Freight up 4.5% as UK-EU trade begins to stabillise

Every month, we publish the previous month’s ferry volumes to the stock exchange to provide additional insight into volume trends in DFDS’ European route network

Hollandia Seaways

February ferry volumes

Ferry – freight: Total volumes in February 2021 were 4.5% above 2020’s. Net adjustments for structural route changes reduced growth by 0.6 ppt to 3.9%. Volumes for routes calling at the UK were up 4%.

North Sea volumes were above 2020’s. They were driven by added capacity and continued stabilisation of trade between the UK and the EU, particularly for UK imports. Lower UK exports increased the number of empty trailers coming back to the EU.

Kell Robdrup, SVP & Head of BU North Sea South, says: “The capacity brought by the four newbuildings from Jinling is a notable contributing factor to the volumes being above 2020’s in the North Sea. We are happy to see our new mega freight ferries are put to good use. By offering our customers greater efficiency and more capacity, the new freight ferries will help our customers grow their businesses while significantly decreasing energy consumption per trailer transported.”

Volumes on the English Channel were likewise above 2020’s. Volumes on the new Ireland-France route continue to be ahead of expectations.

Filip Hermann, VP & Head of BU Channel, highlights preparation as one of the key factors contributing to BU Channel’s latest performance. “The Freight Sales Team started earlier than usual to prepare for what we had foreseen would be a challenging period because of Brexit. .”

Our “One-Stop-Shop” service offering both ferry crossing, customs brokerage, and clerk services is also successful and is a competitive advantage. Onboard services like a free meal and duty-free are attractive to freight drivers.

Baltic Sea volumes were above 2020’s, adjusted for the closure of the Paldiski-Hanko route. Mediterranean volumes were above 2020’s in all main corridors.

Ferry – passenger: Total number of passengers in February 2021 was 92% below 2020’s. This is because of travel restrictions related to Covid-19 on our cruise ferry routes. In the Baltic Sea, passenger numbers were somewhat below 2020.

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