DFDS pulls off the biggest trailer order ever with a £19m investment

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 5 May 2017

​HUGE shipping and logistics operation DFDS, which has its biggest operational base in North East Lincolnshire, has announced an £18.6 million investment in vital equipment, while brushing Brexit concerns aside. 

More than 1,000 new cargo-carrying units – trailers and containers – will be entered into the fleet as it “ensures quality service” and “accommodates the growing business and special contracts”.

Nordic House, and the in-dock and outer harbour operations at Immingham, forms the UK hub for the controlled movement of many hundreds of thousands of tonnes of goods for distribution across the UK and for export by road, sea and airfreight to Scandinavia and Europe. 

And following the purchase of Quayside Distribution in 2014, it also owns a major storage and distribution hub on Grimsby’s South Humberside Industrial Estate, ideally located to serve the seafood, meat, prepared meals and fresh produce sectors across the region.  

DEAL DONE: Eddie Green, right, shakes on the deal to acquire Quayside Distribution back in July 2014, with Mick Wilkinson.

Executive vice president, Eddie Green, who heads up DFDS Logistics said that with the recent years’ growth in DFDS’ road-based activities, “now is a good time to improve and increase services and business”. 

He said a total of 860 new trailers and 200 containers were being brought in.

“This is our biggest trailer order ever, and the investment of Euro 22 million is made partly to continue modernising our equipment to ensure quality service and partly to increase the trailer and container pool to accommodate our growing business and special contracts.”

The trailers and containers are currently leaving the factories and will be delivered over the next few months. The order consists of reefers, dry trailers and containers as well as inter-modal trailers, which are suitable for multiple forms of transport. Some will be used on rail services and some the general pool, while others will be for dedicated trailers on set routes.

Mr Green said: “We are A Danish business but the UK is our biggest country in terms of revenue, and all the activity in Immingham and Grimsby also makes it our biggest employer.

“Immingham is the hub for the UK. All of our business coming from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Holland and Germany coming to the UK, is all through Immingham. It is part of the growth we talk about."

In total, DFDS will have a pool of 4,500 trailers and 3,000 containers.

Mr Green said Quayside was now fully integrated into DFDS. “We are pleased with the way it has gone,” he added.

Looking at the political situation, Mr Green added: “We see it as business as usual. The big impact has been the fall in the value of the pound, though if we go back four or five years it was a similar value. It is cyclical, like oil, fuel prices go up and prices go down.

“We have read all the stories about big queues at the border, but we’re not convinced that will be the case. So much cargo comes from the Far East now, and when we still had customs control in the UK, a lot was cleared in-land. A concern is the movement of people, not particularly being restricted by government, but the willingness to want to come and work.”

DFDS celebrated 150 years of trading in December last year, with a huge surprise share issue for staff, 'a grand gesture' as it equated to £1,100 each for full time employees, as reported.

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