February 20 - DFDS has taken delivery of Gardenia Seaways, the first of two new ro-ro vessels from Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG).

As HLPFI reported in July 2016, the 210 m long vessel offers capacity for 262 trailers and a load space of 4,076 m. Both ships are set to enter service on DFDS lines in the North Sea.

Peter Gellert, executive vice president of the shipping division at DFDS, said: "The volume on all routes within the DFDS network has grown noticeably; we are already using almost all the capacity available in our existing fleet."

According to DFDS, the two FSG ships will increase its capacity for North Sea shipping by 20 percent in comparison with the tonnage it will replace.

Gellert added: "Gardenia Seaways and the next new ship will enable us to offer our customers the capacity they want, together with a significantly improved service. The design of the ship, developed in Flensburg, meets current environmental requirements, reducing fuel consumption and providing much better handling when loading and unloading in port.

"Gardenia Seaways is the first step for DFDS in an ambitious programme of newbuildings. The two ships from FSG will be joined in 2019 by another two ro-ro freight vessels. These will be the largest freight vessels in the DFDS fleet so far." 

Gardenia Seaways and the second new ship, which is expected to be handed over in September, will be taken on under a bareboat charter contract.