DFDS strategy update

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DFDS’ strategy and financial ambitions have been updated as the Win23 strategy period, 2018-2023, comes to an end.

  • Organic growth focus to unlock value from expanded network.
  • Green transition ambition of 6 green ferries on the water by 2030
  • Financial ambitions 2024-2026:
    • Increase ROIC to above 10%
    • Annual Adjusted Free Cash Flow of minimum DKK 1.5bn
    • Financial leverage, NIBD/EBITDA, of 2.5x by 2026

Towards 2030, focus will shift to unlocking the value of the expanded network by accelerating organic growth through increased exposure to high-growth markets, enhanced network capabilities, and increased relevance for freight customers requiring bundled transport and logistics solutions.

Five routes will be pursued to unlock the value of the expanded network and reach financial targets:

  • Protect & Grow Profits – Organic growth focus driven by expanded product range and bundling of products to meet customer demand. Benefit from broader geographical network and access to high-growth markets. Enhance competitive cost base and capacity utilisation focus.
  • Standardise to Simplify – Standardise operating procedures across our network to reduce complexity, enable growth and faster response to market developments. Reduce cost to serve through higher operating efficiency.
  • Digitise to Transform – Further develop and grow self-service customer options. Provide more transparency and green data to enable flow optimisations. . Automate port terminal operations, deploy AI to enhance planning and prediction capabilities for sea and land transport. Future-proof tech platform to adopt new technologies faster and offer easier connectivity.
  • Moving to Green – Achieve short-term climate plan targets through the Every Minute Counts ferry scheduling program and technical upgrades. Electrify port terminal and warehouse operations. Decarbonise trucking by switching to biofuel and battery driven trucks. Prepare green ferry newbuilding program and continue to develop partnerships to increase supply of green fuels.
  • Be a Great Place to Work – Safety First program rollout. Adapt to new expectations among employees and provide engaging leadership. Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion among managers as well as office and non-office colleagues.

Six planned newbuildings:

  • The 2030 target of a 45% reduction in ferry emission intensity for the existing fleet is unchanged. This includes the ambition to have six green ferries in operation by the end of 2030. The baseline for the emission reduction target is 2008.
  • The ambition to become a net zero company by 2050 is unchanged.

DFDS November Volumes: Freight 2% Lower, Passengers 4% Higher

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Ferry – freight:

  • Total volumes in November 2023 were 1.5% below 2022.
  • North Sea volumes were below 2022 due to lower volumes between the UK and on the other side Scandinavia and the Continent.
  • Mediterranean volumes were just below 2022 due to the current general slowdown in demand.
  • Channel volumes were above 2022 driven by the Dover Strait routes.
  • Baltic Sea volumes were below 2022 due to a continued lower activity level in Sweden and the Baltic countries.
  • For the last twelve months 2023-22, the total transported freight lane metres decreased 8.9% to 38.5m from 42.3m in 2022-21.

Ferry – passenger:

  • The number of passengers increased 4.4% driven by primarily more Channel passengers.
  • The number of cars decreased 2.4%.
  • The total number of passengers increased 26% to 4.5m for the last twelve months, 2023-22, from 3.5m in 2022-21.

Stena Q3 Report

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Stena AB and consolidated subsidiaries, condensed consolidated interim report for the nine-month period 1 January – 30 September 2023:

  • Consolidated EBITDA: SEK 10,904 (10,551) million.
  • Consolidated operational EBITDA, excluding net gain on sale of assets and change in fair value of investment properties: SEK 10,902 (9,560) million.
  • Result before taxes: SEK 2,434 (2,418) million.
  • Liquidity position remains healthy. As per 30 september 2023 available liquidity amounted to SEK 25.6 billion.

Ferry Operations

  • Operational EBITDA decreased by SEK 606 million to SEK 3,583 (4,189) million.
  • Travel volumes remain strong partly offset by a softer freight market together with increased costs compared to last year mainly related to increased bunker cost.
  • Freight volumes decreased 3% compared to last year, car volumes decreased 2% compared to last year and passenger volumes increased 1% compared to last year.

RoRo Operations

Operational EBITDA from chartering out Ro-Ro/Pax ferries increased by SEK 212 million to SEK 653 (441) million mainly due to larger fleet in operation compared to the same period last year.


Stena reports in Swedish kronor, which is significantly affected by fluctuations in currency

exchange rates, primarily relative to the U.S. dollar, the British pound and the Euro.


