New DFDS acquisition could pave “salmon road” to Turkey

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Salmon arriving in France and The Netherlands could soon travel to the near-east on a streamlined ticket, after Danish logistics company DFDS on Thursday announced it was acquiring Turkish U.N. Ro-Ro, a major freight operator.

Nearly all of Scotland’s salmon-farmers use DFDS cooler depots before distributing their fish by lorry to France. Likewise, Norwegian fish driven into The Netherlands and France can now be processed and trucked onwards to Turkey from Toulon or Trieste aboard U.N. Ro-Ro vessels that make the voyage every week.

U.N. Ro-Ro vessels take semi-trailers — including refrigerated trucks — on 65-hour treks from Pendik in Turkey to Trieste in Croatia (and Toulon, France), from where they travel by road. The reverse of this — travelling to Turkey from the Continent on a DFDS ticket is what could become a streamlined salmon-road for growers.

The trip is on par with the 54 hours Tasmanian salmon can take to reach local markets in China.

DFDS salmon-aware
DFDS in January said it was ramping up its offering of cooled spaces to the aquaculture business, and with it more logistics. 

“(We expanded that offering) in 2016 and we have plans to (expand) again in 2018. We are planning for the growth (in salmon volumes),” DFDS head of communications, Gert Jacobsen, told SalmonBusiness.

On Thursday, they might have helped future salmon volumes gain new markets with a share purchase of U.N. Ro-Ro financed by Deutsche Bank that’s expected to eventually cost DFDS EUR 1.1 billion.

“With the acquisition of U.N. Ro-Ro, we are expanding into one of Europe’s most attractive freight markets which is operationally similar to northern Europe,” said DFDS chief exec, Niels Smedegaard, in a statement.

Turkey market
It’s so similar, in fact, that Scottish salmon frozen in the 140,000-tonne DFDS facility at Larkhall in Scotland will conceivably be able to travel by road in DFDS trucks and DFDS Ro-Ro directly to Turkey on a DFDS “ticket”.

Boxes of frozen Marine Harvest, Scottish Sea Farms, The Scottish Salmon Company and Cooke Aquaculture Scotland were among the 23,341 loads transported from DFDS Larkhall alone in 2015 to local and global restaurants, supermarkets, processors and distributors.

Now, perhaps, Norwegian salmon processed in The Netherlands can also take to the road for Turkey on a one-way ticket from a DFDS subsidiary. Turkey imports 5,000 tonnes of Norwegian salmon a month directly from Norway, and The Netherlands takes in 13,600 t.