Kings Transport has announced the acquisition of Ningbo London from Palletline Logistics.

Operating under the umbrella of Kings Transport Holdings, the business will trade as Ningbo Logistics.

The move will extend the footprint of the North Weald-based family-run business throughout the Essex region while increasing its workforce to 103 and its fleet from 40 to 51 vehicles.

Its warehousing space will also expand by more than a third, from 90,000sq ft to 122,000sq ft.

With its roots in removals and storage, Kings took the decision to diversify its offering by becoming a member of the Palletline network in 2008. In its first year of joining, 19% of turnover was generated through the network and by 2022 network freight was contributing to 55% of turnover.

The news comes after a recent move to absorb Phoenix Logistics into the business, enabling it to further extend its offering of customs warehousing through its ETSF operation.

Services now include warehousing and storage, palletised freight, contract logistics, removals and more recently customs clearance. The company also holds ISO 9001, is FORS silver-accredited and has additional sites in Dunton and Hertford.

Ningbo London became part of Palletline Logistics two years ago to ensure network service integrity, and provides logistics solutions and network freight distribution throughout the Essex region. It also joined the Hazchem network in 2023.


Martin King, chief executive of Kings Transport, said: “This is a significant opportunity for Kings Transport which will help shape the future of the company and enhance our capabilities in transport and warehousing.

“We recognised the synergies between our two organisations, making us an ideal fit. The opportunity will be a considerable milestone for our business and one we believe will bring numerous benefits to our team and clients.”

Added Paul Elson, MD of Palletline Logistics: “Palletline Logistics was built on an ethos of ensuring network and service integrity within strategic areas of the UK, should a member business owner seek an exit strategy. Similarly, our ownership model enables us to support the development and growth of our members.

“We are delighted to have been able to work with Kings to bring Ningbo London back into member ownership and look forward to watching the business soar to new heights.”

Kings Transport said the acquisition marked an exciting new chapter for the business, founded 45 years ago by Steve King.

A qualified mechanic, he moved into transport by default after delivering nappies for Mothercare from his car. Other early customers include a Co-op biscuit factory and Woolworths.

Steve later invested in a van, and after being called upon to help friends and family move homes, his business diversified into removals and began to grow, with long-time business partner Keith Borrett also coming on board.

Handing over the reins to his son Martin in 2021, Steve remains on the board along with COO Rob Evans and his daughter Lucy Seagrave who is Kings Transport’s company operations and claims manager.