Trends affecting Stena

Trends affecting Stena


2020 was an extraordinary and challenging year. The pandemic has ramped up trends that can transform society, such as extensive digitalisation and new technologies. It has also been a speedier transition to a more sustainable society, with a focus on climate change.


For Stena the pandemic has accelerated the Group’s technical development through the use of digital tools to maintain activities, as well as to continue the Group’s work on developing a sustainable ship operation. Today, more than 80 per cent of the world’s transport of goods takes place by sea. According to Carl-Johan Hagman, Head of Shipping and Ferries, the development of new technology is optimising transport flows in completely new ways, with the integration of the various transport modes, including logistics centres, to rewrite the logistics maps. “E-commerce requires shorter lead times and increased service. This gives commodity owners greater control of the entire chain, right up to the final customer. Customised solutions are in increasing demand as digital channels make us accustomed to individually tailored solutions and full transparency about who we are and where our interests lie. This online behaviour is spreading to other sectors and relations, and customisation is an ever-increasing demand. In the future, actual transport will probably be standardised, but customer solutions will be unique,” says Carl-Johan Hagman.



“Digital technology is facilitating and driving transparency. What we do and how we do it will reach many people. By being honest to ourselves, working to be part of the solution and making high demands of ourselves, we will outperform our competitors. By achieving good results, we can help the world,“ concludes Carl- Johan Hagman. 


The pandemic severely affected Stena’s financial performance. The extensive travel and freight transport restrictions, combined with reduced demand for oil, had a great impact on many of Stena’s activities, from both a customer and employee perspective. A number of companies were obliged to take restructuring measures and make redundancies. One positive consequence for Stena was that consumers have generally given high priority to their homes, leading to increased demand for kitchens and garden centre products. This affected Stena Adactum’s Ballingslöv and Blomsterlandet holdings, and also Stena Property. In the global fleet, many employees worked for extended periods onboards because countries closed their borders, making it impossible to change crews. Activities previously based on day-to-day physical meetings with customers had to develop into new ways of meeting and security procedures had to be expanded. 


Shipping is the mode of transport that releases the smallest volume of greenhouse gases per unit transported, and will continue to play an important role in the global economy, in a future sustainable society.


Today, shipping accounts for 2.5 per cent1 of the world’s total carbon emissions. In pursuit of reduced emissions, the technical development of more efficient vessels and route optimisation are as vital as finding solutions based on alternative fuels, such as battery operation, methanol and electrofuels, which in time can lead to the complete elimination of carbon emissions.


The introduction of global legislation and a level playing field for all operators are vitally important for the development of sustainable shipping.


1According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).