Following a successful first quarter in 2018, ferry operator DFDS has acquired the Turkish shipping company U.N. Ro-Ro and unveiled a substantial ship investment programme to drive continued growth in both trade and travel.
“I am very pleased to announce that on June 7th the deal was completed, and U.N. Ro-Ro and its strong Mediterranean shipping network became a part of DFDS,” said Niels Smedegaard, president of DFDS.
“Trade between the EU and Turkey has been booming for a long time and the future prospects are very encouraging for seaborne transportation, which bypasses border controls and road congestion in several countries,” continued Smedegaard.
“Together, we will be able to offer our customers a unique service, with U.N. Ro-Ro being strong in the Turkish and Mediterranean markets, and DFDS having a very efficient network in Northern Europe.”
U.N. Ro-Ro operates five freight ferry routes connecting Turkey with Trieste in Italy and Toulon in France, with 12 freight ferries and its own port terminals in Istanbul and Trieste.
In Europe, the company also offers intermodal solutions to and from other European markets.
The company has an annual revenue of €240 million and more than 500 employees.
In addition to this, DFDS has engaged in a substantial fleet renewal programme with seven ships on order.
The programme began last year when two new ro-ro ferries were delivered from the Flensburg shipyard in Germany for services between Rotterdam and the UK.
Furthermore, DFDS has ordered four ro-ro vessels from the Chinese Jinling Shipyard.
The ships will be the largest in DFDS’ history with space for 450 trailers and will be deployed from 2019 in their ro-ro freight markets.
This includes the North Sea, where trade and other markets are expected to grow in the future, despite Brexit.
DFDS is also investing in two ro-pax ships to cater for growing volumes in its Baltic route network from 2021.
With 4,100 metres of lanes for cargo and capacity for 600 passengers, the ro-pax ships will be considerably larger than the current ships on the Baltic routes.
Additionally, DFDS has signed an agreement for the charter of a new ship for the English Channel, where the business operates two routes between Dover and France.
The ship will replace the older Calais Seaways to provide far greater capacity, with space for 140 trailers compared to the current 80.
“I am really looking forward to getting this fantastic ship to boost the business on the Channel,” said Kasper Moos, vice president and head of DFDS’ Eastern and Western Channel services.
“This new ship gives us excellent opportunities to develop our business and will enable us to continue servicing our customers on a modern fleet in the future.”