Interview with Michael Goldmann Petersen, Scandlines COO

By | 2024 Newsletter week 27 | No Comments

Executive Summary 

Ferry Capacity and Operation: 

  • The new electric freight ferry Futura will enter service in late 2024, complementing Scandlines’ fleet with a capacity of 66 truck units. 
  • Futura will be fully electrically operated, initially charging in Rødby, with Puttgarden infrastructure ready by 2025. 

2023 Performance: 

  • Scandlines transported 6.4 million passengers, 1.6 million cars, and over 704,000 freight units. 
  • Passenger numbers increased by 5%, but freight business saw a 7% decline due to the economic slowdown in Europe. 

Leadership Changes: 

  • Michael Guldmann Petersen was appointed acting CEO in February 2024, continuing as COO until July, when Eric Gregoire will assume the CEO role. 

Sustainability Initiatives: 

  • Scandlines is investing in electric propulsion, with Futura being emission-free and two other ferries, Schleswig-Holstein and Deutschland, set to convert to at least 80% electric operation by 2025. 

Market Trends and Projections: 

  • The German market is growing, with an increase in German travelers to Denmark and Sweden. 
  • The Swedish market saw a decline in border shop visitors due to exchange rate impacts, despite similar spending levels in Swedish Kronas. 
  • Freight volumes are expected to be flat in the first half of 2024, with a slight increase in the second half. 

Infrastructure and Technological Developments: 

  • Rødby charging installation is complete, with Puttgarden expected to be operational by September 2025. 
  • Futura will operate in a two-hour rotation sequence, enabled by dual-port charging. 
  • Potential future enhancements include increasing battery capacity and considering emission-free operations in Rostock port. 

Challenges and Future Plans: 

  • The feasibility of converting additional ferries to electric power depends on securing funding from EU or Danish government sources. 
  • The ongoing Fehmarn tunnel project is not significantly disrupting ferry operations, although close monitoring and adjustments are required. 
  • Kronprins Frederik will continue as a backup ferry and support freight volumes during peak times. 

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