Shipping giant DFDS is set to cull around 86 UK warehousing and logistics jobs as part of major cutbacks across the company as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A total of 86 UK posts have been placed into consultation, with 650 jobs to go across DFDS’ entire European operations.

Announcing the cuts, MD Andrew Byrne said the company was not expecting freight and passenger numbers to bounce back as the economy emerges out of the pandemic, warning current levels could become the “new normal”.

The cuts come after the company was forced to lay up 12 of its 50 freight vessels and a large part of its road fleet at the peak of the pandemic.

DFDS, which employs around 1,000 staff in North East Lincolnshire, is warning it will take a £200m hit to the bottom line in 2020, even after making the cuts.

“The unexpected Covid-19 pandemic left no company in the travel and transport sector unaffected," Byrne said.

“As a ferry and logistics company, DFDS has experienced that passenger numbers, freight volumes and terminal activity dropped dramatically.

“Throughout our network, restrictions are being lifted, manufacturers are resuming operations and government support measures are ending. We are now seeing the outlines of a new normal.

“However, it will not be a return to the situation before the crisis. We are facing a world with less freight and fewer passengers to carry.

“Consequently, we are adapting our structure, staff and costs to the business that will emerge from Covid-19.”

A total of 62 roles will be lost in the Immingham ferries and terminals business, with 24 jobs in logistics set to go.

Byrne added that staff and trade union consultations have begun, with all employees advised of the circumstances.