DFDS invests for the future with new Volvo FH trucks

DFDS upgrades its vehicle fleet with 57 new Volvo FH trucks. With improved fuel-efficiency and driver safety, the new trucks will help us optimize logistics flows and reduce the environmental footprint of road transport. 

Volvo FH matches DFDS’ top priorities

Our long-standing relationship with Volvo Trucks continues with the investment of 57 new Volvo FH trucks. Fuel efficiency, driver safety, and reduced emissions are our top priorities and one of the reasons for the investment. The new trucks will be used for regional transport in Sweden.

Saving fuel and reducing emissions

Over the years, DFDS has made strategic decisions to invest in trucks with the highest Euro-class engines to reduce exhaust emissions and ensure optimal safety and efficiency. The Volvo FH engine meets the Euro 6 regulation and makes full use of the available energy at every stage.

The new Volvo FH trucks will be powered by HVO, a biodiesel made from 100 percent renewable raw materials. Combining HVO with the low emissions of Volvo Trucks’ Euro 6 engines will reduce fuel consumption and emissions heavily. By upgrading the fleet with the new trucks, we will reduce our fuel consumption by 40 000 litres per year.

Improving driver experience and safety

The Volvo FH trucks are designed to be safe and comfortable over long distances. Dynamic steering helps the drivers avoid skidding and unintentional lane changes. Drivers can set the steering wheel preferences or use remote steering control.

An investment for the future

“It is great to once again partner with Volvo Trucks on the journey towards more sustainable road transport. The new investment will support DFDS in staying on top of the emission regulation while at the same time improving fuel efficiency and driver safety,” says Niklas Andersson, Executive Vice President & Head of Logistics Division.

Johan Selvén, Sales Director at Volvo Trucks Sweden, says, “We are very happy with this deal with DFDS. We have optimized our Volvo FH trucks for these routes with, for instance, smaller engines and a bigger focus on aerodynamics. It gives DFDS a more sustainable and efficient solution, including the service market. Similar engines and optimization of all trucks leads to lower fuel consumption and less environmental impact.”

New collaboration with Volvo Trucks: Autonomous trucks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gothenburg RoRo Terminal featured in story about Volvo Trucks innovation

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

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

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

Valuable Volvo visit in China

Morgan Olausson, Vice President of BU North Sea North, recently had the pleasure of attending a valuable strategic meeting in China with David Pansinger, Vice President of Logistics Asia Pacific, and Lars Krafft, Industrial Strategy Director from Volvo Cars in Sweden.

The five-day visit included a presentation of our mega vessels which are currently under construction at the Jinling Shipyard, a visit to the Lynk & Co factory in Luqiao, part of Geely Corporation, which is the owner of Volvo Cars and a strategy meeting to discuss future industrial structures, logistics needs and how to best support developments in the future.

“With the four new mega vessels being constructed in Jinling and the acquisition of the U.N. Ro-Ro shipping company in the Mediterranean, a lot of opportunities have opened for extending and developing our automotive supply chain services, which is just one of the many reasons to have this strategy meeting with Volvo Cars,” says Morgan Olausson.

The new mega vessels are being designed and constructed with extra car capacity, the newest environmental standards and very high loading and discharging efficiency. This will give DFDS potential solutions for future transport of new cars from factory to port, including opportunities for using electric and autonomous vehicles as part of an increasingly efficient supply chain.

“I am happy to see the progress of the new ro-ro mega vessels being built in Jinling. We have a valuable long-term partnership with DFDS and the new ships will contribute to supporting Volvo Cars’ increasing expansion and need for further ro-ro capacity,” says Lars Krafft.

DFDS and Volvo Cars also visited the Geely/Volvo Cars plant in Luqiao, where Lync & Co cars and soon also Volvo Cars XC40 will be produced

“It was a very rewarding trip to China and a great opportunity to spend so much time exchanging ideas and knowledge about the future of our respective companies. It has been very exciting to follow Volvo Cars positive development in recent years and following the strategy meeting with their owners in China, I realize that this is just the beginning of an exciting future,” concludes Morgan Olausson.

