Boxed in: SM’s launch hit by lack of available containers

In a severe case of supply chain horse and cart South Korea’s newest container operator, SM Line, might not have enough containers in place to start operating as planned in two months’ time.

SM Line, part of Samra Midas Group, which also owns dry bulk name Korea Line Corp, has bought out Hanjin Shipping’s transpacific operations and also has intentions to make a big splash on the intra-Asia trades.

Pulse, a local Korean news source, is reporting that SM is struggling to get enough containers ready for the line’s launch in March. It had intended to use ex-Hanjin boxes, but many of these have been seized by creditors of the bust line.

If it buys new boxes, SM is entering at a bad time with new container prices up by around 20% in the last few months.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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