South Korean construction company, Samra Midas (SM) Group, have officially entered the competitive world of container shipping with the formal launch of SM Line.
The announcement comes after it was confirmed that the SM Group had completed the acquisition of Hanjin’s Shipping’s Asia-to-US assets. The inauguration ceremony was held on January 6 in Seoul and was attended by president Kim Chil-bong and over 200 employees. The formal announcement was then released on January 8.
The Korean shipping company are set to gradually secure 12 container ships in the first half of this year and start its liner business in March. SM Line takes its place as only the second ocean going-shipping company in Korea, joining fellow compatriot Hyundai Merchant Marine.
SM Line is planning to steadily build its fleet to as much as 110,000 TEU in an attempt to establish itself within the top 20 global container carriers. They plan to achieve this through a number of cumulative and economic measures, such as ordering discounted new-builds.
Another SM subsidiary, Korea Line, was initially intending to take over the Hanjin assets, but this failed after rejection from the KLC shareholders. According to Lloyd’s, this was down to concerns that the dry bulk carrier operator did not have sufficient experience to run a container shipping business.