SM Line builds up fleet in ‘record time’

SM Line, the new Korean box shipping firm, is creating records in the speed of its fleet build up.

Analysts at Alphaliner noted that in the space of just four months since it was founded on January 6 this year, SM Line has acquired 17 containerships, 11 of which used to belong to defunct Hanjin Shipping. The deals have been concluded in a “record time”, Alphaliner stated.

SM Line’s fleet includes eight 6,665 teu ships, three 8,586 teu ships which were all formerly trading with bankrupt Hanjin. On top of this taken two 5,936 teu ships from Greece’s Technomar Shipping as well as a 4,253 teu panamax, a pair of 1,600 teu ships and a 1,118 teu feeder.

All of this tonnage is ultimately expected to be deployed on the SM Line network but for now several units are chartered out, including to big names such as MSC and MOL.

In addition to its owned fleet, SM Line currently charters five vessels ranging in size from 704 teu to 1,550 teu for its intra Asia network.

SM Line, part of South Korean construction firm Samra Midas Group which also owns dry bulk concern Korea Line Corp, has set out an ambitious plan to become a top 20 liner within the next couple of years. Alphaliner currently places it 27th in its global rankings, poised to overtake more established names such as Sinotrans and TS Lines shortly. SM’s original routes have focused on the transpacific and intra-Asia.

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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