While second quarter results were down sharply reflecting the economic impact of the pandemic, European freight and passenger operator DFDS provided a cautiously optimistic outlook. Highlighting the resumption of most services, management improved on its earlier forecasts of significant declines for the full year 2020.
“Our outlook is improved,” said DFDS CEO Torben Carlsen. “Freight volumes have picked up and the demand for ferry travel is encouraging on our reopened passenger routes. It is uncertain whether the pickup in demand is sustainable and we, therefore, remain alert.”
In June, the company citing projections for significant business declines due to the pandemic, announced a nearly 10 percent reduction for its workforce. DFDS forecast a nearly 45 percent decline for its total year income (EBITDA). Based on what management termed encouraging signs they increased the income outlook between 10 and 25 percent. However, they are still forecasting income to be down by a third for the full year.
Results in the second quarter were especially hard hit by the COVID-19 related restrictions during the quarter. The company responded by suspending passenger operations on two routes and both laying up freighters and reducing sailing schedules. Despite those efforts, total revenues were down 34 percent in the quarter, with passenger revenues down by 86 percent. Passengers had been limited to essential travel during the peak restrictions.
Freight revenues were down by a quarter with volumes down by 15 percent during the second quarter. DFDS reported that industrial volumes, including automobiles, were hardest hit while consumer goods were less impacted. U.K. imports from the EU were down by a third during April and May, but U.K. exports were only down 11 percent during those two months. The logistic division also experienced significant declines with volumes down a quarter in April but rebounding to be down only three percent in June.
The Baltic Sea area being was the European region least impacted by the virus helped DFDS to maintain freight volumes during the second quarter. Further, the company said that volumes had rebounded starting in May and continuing into June and July.
Responding to the rebound in volumes, DFDS said it currently has only one freight ferry laid up. At its peak, they had laid up 13 freight ferries but by the end of June had returned all but five to service. Also during the quarter DFDS made an agreement with Eckero Line to optimized service on the Northern Baltic route for freight and delivered one previously sold ro-pax ferry to its new owner.
Similarly, in the passenger markets, the company had not projected a return to operations until August. DFDS was able to resume service between Oslo and Copenhagen in late June and between Amsterdam and Newcastle in mid-July. Passengers volumes, it reported, have increased in the areas where COVID-19 is low but less so for U.K. tourist volumes due to continued COVID concerns.
Based on the faster than expected increases in demand, DFDS management remains cautious but encouraged. They are still expecting freight volume growth rates to be below 2019 but increased their forecast by half lowering the expected decline from 15 to 10 percent. They cautioned that some of the initial improvements could be due to a backlog in freight shipments that would be reduced with the resumption of service.
For the passenger operations, they noted that the recovery continues to be tied to travel restrictions and the potential for a resurgence of the virus. They also noted that while the pickup in demand has been quick and encouraging, passenger bookings are still very much last minute.
The rebound prompted the company to recall furloughed employees. At its peak, DFDS had furloughed 2,800 employees. By the end of the second quarter that had been reduced to 1,000 employees and it now stands at approximately 500 people still on furlough. The company, however, proceeded with dismissing approximately 650 employees from a pre-COVID-19 workforce of approximately 8,600 people.
Go to Source
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
NOAA Fisheries announced Friday that it will cancel five out of its six large-scale research surveys in Alaskan waters this year due to COVID-19. The canceled surveys include the Aleutian Islands bottom trawl survey, the eastern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey, the northern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey, the Bering Sea pollock acoustics survey, and […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Tigers has launched a new dedicated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) section on its eShop, powered by its freight portal SmartHub:Connect. The global logistics and transportation company has also released new software updates for SmartHub:Connect, giving customers shortcuts to buy and process documentation for the shipment of PPE. Tigers is also managing the door-to-door transport of […]