Every year, five million passengers, one million cars, and 1.2 million trucks travel on DFDS ferries in the English Channel – the busiest shipping area in the world.
The Channel is a big and important market for DFDS, Northern Europe’s largest shipping and logistics company, generating annual revenues of EUR1.9 billion. Over 8,000 freight customers rely on DFDS’ terminal services and logistics solutions.
To continuously meet the customers’ demands, the group has decided to deploy a new ship specifically designed and made for the Channel. The ship will be built in Avic Weihai shipyard in China and will be ready to set sail in 2021.
“Since the ship has not yet been built, we have great opportunities to make sure that it is designed to give our guests the best possible experience with a completely new ship. We will charter the ship from Stena RoRo and operate it for 10 years with an option to buy it after that. And since we are considering replacing the fleet on the Channel in 2031, the timing is really good,” said Peder Gellert, EVP of the shipping division in DFDS.
According to DFDS, four captains have already begun testing in simulators how to navigate the future ship. Preparations as early as now will ensure that the up and coming ship is best fitted out for specific conditions on the Channel.
Henrik Tidblad, commercial fleet director of DFDS, explained: “When sailing on the Channel, we need to ensure that the ship is at least as fast in arrival and departure situations as our current ships. Therefore, we have made modifications to increase manoeuvrability.”
The largest of the ship of its kind
The ship will be highly efficient and eco-friendly with an expected reduction in oil consumption of around 25% compared to current ferries. It will be able to carry 3,100 lane metres of cargo and board 1,000 passengers. With this capacity, it will be the largest of the ships on the Channel.
On the business side, Kasper Moos, VP of business unit channel in DFDS said: “I am really looking forward to getting this fantastic ship to boost the business on the Channel.
“This new ship gives us excellent opportunities to develop our business on the commercial side. A new-build ship will give us the flexibility to make room for tax-free shopping, depending on the outcome of Brexit. Together with an architect, we will design the interior of the ship to make sure we maximise our opportunities.”