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DFDS Urges Students To Consider Careers At ‘Biggest’ Port In Europe

Andrew Byrne (DFDS Seaways UK Managing Director) and Ivan Weatherhogg (Commercial Director for DFDS Logistics Cold Chain, Grimsby) are pictured with Cleethorpes Academy Year 7 students (l-r) Evin Sit, Luke Colbrook, Evie Hammond, Georgia Curtis and Charlie Webb.


Major local employers and international shipping and logistics company DFDS has urged Cleethorpes Academy students to be aware of the wealth of careers available to them at what is now one of the most important ports in the UK.

Based on the amount of tonnes of freight which moves through the Port of Immingham each day, it is now the biggest port in the UK, with 6,500 direct and indirect employees.

DFDS, the Danish company, which employs 11,000 people in 21 countries, is the busiest shipping company of its kind in Northern Europe, with a large base at Immingham.

Andrew Byrne, managing director of DFDS Seaways UK, and Ivan Weatherhogg, commercial director for DFDS Logistics Cold Chain Grimsby, visited the Academy to talk about where the ships on the Humber go and the products they transport, from fish to new cars.

Mr Byrne is also the company’s careers advisor, who went to school in Cleethorpes. He said it is vital that young people are made aware of the wealth of jobs available at local ports. “We need to get young people interested in the port and what is going on there, as we need to know where the employees of the next 30 years are coming from,” he said.

“People may just think we employ truck drivers, but there are many other jobs available, from IT to business support, customs clearance and logistics, which will appeal to all academic levels. We are huge in Europe and these students could also end up visiting many other countries. We transport almost everything you eat and come into contact with on a daily basis.”

Mr Byrne talked about the company’s drive to reduce its carbon footprint by 45% in 2030, and to become carbon neutral by 2050, in line with UN climate goals. He described this as ‘extremely challenging’ which is why the company needs future employees who are “onboard with its values,” he said.

“Our ships are big and use fuel by the tonne. We want a vessel in the sea by 2025 that does not run on heavy oil. Each ship will cost £150-million and we intend to build four of them. 

“We are investing in 150 fully-electric HGV trucks, which is the largest order placed in the world so far, in order to reduce our carbon emissions. That is the strength of our commitment to ensuring that the planet is still here for our children and beyond,” he added.

DFDS moves half a million freight units a year, with around 250,000 new cars moving through the Port of Immingham.

Ivan Weatherhogg explained how Grimsby still has the largest number of fish processing companies in Europe, and it is an industry that relies on people. He said DFDS transports fish all over Europe and beyond and needs to encourage more young people to become truck drivers. The Cold Chain division is currently trialling new trailers with solar panels on the roof, which feed the battery to power the fridge unit. 

Mr Weatherhogg said 97% of the fish which comes into the UK will at some time have come into contact with DFDS transport, customs, ferry and warehouse. “The average age of our drivers now is 57.” he said. “We want to encourage more young people into the industry.” 

After the presentation, Paul Kaylow, Vice Principal of Cleethorpes Academy, said: “Many students have no idea that experienced HGV drivers are now paid between £42,000 to £55,000 a year. Fish filleters can earn £35,000.

“There are lots of skilled jobs and jobs that add really good value to the community in this industry, so it is important that students consider thinking outside of the box when it comes to their future careers,” he said.


Andrew Byrne, managing director of DFDS Seaways UK, and Ivan Weatherhogg, commercial director for DFDS Logistics Cold Chain Grimsby, visited the Academy to talk about where the ships on the Humber go and the products they transport, from fish to new cars.

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Cleethorpes Academy Principal

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