Freight giant DFDS Seaways saw volumes drop by 22 per cent at height of pandemic

Significant restructure has seen 62 staff leave as the Immingham port giant adjusted to Covid impact.

Freight terminal operator DFDS Seaways saw volumes drop by 22 per cent at the height of the Covid-19 lockdown.

The figure was revealed as the business published its annual report, and follows a major restructuring at the Imingham-headquartered giant.

It recently saw 62 employees leave the business, and while volumes are now increasing, there remains a cautious approach.

Andrew Byrne, managing director, said: “We have definitely seen an increase in volume throughout September. All routes served are busier now than they were, but we don’t know how sustainable that is. It is possibly Covid catch-up, and also possibly people starting to stock up ahead of the EU transition.

“We are certainly seeing warehouses fill up as well as more cargo going through the quay.

“It is going to be a difficult year to marker. It has been a particularly difficult year, we have made some big changes and taken a lot of cost out of the business. Hopefully we will see the volumes hold up over the next year.”

A total of 86 posts had been placed in consultation back in June, as part of a loss of 650 roles across the entire European network.

In making the move, it said a £200 million hit to the bottom line was anticipated as a result of Covid-19. Twelve of the group's 50 ferries had been laid up.

In his report, Mr Byrne said: “Covid 19 has had a significant negative impact to the business as volumes in quarter two 2020, at the height of the pandemic, were 22 per cent lower than the same period in the previous year.

Source: Business Live