DFDS to close freight terminal in Esbjerg
DFDS has announced plans to terminate operation of its Esbjerg terminal which eventually will result in layoffs. "With the closure of the passenger route, only one ship calling each day and more standardised cargoes, it is no longer sustainable to operate a separate terminal in Esbjerg. Instead, DFDS will buy terminal services from Blue Water Shipping’s terminal. Unfortunately, we expect that that this means that all 67 employees will become redundant. The matter is currently being discussed by the terminal's works committee," the Company's press release said.
"DFDS has a large and historically important freight ferry route in Esbjerg. The route carries a very large part of Danish exports to England. However, the business in Esbjerg has changed its character over the years, and so DFDS needs continuously to adapt the business so that we are equipped to serve our customers, meet the competition and contribute best to continued growth in Danish exports,"
"With fewer but larger ships, the end of passenger traffic and more standardised cargoes, DFDS' freight terminal in Esbjerg is no longer competitive. It does not make sense operationally to run a terminal with only one ship calling each day, and loading and unloading relatively uniform trailers,"
Lars Hoffmann, freight director in Denmark explained that the terminal is significantly larger than DFDS needs. "It is not possible to utilise the workforce in an efficient manner when loading and unloading only takes place for approximately four hours a day. Nor will it be possible to ensure a reasonable return on necessary investments in modernising the terminal and equipment," he said.
DFDS' main business in Esbjerg is the route, and therefore we want to buy our terminal services from Blue Water Shipping's new terminal, which offers brand-new facilities, ramps and equipment that pave the way for efficient loading and unloading. At the same time, it has a better location than DFDS' terminal, so our customers can save 8-15 minutes driving in each direction. The first call at the new terminal is scheduled for 22 December 2017.
It is clear that closing the DFDS terminal will result in the DFDS terminal's 67 employees in the operation and in the office becoming redundant.
"We are sorry, especially since many employees have been with us for many years. However, the development has removed the basis for operating our own terminal. We will simply be better equipped to develop and future-orient our customer service by switching to an external terminal, which we do in all the ports that have roughly the same pattern of ships calling as Esbjerg," says Lars Hoffmann.