Great score: Flawless service of Volvo’s V60 production

DFDS transported car bodies from Volvo car’s production site in Gothenburg to the assembly line in Ghent.  “Volvo informed us that they received all bodies and all trailers for the V60 production in time for each step of the process,” says Niklas Andersson, VP and head of Logistics Division’s Nordic and Continental Business Units based in Gothenburg.


On 8 June, Volvo announced that the last of its successful V60 models had been assembled at Volvo Cars’ assembly line in Ghent. And DFDS can also look back on a success.

“Over the last 18 months we transported the supply of V60 bodies from Volvo Cars’ factories in Gothenburg to the assembly line in Ghent and we seem to have done it really well. Greta Huys, Volvo Cars’ Program & Project Manager Production Planning, informed us that they received all bodies and all trailers in time for each step of the process,” says Niklas Andersson, VP and head of Logistics Division’s Nordic and Continental Business Units, based in Gothenburg.

“This is no small thing as we delivered about 325 trailer loads a week, and many people in Gothenburg and Ghent were involved in the process, which included transport from the production site to a cross-docking centre in Gothenburg where the car parts were wrapped for protection and re-loaded onto trailers for transport to the Gothenburg Ro-Ro Terminal. In Ghent, we transported the trailers to a cross-docking centre for unwrapping before final transport to the assembly line,” says Karin Larsson, Operations Manager in the Control Tower, Gothenburg.

Niklas adds: “Every one of you can feel proud of our accomplishment as a client like Volvo will always seek professionalism and quality from their suppliers,” he says.

New contract for new model

“I am equally happy to inform you that we will also be involved when the production of the new Volvo V60 SPA model begins in a few months’ time. The new contract commences on 17 September this year and runs until 31 march 2021. It will entail similar services – transport ashore and at sea from the production site in Gothenburg to the assembly line in Ghent.  It will be a substantial business too, involving about 250 trailer loads per week,” says Niklas.  “I believe that our reliable service has been a great help for us in our work to win the new contract.”


Metal meet-up in Gothenburg

From left: Armin Rocas, Jelle Van Koevorden, Annika Persson, Niclas Bohlin, Joachim Woehlkens, Jens Juel and Ian Penistone.

Last week, colleagues from across the Shipping Division joined forces in Gothenburg to discuss sales and opportunities, share knowledge and best practice regarding the metal segment, which covers a wide range of metals from steel to aluminium, and raw material to semi-finished products such as pipes.

The meet-up started with a metal-specific introduction at Volvo for the metal team to understand how Volvo works and the challenges it faces in relation to the in-bound logistics of coils for car production. “It is important that we keep exploring ways to ease the potential challenges for Volvo, which is one of our major customers,” says Niclas Bohlin, organiser of the meeting.

“It was really great to have the possibility to discuss the sales pipeline, development of flows and opportunities with existing customers, and much more, to ensure that we keep growing and moving forward with our customers. We had a few good days and I would like to thank our colleagues in Gothenburg for hosting us,” says Jens Juel, Director and Head of Strategic Sales.




Very busy year-end at our terminal in Ghent

DFDS’ Mercatordock terminal in Ghent was extremely busy at the end of 2017 because of high volumes from Volvo and other factors. Because of this, Ark Germania was squeezed into the sailing schedule at the last minute, and therefore, for the first time ever three of our ships were in Ghent at the same time. “On top of this, Volvo Cars Corporation asked us to load three car trains for Italy, each wi5h 192 cars, and a ca4 barge with 341 cars for the Netherlands,” says Raf de Wit, Terminal Director.

Furthermore, LDC, the Louis Dreyfus Corporation, asked us to handle containers at their site, including door-to-door transport of 64 containers. “So our dock workers, foremen and managers had to do a lot of extra work, not least because holidays were already planned. A big thank you to everyone for their great efforts and making this a true purpose moment,” he says.