Sunday, July 18, 2010

All Change For European Ferry Groups

Norfolk Line join DFDS in Consolidation Deal
Shipping News Feature

EUROPE – As was widely predicted the deal between the parent group of RoRo ferry company Norfolkline and DFDS was completed last week. The DFDS Group took 100% control of Norfolk Holdings whilst parting with 31.3% of their shares to the ferry groups former owners AP Moller Maersk. Shipping services have already been amalgamated with both company websites advertising the mutual routes.

DFDS have traditionally traded from Newcastle and Harwich to Amsterdam and Ejsberg respectively but the half a billion dollar deal means they now have services ranging both across the Irish Sea and the English Channel to Belgium and France.

The deal will not be fully completed until next year when we may see a single branding for all services. The management of DFDS have referred to the deal as a natural fit with no overlap of services but one is left to assume there will be a rationalization of offices, at least for some departments. As part of the integration of DFDS and Norfolkline the brand architecture has been simplified. ”DFDS” will be the combined company's master brand. In addition comes two new brands for the divisions: ”DFDS Seaways” for Shipping Division and ”DFDS Logistics” for Logistics Division. All activities, including ships and transport equipment, will use these brands.

The deal also strengthens AP Moller Maersk’s trading position, as once again, it expands its interests into a different area of shipping.