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Trainee programme

Trainee programme

Combine living abroad with learning and applying your bachelor’s or master’s degree from day one. Join our well-reputed trainee programme and learn the skills of logistics solutions and freight shipping.

Propel your career

The transition from having a degree to applying it in a professional career can be difficult.

Questions like what are you good at, what are your strengths and what do you want to do, naturally arise.

Therefore, as a trainee with DFDS we first look at who you are. Then, combined with your skills, aptitudes and desires for learning, we tailor a personal training and development programme that will support your transition. Over a two-year period you will challenge, explore and prepare yourself for a career in freight shipping and logistics.

Our trainee programme is for candidates who has a recent bachelor’s or a master’s degree or plan to complete their studies in 2019. We prefer degrees in economics, maritime studies, logistics or commerce. A high level of English is required.

If you are looking for a way to fast-track your career and transfer your skills to an everyday competitive and challenging environment, please read on.

Different experiences in different locations

What is special to the DFDS Trainee Programme is that you will spend two years abroad in two different locations learning about two different businesses: one year in logistics and one year in shipping. During your traineeship you will find yourself in up to four different departments in each location depending on your interests and qualifications.

This way you will learn all the skills from the ground up, which will allow you to understand and navigate the business from both perspectives - as well as give you an in-depth understanding of our organization.

You will be assigned a mentor in each location who will support you in your work and development.

Listen to what our trainees have to say:

Learn the ways of commercial shipping

The on-the-job training will be accompanied by a formal education provided by the Danish Shipowners´ Association. Their Commercial Shipping Programme consists of eLearning and three course modules of six to ten days’ duration in Copenhagen. Here you will meet trainees from other companies and from all over the world.

A perfect chance to start building a strong network within the industry.

Liene is a second-year trainee located at Kiel Logistics.

Ever changing environment and tasks

From day one, you will be trusted with real responsibilities as part of your learning environment.

As a shipping and logistics trainee you will work with the entire value chain, hence be in contact with all global customers, suppliers, and other service providers in the industry. You will work on an equal footing with your colleagues. Your duties will include assisting with shipping paperwork, handling losses and insurance claims, informing customers of schedules and freight rates, general cargo booking, as well as a variety of administrative tasks.

How does a changing work environment with varying and demanding tasks appeal to you?

Dominykas is a first-year trainee currently located in Dover.

Influence and design your own future

Our trainee programme is your opportunity to steer your future career in the direction you want. We are looking for graduates who are eager to still learn and become part of an organization where initiative, adaptability and enthusiasm are highly rated qualities.

The combination of logistics and shipping not only gives you a practical understanding of modern shipping – it is also what sets us apart from most other similar organizations. Hence, becoming a trainee with DFDS lends you the rare opportunity to find out which business area will best support your skills, personality, ambitions and wishes for the future.

What does DFDS do?

DFDS is really a people’s business.

We connect people, businesses and places, enabling them to flourish. Therefore, reaching out and continuously searching for better solutions is inherently linked to our proud legacy of 150 years of shipping and logistics services and customer relations.

Also descriptive of the DFDS culture is a dynamic and fun working environment with a flat organizational structure that's both informal and diverse. Even though many of your colleagues would be specialists in their area of expertise, we work in close-nit teams with a shared dedication to support our customers and reach our goals. Taking joint responsibility for valuable cargo or for passengers’ safety at sea are examples of how commitment among team members is crucial to deliver on our everyday promises.

The DFDS Trainee Programme is looking for you who:

  • Wants to put your skills and degree to use while still learning.
  • Will feel comfortable in a rapidly transforming organization and a constantly changing business environment.
  • Will thrive with responsibility and real-world tasks to solve in close collaboration with colleagues and customers.
  • Wants to further develop your analytical or operational skills in a supportive environment.
  • Views living abroad as an opportunity to get to know yourself better and form bonds with other nationalities.

As a DFDS Trainee you will:

  • Be part of moving our 150 years of shipping and logistics experience into a digital-led future.
  • Receive mentoring and supervision to help you develop and further improve your skills and aptitudes.
  • Contribute fully as a team member and immerse yourself in the DFDS culture: sometimes that means gathering around to celebrate a colleague's birthday with afternoon cake, but it always means to be part of a team that genuinely enjoys working together.
  • Be part of a learning hub that helps you grow personally and professionally – every day.

‘We move for all to grow’ is DFDS’ purpose.
If two years of learning, growing, and applying yourself in a competitive and constantly evolving environment appeals to you, we are looking forward to receiving your application.

Frequently asked questions

What are the possible locations I could be placed in during the two years?

The locations change from year to year – some of the possible locations are Immingham (UK), Oslo (NOR), Belfast (UK), Peterborough (UK), Vlaardingen (NL), Kiel (DE), Klaipeda (LT), Gothenburg (SE), Fredericia (DK) and Ghent (BE).

What would a normal day look like?

This will vary from location to location. But you will always be part of the daily operations. This might include:

  • Communicating with clients if there are delays/problems with their transport order.
  • Creating orders in the system.
  • Booking all the trucks on the required ship.
  • For some specific and important clients, monitoring that our trucks are on time and making sure we ensure a high level of service quality.
What is the recruitment process?
DFDS trainee recruitment process timeline

The closing date for applications is March 31, 2019. We will get back to you after the deadline. If you are chosen in the first round, the first interview will take place via Skype/phone in April. You will be contacted to arrange a convenient time. A select group of candidates from round one will be invited to Copenhagen for a face-to-face interview and group assessment– this will take place at the beginning of May. The trainee programme formally begins on 1 September.

What is the content of the formal Education at the Danish Shipowners’ Association?

The education will consist of webinars (approx. every second week) and classroom training in Copenhagen in September and May (approx. one week each time). The modules are:

  • Maritime law/Economics.
  • Ship Knowledge.
  • Cultural awareness/Business relations.
  • Communication.
  • Negotiation.
  • Risk Management.
  • Bunkering.
What kind of mentoring and supervision can I expect during the traineeship?

Yes, we offer a competitive salary that will be regulated according to the cost of living in the specific country where you are placed. DFDS also will pay two home trips (within Europe) per year and also help you to find accommodation and cover a large portion of your monthly rent.

What happens when I have completed the trainee programme?

Hopefully, you will have learned a lot and are ready to take on a permanent position within DFDS. There are no guarantees for a permanent position as this will depend on your performance during the two years. After the programme you can go in to a variety of positions depending on your strengths and ambitions. So far, our graduated trainees have gone into positions ranging from Project Manager to Fleet Manager to Commercial Operator.

Come join us

Have you just completed your Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or will do so before September 2019? Then apply and join our two-year trainee programme, where you will experience working in two different areas: Logistics and Shipping.

“You are given the chance to try. It’s a very flat organization, so they empower you from the first day”.

Fredrik Olofson

Operations Manager, Shipping

DFDS Trainee 2014 – 2016