SM Line eyes US east coast and 10,000 teu ships

SM Line, the world’s newest container shipping company, has eyes on the US east coast. The South Korean offshoot of Samra Midas Group (SM Group) kicks off with an intra-Asia service first and will next month debut a transpacific service to the US west coast. The line’s president Kim Chil-bong has revealed in an interview with Korean media that the next plan will be to launch an east coast service that will call at Savannah and New York, likely late next year.

Its fleet today stands at 12 ships, a mix of ex-Hanjin 6,500 teu vessels and smaller tonnage.

However, Kim has let it be known he is in the market for a series of 8,000 to 10,000 teu ships too.

Kim said the aim this year was to make revenues of KRW400bn ($347m) and KRW3trn won in five years time.

SM Group also owns dry bulk outfit Korea Line Corp. Best known as a construction firm, SM Group made a failed bid for SPP Shipbuilding last year and has this week been linked with taking over STX Corporation.

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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