Dick van Herwaarden.


One Sales: Active cross-selling in Vlaardingen

Because Peter Westdijk listed a food company in our CRM system, Ruud van der Wilt (in the picture) was inspired to contact them again. The end result of this cross-selling initiative was a new contract for both Logistics and Shipping in Vlaardingen.

Our Customer Relations Management system (CRM) played a key role in a very successful cross-selling initiative by Ruud van der Wilt from Logistics in Vlaardingen.

In March 2018 he contacted a food company, which is an umbrella organisation of several companies specialising in food products for a number of markets, including the UK.

The initial contact did not lead them to change their logistics supplier at that time. However, later in the year, Ruud saw that his shipping colleague Peter Westdijk had listed the company as an inactive customer in our CRM system. So Ruud took the opportunity to contact the company again, and after a few phone calls, they agreed on a meeting in December, to which Peter Westdijk was also invited.

Together, they were able to provide attractive offers for their logistics flows and for ferry crossings from Vlaardingen to the UK for the company’s own transports.

At a meeting around Christmas time, they agreed on cooperation for the logistics services, and the customer later visited Vlaardingen to meet the operations staff and discuss the start and operations set. As they were also willing to discuss the rates for the ferry route, Ruud again invited Peter Westdijjk to participate.

This all resulted in new business with 550 LTL shipments, 150 FTL reefer shipments and a minimum of 300 ferry crossings to the UK per year. And CRM was the key to opening the door to a new, and hopefully successful, cooperation for all involved.

The Vlaardingen Gate & Security Office receives a makeover

From left to right: Stephan Krol, Jeffrey Wijnen, Mark van Rumpt, Richard van Kleef and Oktay Sengonul.

Every day our colleagues grab every little opportunity to optimise and continually improve day-to-day operations and that also goes for our colleagues from the Gate & Security Office in Vlaardingen, who took time out of their schedule to give the office a makeover.

Our Dutch colleagues usually ensure that only people who have business at the terminal get access, but for one day, Richard Van Kleef, Manager General Stevedoring, Gate & Security, and his team got to be interior designers as they replaced their old setup with new furniture.

“We put a lot of effort into making the office just right, and the extra space and new desks will surely support a better and healthier working environment for everyone. In the next couple of weeks the final touches will be finished with the help of local IT. We are more than ready to enter the new year in this new gate setup and provide the drivers and customers the service they deserve.” says Richard.

You can see the before and after pictures of the makeover as well as Oktay Sengonul, Teamleader Security “WorkRate”, and Stefan Krol, Gate Coordinator, who are clearly very pleased with the new interior.

Old setup of the Vlaardingen Gate & Security office

Oktay Sengonul, Teamleader Security “WorkRate”

Stephan Krol, Gate Coordinator

DFDS extends Vlaardingen terminal by 92,000 m2

Kell Robdrup and Hans Nagtegaal (Director Containers Port of Rotterdam) sign the sale and purchase agreement making the neighboring Rotterdam Bulk Terminal part of our Vlaardingen terminal.

650 trailers. This is the extra number of trailers, which DFDS will be able to accommodate and handle at the Vlaardingen terminal when it adds the recently acquired Rotterdam Bulk Terminal’s 92,000 m2 to our current space.

The acquisition has been negotiated since 2016 and became reality on Monday 12 November when SVP Kell Robdrup signed the contract that moves the ownership to DFDS. “It is a huge step forward. The 60% additional capacity will enable us to introduce a far better layout of the terminal and – in combination with new digital solutions – ensure a more efficient operation that eliminates the congestion issues we have previously experienced at the busy terminal,” says Kell.

Ralph Bosveld, Terminal Director, says: “I am particularly pleased with the opportunities this gives us for developing the infrastructure with rail and barge connections and – not least – adapting our services and offers to the future (yet un-clarified) Brexit situation, which will require space for customs clearance and trailers waiting for clearance.”

The work to remove the current structures and buildings have started and the terminal expects to starts using a part of the new area in April 2019. The rest will be taken in use during May 2020.

Vlaardingen: DFDS Rotterdam terminal’s new area is marked by a red line in the picture. “This means that we can accommodate 650 additional trailers and develop a much more efficient infrastructure so we can handle Brexit and offer new services,” says Ralph Bosveld.