K Line European Sea Highway Services

K Line European Sea Highway Services GmbH (KESS) is a roll-on/roll-off shipping line based in Bremen, Germany and is a subsidiary of the Japanese shipping line K Line.

K Line European Sea Highway Services GmbH
IndustryTransport Automotive
HeadquartersBremen, Germany

Company overview

KESS was created by K Line to offer short sea service to Japanese car makers manufacturing cars in European plants, by providing access to smaller European ports not called at by larger oceanic vessels.[1]

The company specializes in domestic maritime transport and distribution of cargo such as automobiles, trucks, trailers, Mafi roll trailers, heavy construction machineries and further types of rolling freight.

The main trade lanes are domestic intra European, and specifically ports in North Continent Europe, including Germany, Belgium, UK,[2] Ireland, Scandinavia,[3] Baltic region and Russia.

The company operates 11 roll-on/roll-off ships.

Facts and accidents

KESS ships are distinguished from those of its parent company K Line by having their hull painted in red as opposed to the grey of K Line.

On 21 September 2017, Greenpeace activists attempted to block the discharging of Volkswagen cars into Sheerness port, disrupting for several hours the operations of mv Elbe Highway.[4]

On 23 July 2018, car carrier vessel Makassar Highway ran aground at full speed in the Tjust archipelago near Loftahammar, Sweden, causing an oil spill.[5][6]


  1. "KESS shipping line wants one more berth in Cuxhaven".
  2. "Greenpeace Activists Climb on K Line's Car Carrier". worldmaritimenews.com.
  3. "Damaged Kess vessel, Makassar Highway, being towed to Swedish port". www.vesselfinder.com.
  4. "Greenpeace activists board ship". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  5. Chambers, Sam (24 July 2018). "K Line car carrier hard aground in southern Sweden". Splash 247. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  6. "Swedish coast guard works to clean up 14,000-litre oil spill". The Local. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.

See also

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