DFDS PrimeRail

EUROPE: Ferry company DFDS has launched a rail business area with the acquisition of German company PrimeRail.

PrimeRail was founded in 2019 and provides inland and maritime rail and road transport services. DFDS launched an intermodal transport competence centre in Köln in 2020 in partnership with PrimeRail to provide intermodal services for the ferry company’s customers.

‘For DFDS, this is an important strategic step’, said Peder Gellert Pedersen, DFDS Executive Vice-President & Head of the Ferry Division. ‘We have been looking for the right partners with the same value set and commercial orientation as DFDS. PrimeRail fulfils this, and it is, therefore, a perfect match. We connect our ports by rail to inland terminals, thereby offering a smooth and environment-friendly transport network to the benefit of our customers and society.’

PrimeRail will operate as the Rail business area within DFDS, including the existing DFDS intermodal business. The area sits within the Mediterranean business unit and is headed by Patrick Zilles, founder and CEO of PrimeRail.

DFDS Head of Mediterranean Lars Hoffmann said that ’since 2018 we have doubled our number of weekly trains; it is therefore natural to take the next step. We see an increasing demand for rail transport combined with our ferry routes and logistics services. Partnering with PrimeRail allows us to offer additional intermodal solutions. Customers can drop off units at our terminals in Turkey and pick them up in Europe very close to the end destinations.’

  • On May 17 DFDS launched a twice-weekly rail service from Séte near Montpellier to Calais, with shipping connections offering a seven day journey time between Istanbul and London. ‘By combining our ferry activities in the Mediterranean and the UK with a new rail service, we’re able to offer by far the fastest connection between London and Istanbul’, said Hoffmann.