27% in USD, 22% in EUR, 16% in GBP and 23% were generated in SEK.


29% in USD, 19% in EUR, 19% in GBP and 20% were incurred in SEK.

Newbuilding contract for a Norwegian ferry

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Remontowa Shipbuilding has signed a contract with Torghatten Nord AS to construct a hybrid-powered double-ended ferry for the Stornes-Bjørnerå route in Norway (Arctic Circle region).

Newbuilding “B620” will be fitted with two azimuth thrusters with vertically mounted electric motors powered either by batteries or, in case of emergency, by generating sets.

Normally, the batteries will be recharged from the shore grid during unloading/loading. This will occur relatively frequently, as a single vessel transit will take no more than 12 minutes.

Design: The Norwegian Ship Design Company AS + Remontowa Marine Design & Consulting Delivery: Q1, 2026.

  • Length overall: 63,65
  • Beam: 15,50
  • Depth to the main deck: 4,80 m
  • Passengers and crew: 149 persons
  • Personal car capacity: 50 pcs
  • Trailer capacity: 6 pcs

Photo: Dariusz Jaguszewski, CEO and Michał Jaguszewski, contracting director at Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A., Torkild Torkildsen, CEO at Torghatten Nord AS and Jacek Flasiński, CFO at Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A.

Photo: Torghatten Nord

BC Ferries gets green light to order more ferries

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After the major capital expenditure approval by the BC Ferries Commissioner, BC Ferries is able to take the next step towards the purchase of four new hybrid electric Island Class vessels that will increase capacity for passengers across the ferry system.

By 2027, the four new vessels will enter service on the routes connecting Nanaimo Harbour and Gabriola Island (two vessels) and Campbell River and Quadra Island (two vessels), with corresponding electrical upgrades for shore-based rapid charging made to the four terminals on these routes.

BC Ferries now continues through the procurement process, with negotiations to begin imminently.

Finnlines welcomes FINNCANOPUS

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Finnlines took delivery of FINNCANOPUS, which is the second of two Superstar-series Ro-Pax ferries, at the China Merchants Jinling Shipyard in Weihai, China, on 12 December 2023.

The vessel will enter Finnlines’ line between Finland and Sweden (Naantali–Långnäs–Kapellskär) in February 2024.

Stena RoRo presents more “Flexers”

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In a recent website update, StenaRoRo presents three designs of Ro-Pax and Ro-Ro vessels, showcasing their usual high flexibility, which includes multifuel options, and more.

Three models:

E-FLEXER 300-500



In May, Stena Line announced two NewMax hybrid vessels to be built for the Irish Sea.

The two all-new hybrid propulsion vessels, designed to run on methanol and adding 80% capacity on the Belfast-Heysham route, will be ready in 2025.

Unity Line and Port of Trelleborg sign a new five-year agreement

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  • Unity Line has operated the Trelleborg—Swinoujscie route since February 2007.
  • Positive, steady growth in traffic on the route with over 10% annual volume increase.
  • Unity Line currently operates 4 vessels on the Trelleborg—Swinoujscie route.
  • Ro-Pax EPSILON (chartered by Irish Ferries since 2014) will replace GALILEUSZ as from January 2024. Both vessels are owned by companies within the Polish company Euroafrica.
  • Lanemetre increase from 1,830 to 2,860.
  • Two additional vessels under construction in Poland will join the route in 2025 and 2026.
  • Agreement is effective from January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2028.

New Mersey ferry to be built by Cammell Laird

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Cammell Laird, part of the APCL group, signed a deal with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to construct the first new Mersey ferry in 60 years.

The Birkenhead facility will design and build the state-of-the-art vessel on-site, featuring green technology such as an Azi-pull propeller system for reduced fuel usage and a diesel-electric hybrid-ready propulsion system.

Scheduled for completion by the end of 2025, the project signifies a major vote of confidence in Cammell Laird and follows a process initiated in 2016.

David McGinley, Chief Executive of Cammell Laird, with Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and Katherine Fairclough, CEO of Liverpool Region Combined Authority.

Brittany Ferries welcomes move to allow French school groups to travel to UK on ID cards, rather than passports

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James Cleverly UK home office minister announced the changes in a statement to the House on 7th December 2023. Passports will no longer be a requirement for travel: French students under 18 years of age will be able to come to the UK on an ID card.

In 2023 Brittany Ferries carried just 41,061 French children on school trips – a fall of 55 per cent following the introduction of new post-Brexit border controls in 2021 (in 2019 91,764 were carried).