Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Container Freight Group Samskip Consolidates Brand with Integration of Van Dieren Multimodal

Icelandic Group Extends its Profile as Rail Traffic Builds
Shipping News Feature

NETHERLANDS – ICELAND – EUROPE – Samskip, the container logistic specialist is seen by many involved in the freight industry as a local feeder box operator to Iceland and the Faroe Isles but is in fact one of the largest container groups on the Continent. Now the company has consolidated its image by renaming its Dutch Van Dieren Maritime subsidiary, purchased eight years ago, as Samskip Van Dieren Multimodal, with effect from 19th September 2011. Explaining the decision, Henk van Dieren, CEO of Samskip Van Dieren Multimodal, said:

“Our reasons for taking this step are two-fold. Firstly, it identifies us more strongly with our parent company Samskip Multimodal Container Logistics, which is known throughout Europe, due in part to its own strong branding which is emblazoned on its ships and its containers. Secondly and perhaps most importantly, the name Van Dieren Maritime no longer reflects the nature of our business. Our activities are much more rail-related and we have become the rail specialists within the Samskip Group and we are a key element within Samskip’s integrated pan-European multimodal activities and network.”

Van Dieren Maritime was established in 1959 and started with shortsea services into Russia and the Baltic states, hence the inclusion of Maritime in the company’s name. It later became involved in the transport of containers by rail and was a participant in the IKEA Rail project, which saw the launch in 2001 of a block train service operating five days a week between Almhült in Sweden and Duisburg in Germany.

In December 2003 when announcing its acquisition of a controlling stake in Van Dieren Maritime, Samskip noted that Van Dieren served a route network linking the Baltic States and Russia as far east as the Ural Mountains with the UK, Sweden and the Benelux region. In recent years, the rebranded Samskip Van Dieren Maritime has focused more and more on rail and Jens Holger Nielsen, CEO of Samskip Multimodal Container Logistics, which incorporates Samskip Van Dieren Multimodal, describes its role as being that of a rail architect and knowledge centre within the Samskip Group. He explains:

“The Samskip Van Dieren Multimodal business is today an integrated part of Samskip’s pan-European multimodal network. We consequently all felt that a higher degree of group branding and recognition would benefit this part of our business. We have maintained the Van Dieren name within the new branding because we feel quite strongly that the Van Dieren name and the history behind it still have significant brand equity, recognition and respect. We did not want to ignore this.

“Today Samskip Van Dieren Multimodal operates services via Herne in Germany that link points as far north as Luleå in Sweden and Mo I Rama and Trondheim in Norway with Spain, Italy and Turkey. It operates entirely under its control four separate daily rail shuttles between Germany and Sweden and is now establishing a rail service between Germany and Poland.”

As we reported last month Samskip signed a long-term agreement with Duisport to make the newly combined KV-Terminal Hohenbudberg at the Port of Duisburg their new intermodal base serving international rail services and road vehicles for local deliveries within Germany. This new terminal, which will replace Herne as Samskip Van Dieren Multimodal’s German rail hub, is expected to start operating in the second quarter of 2012. Large river barges arriving from Rotterdam already tranship Samskip containers at the nearby the DeCeTe terminal in Duisburg.

The change of branding has resulted in new contact details for Samskip Van Dieren staff. In future emails should be addressed by firstname.lastname @ samskipvandieren.com.