K Line car carrierK Line European Sea Highway Services (Kess), which provides short-sea carrier services for the automotive trade, has appointed UK port operator PD Ports as its ship agent in the Humber region of the UK.

The contract covers vehicle shipments through the ports of Immingham and Grimsby, which Kess takes to Emden and Cuxhaven for European delivery and onward shipment to the Far East and US.

“Despite the decline in new car sales in the UK in 2017, there has been an increase in imports of more than 35% and this new contract offers Kess access to our services on the Humber that will support this growth in a highly demanding and competitive market,” said Frans Calje, CEO of PD Ports. Calje said it was the first time PD Ports had worked with Kess and it was looking forward to being a part of the growing business in the Humber.

K Line would not reveal any details about the new deal, citing “contractual obligations”, but Torsten Wendt, the division’s managing director, said it was taking further steps to improve its service and that the new contract underlined the importance for Kess’ business in the Humber region.

The Humber ports of Grimsby, Immingham and Killingholme handle more than a million vehicles a year, with the majority being imports of Kia, Toyota and VW volumes.