The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing companies to get creative. This autumn, Stena Logistics-owned company NMT International Shipping and Stena RoRo came up with a mutually beneficial solution to put a Stena RoRo vessel to good use on a route from Europe to Africa.

It has been a tough year in global shipping. A slump in the market, combined with over-
capacity in many sectors, has negatively impacted the industry worldwide. In this marketplace, flexibility and a can-do attitude can be the key to success – as recently proven by Stena RoRo and NMT International Shipping.

In September, Dutch logistics company NMT International Shipping encountered a problem. With two shipments of cars, trucks and construction equipment ready to set sail to Africa, its regular carrier suddenly cancelled a service due to COVID-19, leaving NMT with a surplus of cargo but no space on which to ship it.

“I knew Stena RoRo had a vessel – Stena Foreteller – that was perfect for our cargo,” says NMT President Frits Dix. “Since NMT is a majority-owned Stena Logistics company, I also knew our sister company Stena RoRo had decided to lay up the vessel in Uddevalla due to a lack of market demand.”

For Stena RoRo, NMT’s capacity challenge became an opportunity to send Stena Foreteller back out to sea.

Stena RoRo’s Managing Director Per Westling says he saw an opportunity to help NMT fulfill its commitments, while also getting a laid up vessel into operation and breaking into a new market, at a challenging time for the RoRo business.

“In the short term, sending the ship out to sea was less costly than having her laid up and, more long term, we hoped this might lead to a profitable business opportunity in the future,” he admits.

Stena Foreteller left Antwerp on 13 October, calling at the ports of Dakar, Senegal, and Conakry, Guinea, before returning to Antwerp for a second round trip in November.

Per Westling • Lance Trengereid • Frits Dix


“The service from Stena RoRo has been perfect! It’s been clear to us since day one that this is a company that cares about its customers,” he says, adding that this became apparent when Stena Foreteller arrived at Conakry – a port that is notoriously over crowded, where ships are often forced to wait days for a port slot, says Frits Dix.

“The captain of Stena Foreteller carried out an extremely complex manoeuvre, known as Mediterranean mooring, which involves backing the stern up to the quay instead of pulling up alongside it,” he continues.

The 195.3-metre long and 26.8-metre wide Stena Foreteller was able to use a slot that measured only 30 metres, instead of waiting for a 200-metre space on the quay, thereby avoiding a delay of three or four days.

“For a logistics provider, it’s invaluable to have a skilful, flexible shipping partner that will support us and do its best for us and our customers,” adds Frits Dix.

Lance Trengereid, Deputy Head of Stena Logistics, believes this proves how a flexible approach can turn into a win-win solution:

“This is a great example of our shipping and logistics businesses working together to find a mutually beneficial solution,” he says. “In this case, Stena RoRo’s quick response enabled it to get a vessel back out to sea, whilst helping its sister company solve a pressing capacity problem. That’s what I call teamwork!”


Stena Logistics

Stena Logistics // December 12, 2019


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