South Korea’s new container carrier SM Line Corporation will operate a joint route with its peers from home and abroad for the first time since its inception early this year.
According to the company on Monday, SM Line has jointly launched a new shipping route to the Middle East with Hong Kong’s Gold Star Line, TS Line, Thailand’s RCL, and Korea Marine Transport Co. that connects China, the Middle East, and Pakistan. They will begin joint operations starting next month, the company said.
It will be the first time for the Korean container shipper to jointly operate a shipping route with its peers since it was created in March by Samra Midas Group that bought assets of once the country’s largest container shipper Hanjin Shipping that is now defunct.
The new joint China Middle East Express route that will be operated by five shipping companies will depart from Xingang Port in China and call at Qingdao, Shanghai, Port Klang in Malaysia, Karachi in Pakistan, and Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates. Vessels will depart from China’s Xingang Port for the first time on Nov.17.
SM Line will operate one 5,000 to 6,500 twenty-foot equivalent unit vessel on the route while Gold Star Line will operate two vessels. The others will each manage a single vessel.
An unnamed official from SM Line said the launch of the new route has allowed the company to make an inroad into the Middle East market, and the collaboration with other shipping companies indicates the growing recognition of the fledgling company in the global shipping industry.
SM Line currently manages 16 vessels including nine private and seven chartered ships. The company operates nine routes including to North America, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, China, East and West India. It sister company Korea Line Corp. under Samra Midas Group focuses on bulk shipping.
By Kang Young-woon and Lee Eun-joo
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