Housing and particularly the timber frame market have fuelled demand for OSB, but the packaging market has also been buoyant in the expansion of the wider industrial economy.

Kronospan, which previously imported exclusively via Goole in East Yorkshire, recently added the Kent port to serve the south-east. The vessel carries 4,200m2 of OSB and Kronospan expects a frequency of every two months. The company said it was both a strategic and long-term move.

"It is to give better coverage and better service to the UK as well being more direct in the south-east where construction is doing well," said Kronospan commercial director Alex Gambroudes. "Demand is very good at this time, but we are looking to grow further.

Timber frame especially is growing and we are also seeing the substitution of OSB for plywood, so we see the UK remaining strong for the next few years."