FREJA celebrates 35 year in the transport business


On the occasion of FREJA’s birthday on the 1st of April, 2020, FREJA’s founder, Jørgen Hansen, reflects on the past 35 years. Jørgen says:

“On the day of FREJA’s 35th birthday, and in the middle of a worldwide crisis, which has not been seen before, it is obvious to let your thoughts wander back in time.

Everything is relative, but when FREJA was in the making, we were also in the middle of a crisis. At that time, the Danish government had just used an intervention to end a lockout/strike situation which had been going on from the 24th of March to the 1st of April, 1985.

But just as FREJA got started, we were faced with harbor strikes in Sweden. This made it impossible for us to sail directly from Denmark to Sweden, and we were forced to go via Norway. Being a new player in the market, we fully depended on the personal relations we had with the shipping lines. We received a lot of help back then after a very difficult and challenging start and this has not been forgotten now 35 years later. Then, as well as now, we learned that strong relations and orderliness are crucial for success.

We went through a challenging time in the early nineties, as the Swedish currency suddenly devalued by more than 20%. Back then, Sweden was a very big market for FREJA and the fact that the balance in our favor had suddenly decreased by more than 20%, hurt our contribution ratio. Furthermore, we had intense discussions with our Swedish customers about an adjustment of the prices.

In the beginning of the nineties, the Nordic postal war began and especially the Finish Itella and Norske Post (Bring) completed many acquisitions. At that time, FREJA lost many of our partners, and we were compelled to open own offices and make several acquisitions ourselves during the years 2003 – 2008. For example, FREJA built a new location in Taastrup in 2004 and a new in Stilling (Denmark) in 2008.

As for myself, I had resigned as Group CEO in 2006 to become chairman of the board, but suddenly in week 42 in 2008 the financial crisis appeared out of the blue. Because of this, I had to return as CEO.

Back then, like today, I am glad that FREJA at no time has paid dividends to the shareholders. All the money has stayed in the company and has been invested in improvements and spent on the consolidation and optimization of the company.

Now we are once again facing an unpredictable period with a COVID-19 crisis that has appeared out of the blue. The present is very much similar to 2008 because also in 2020 FREJA is in the middle of larger investments. These are investments that we neither can nor will put on hold, as we believe the crisis will make us stronger if we just stick to our values, maintain and strengthen our strong relations, and show orderliness in all that we do.

The actual investments are new transport facilities in Szczecin in Poland at a 75,000 m2 large site and an extension of our fleet of trucks with as much as 75 trucks over the next 9 months.

I am extremely proud of all of our skilled and committed employees and not least all of our sub-suppliers. We have a group of fantastic haulers and drivers, who every day do what we ask them to do in respect of and in large consideration of our customers.”

Heinrich Sørensen Hald sent this picture to us. The picture was taken in Skive.

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