For over 8 years during the Winter months of January and into February many of the Gerrards team head over to Dunkirk, France travelling via Dover to join a number of ships – car ferries to be exact for DFDS.
DFDS is a Danish international shipping and logistics company. It is the busiest shipping company of its kind in Northern Europe and one of the busiest in Europe. The company’s name is an abbreviation of Det Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab (literally The United Steamship Company). DFDS was founded in 1866, when C.F. Tietgen merged the three biggest Danish steamship companies of that day.
Although DFDS has generally concentrated on freight and passenger traffic on the North Sea and to the Baltic Sea, it has also operated freight services to the USA, South America and the Mediterranean in the past. Since the eighties, DFDS’ focus for shipping has been northern Europe. Today, DFDS operates a network of 25 routes with 50 freight and passenger ships in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and the English Channel under the name DFDS Seaways. The rail and land based haulage and container activities are operated by DFDS Logistics.
Our role is to clean and maintain all the carpeted passenger and crew areas and all the upholstered chairs, stools and fixed seating. The number of days the ships are in dry dock depends on what repairs or renovations are necessary. The DFDS ships we are working on cover the Dover to Dunkerque route daily – Dunkerque Seaways, Delft Seaways and Dover Seaways. This week we are working on Delft Seaways, we have already completed Dunkerque Seaways and have Dover Seaways to start next week. “Its a busy life but someone’s got to do it!”
Gerrards are the most experienced marine carpet and upholstery cleaners in the UK and have been working in the marine sector for over 25 years.
Saying that, life on board during a refit is not quite as glamorous as it sounds…
And sometimes it’s positively freezing!!!