South Korean shipping firm SM Line has announced that it will cut the salaries of company executives by 10 percent as the company deals with a major decline in traffic volume amid the outbreak of the coronavirus in both China and South Korea.
As part of its epidemic control measures, the company is offering up to four weeks of unpaid leave to its employees who need health checks, nursing care and child care, and it has also decided to minimise both the domestic and overseas travel of employees.
Kim Chil-bong, CEO of SM Line, said it is necessary for the company to cut costs to get through the challenges brought by the outbreak of coronavirus.
South Korea has raised its alert status to the highest level after it became the most coronavirus-hit country outside of China with the total number of infected people nearing 2,000.
SM Line, part of South Korean construction firm Samra Midas Group, operates a fleet of 17 containerships with a total capacity of around 74,000 teu. It has recently been selling a significant tranche of its fleet.
SM Line is primarily focused on the intra-Asia trades, which most container analysts suggest is the tradelane hardest hit by the coronavirus.