DFDS, or Det Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab, is a prominent European shipping and logistics company with a rich history dating back to 1866. Over the years, DFDS has evolved into a leading provider of transportation and logistics solutions, connecting people, businesses, and industries across Europe and beyond. The company's mission, "We move for all to grow," reflects its dedication to fostering growth and prosperity for individuals, communities, and nations.
DFDS offers a comprehensive range of products and services, including freight shipping, passenger ferry services, logistics and supply chain solutions, Ro-Ro transportation, and specialized cargo handling. They prioritize sustainability, investing in eco-friendly practices and innovative digital solutions to reduce their environmental impact.
DFDS is led by a team of experienced professionals, including President & CEO Torben Carlsen and a group of dedicated executives responsible for various divisions within the company. Their collective leadership ensures that DFDS remains competitive and responsive to the ever-changing demands of the shipping and logistics industry.
DFDS has received numerous awards and recognitions for its commitment to excellence, sustainability, innovation, and corporate responsibility. The company's strategic focus revolves around growing solutions for selected industries, digitizing services, developing and expanding ferry and logistics networks, creating more value for passengers, and driving an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) agenda.
DFDS, which stands for Det Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab, has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1866 by C.F. Tietgen. The company was established with a clear purpose: to facilitate trade and growth in the rapidly industrializing world of the late 19th century. Here's a brief overview of DFDS's history and its evolution over the years:
In 1866, C.F. Tietgen initiated the merger of four Danish steamship companies to create DFDS. At this time, industrialization was transforming economies and trade was growing exponentially. DFDS played a crucial role in this growth by transporting products and coal from the UK, which was the world's industrial powerhouse at the time, to markets in Scandinavia and other countries. Conversely, the company also facilitated the export of food and raw materials from Scandinavian countries to the UK.
DFDS continued to expand its operations. By 1900, the company's steamships connected farmers around the Black Sea with the emerging Russian industrial area around St. Petersburg. DFDS even established routes to the USA, bringing back soya cake as feed to European farmers. This support helped transform European agriculture from livestock exporters to producers of processed products like butter and bacon. During both World Wars, DFDS played a crucial role by keeping up the supply of critical food and coal to European populations, preventing starvation and ensuring people could heat their homes.
After World War II, DFDS adapted to changing times. Their fleet evolved, with many ships now powered by diesel engines. They continued to transport products, people, and goods across various routes, including between the USA and Europe, within Scandinavian countries, and to and from Iceland. In the late 1960s, DFDS pioneered ro-ro (roll-on/roll-off) services, which made shipping trucks and trailers carrying industrial cargo more efficient.
In 1972, DFDS expanded into logistics activities, aiming to connect people and businesses more effectively. This diversification continued with the acquisition of Dan Transport in 1998, making DFDS one of the largest forwarding and logistics companies in Northern Europe. Although Dan Transport was later sold in 2000, DFDS remained committed to shipping.
DFDS underwent further transformations, acquiring Norfolkline in 2010 and making several logistics acquisitions. These moves positioned DFDS as a unique European Shipping and Logistics Group, providing vital infrastructure services in Europe. The company continues to adapt and innovate, focusing on digital capabilities to fulfil its original purpose: facilitating growth and movement for all.
Today, DFDS remains a significant player in the European shipping and logistics industry, with a legacy of over a century and a half of facilitating trade, connecting people and businesses, and contributing to economic growth.
DFDS's mission is to "Connect Europe and Beyond." This succinct statement encapsulates the company's primary purpose, which is to facilitate connections and seamless transportation solutions for people and businesses across Europe and other global destinations.
DFDS is committed to being the bridge that enables the flow of goods, people, and opportunities, contributing to economic growth and prosperity.
DFDS's vision is "We Move for All to Grow." This visionary statement underscores the company's commitment to playing a pivotal role in the growth and development of the regions it serves.
DFDS aims to be a catalyst for progress, ensuring that its services create opportunities for businesses to thrive, individuals to prosper, and communities to flourish. The vision emphasizes inclusivity and sustainability.
Recognition and Awards
Products and Services
DFDS, being a leading European shipping and logistics company, offers a comprehensive array of products and services to cater to the diverse needs of individuals, businesses, and industries. Their offerings can be summarized as follows:
Freight Shipping Services: DFDS provides extensive freight shipping solutions that connect destinations across Europe and beyond. These services accommodate a wide range of cargo types, including vehicles, industrial goods, and perishable items. DFDS operates a modern fleet of vessels equipped for various cargo requirements.
Passenger Ferry Services: DFDS operates passenger ferry routes between European cities, serving both leisure and business travellers. These services offer comfortable accommodations, dining options, and onboard entertainment for an enjoyable travel experience.
Logistics and Supply Chain Solutions: DFDS offers end-to-end logistics and supply chain management services, encompassing warehousing, distribution, and transportation solutions. Their logistics services cater to a multitude of industries, including food, retail, and industrial sectors.
Ro-Ro (Roll-on/Roll-off) Services: DFDS is a pioneer in Ro-Ro transportation, facilitating the seamless movement of trucks, trailers, and cargo on and off their vessels. This service is particularly valuable for businesses seeking efficient cross-border transport.
Specialized Cargo Handling: DFDS specializes in handling various types of cargo, such as heavy industrial equipment, perishable goods, and hazardous materials. They provide customized solutions to meet the unique requirements of different industries.
Digital Booking and Tracking: DFDS offers user-friendly digital platforms like "DFDS Direct" for easy online booking, management, and shipment tracking. These tools enhance transparency and efficiency in customer interactions.
Environmental Initiatives: DFDS is committed to sustainability and invests in eco-friendly transportation options, including energy-efficient vessels and alternative fuels. These efforts align with their goal of reducing environmental impact.
Corporate Responsibility and ESG Practices: DFDS places a strong emphasis on responsible corporate citizenship, focusing on employee well-being and community engagement. They transparently report on their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts, demonstrating a commitment to responsible business practices.
In summary, DFDS's broad range of products and services reflects its mission to facilitate trade, transportation, and logistics while addressing environmental and social responsibilities. The company plays a pivotal role in connecting people, businesses, and industries across Europe and beyond, contributing to growth and prosperity.
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Torben Carlsen ( President & CEO)
Karina Deacon ( Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer)
Anne-Christine Ahrenkiel ( Chief People Officer and Executive Vice President, People Division)
Mathieu Girardin (Executive Vice President, Ferry Division)
Niklas Andersson (Executive Vice President, Logistics Division)