Freight sales director Wayne Bullen said: “We knew we were on course, but the special moment came earlier than we originally predicted. Milestones such as this emphasise the high level of service we are offering on the Channel routes and underline the confidence and loyalty we receive from our customers.”
DFDS celebrated the occasion by handing out complimentary branded travel mugs to freight drivers arriving for the one-million-mark sailing from Dover, and presented a hamper of goodies to the driver of the millionth vehicle.
He was Michal Vrba, a driver with Inex Spedition, a transport and storage operator based in the north east of the Czech Republic at Trutnov, some two hours from the nation’s capital of Prague.
The company operates a modern fleet of 43 trucks. Michal was delighted that his vehicle was the millionth shipped with DFDS on the Channel during 2016. “I like DFDS, they look after drivers, though I never expected this as well”, he said, smiling and accepting the prize hamper.
Wayne Bullen thanked him for his and his company’s valued custom and added: “We are now confident that we will carry over 1.3 million freight units by year end, cruising past the 965,000 record we set for 2015 and confirming our status as the market leader for ferry traffic on the Channel.
“It also reflects on our long-standing policy of valuing our freight customers, whose drivers enjoy dedicated facilities in the Road Kings club on board our vessels as a reward for their loyalty.”
DFDS has already celebrated a 63 per cent increase in freight volumes on the Dover routes in the second quarter of this year, part of an upswing following the addition of two new ships on the Calais route in the spring, Cote des Dunes and Cote de Flandres.
This means that DFDS now offers up to 54 daily sailings on its two routes to France with the help of a dedicated online booking service for freight, which was launched in March. This simplifies the booking process and allows operators to track shipments and view real-time departure information.
A new and improved terminal at Dunkirk has also boosted traffic, by allowing a faster check in process and a safe and secure parking area for up to 260 vehicles at the port.