Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2024

85 individuals and families travelling by car to visit friends and relatives. People in their 20s and early 30s might choose other modes of transport but especially at weekends and during holidays, we have many children onboard – and they are our future customers.” Jensen Dickson underlines that Stena Line has customers of all ages, nationalities, ethnicities and sexual orientations. “For us it’s most important to understand our passengers, whoever they are, and offer them better value. The way we travel is changing quite a lot due to the demands of society. To be able to meet the new demands, we need to understand everyone’s needs. It’s not only about who’s travelling with us today but also who will travel with us tomorrow.” Derenstrand highlights that Stena Line’s role is to transport freight and people. “If there is no need for people to take our ferry from A to B, then we are probably not in the right location, making our product unnecessary. This is the very reason why we permanently closed a couple of routes in the aftermath of Covid-19. There was no real need for customers to travel on these routes.” Finding future talent One of the biggest challenges for Stena Line will be to find future talent, says Jensen Dickson. “It’s crucial as a company to take care of your staff,” she says. “You need to be a good employer to keep your employees. The change in demographics is a huge problem, with an imbalance between people retiring and people entering the labour market. Then there’s also a number of people who no longer want to work. It’s not the younger generation but rather 50-plus who haven’t reached their retirement age yet. Some were furloughed during Covid-19 and realised they managed to make ends meet. They have savings and some sell their house, so they can afford to live without earning money. A huge group of people is no longer available to us as talent. Yet another challenge is the implications of Brexit.” Another concern is the threat of artificial intelligence to white-collar employment. “Things are changing rapidly as AI will undoubtedly affect the office environment, especially when it comes to middle management,” says Jensen Dickson. “It is therefore crucial to understand the digital world. As an industry we need to be more tech savvy. We are struggling to understand it as we don’t know its impact yet and how it will affect us.” Stena Line’s vessels provide reliable and regular services on multiple routes in Europe, allowing the brand to cater to changing customer demands