MTA 2022-513

The DFDS Cold Chain England team led by Matt O’Dell (second right) collect the trophy from Darren Thompson, senior marketing manager, Tevva Hydrogen Electric Trucks (second left)


DFDS Cold Chain England handles frozen and chilled foods for food producers, linking with the group’s other operations in the rest of the UK and north Europe.

The firm runs 180 trucks and 363 trailers and employs nearly 500 at 12 operating centres in England.

Last year the company surpassed its own ambitious targets, delivering outstanding customer service to grow turnover by 13% and profit by 141% despite the challenges of Brexit and Covid. These increases were achieved with a smaller fleet than in 2020 due to improved efficiencies.

The highlights from 2021 include:

■ Maintaining exceptional levels of customer satisfaction

■ Growing the customer base more than tenfold

■ Leading the industry in sustainability by introducing the UK’s first solar-powered refrigeration unit, with plans to convert as much as possible of the fleet to electric vehicles

■ Excelling as a business by making the significant acquisition of leading European-based meat transporter HSF

■ Establishing a pioneering customs clearance operation in Dover employing 46 people to ensure a smooth Brexit transition for importers and exporters.

Staff health and wellbeing are paramount, and the company set up ‘Culture Champions’ across its operation to strengthen team engagement. This has already resulted in a major effort by teams at each depot to send vital supplies to Ukrainian refugees.

DFDS invested in its Driver Academy to fund all aspects of training, including Driver CPC courses and test fees, and in 2021 successfully trained 14 new Category C1+E drivers. It also trained two senior drivers to improve driving styles across the fleet.

Our judges said the company continued “to operate at a very high level of service, constantly seeking feedback from customers to drive the business forward” and was a “market leader on the environment, making use of its financial ability to invest due to the scale and size of a business”. One judge concluded: “An outstanding result in a difficult year, with high levels of agility and flexibility along with positive staff welfare and excellent customer service”.

“It’s amazing that we’ve won. Being Haulier of the Year is all about our amazing team of people. They work every day to make this a great company”

Matt O’Dell, MD, DFDS Cold Chain England