Being a solo Transpacific carrier did not prevent SM Line Corporation from achieving its best result since its incorporation in 2016.
The South Korean liner operator was formed when the Samra Midas group acquired the remaining businesses of now-defunct Hanjin Shipping.
SM Line announced that it had an operating profit of KRW40.4 billion (US$34.59 million) for the third quarter of 2020, improving from a KRW3.9 billion (US$3.24 million) operating loss in the same quarter in 2019.
Revenue totalled KRW219.2 billion (US$187.67 million) and net profit came up to KRW30.2 billion (US$25.86 million). Cumulatively, operating profit for the first nine months of the year came up to KRW44.8 billion (US$38.36 million).
Earnings were buoyed by Transpacific freight rates, which are now at a 10-year high, due to blanked sailings amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
SM Line expects to do even better in the fourth quarter if current market conditions continue. SM Line CEO Park Ki-hoon said, "We will create the motto of being a small but strong company capable of creating sustainable and permanent profits."
In December 2017, the Samra Midas group engineered the merger of SM Line with another affiliate, Woobang Engineering & Construction, to improve the liner operator’s financial structure.
SM Line now operates two Transpacific services called China Pacific Express (CPE) and Pacific Northwest Service (PNS), as well as a number of intra-Asia services. Six 6,655TEU ships and three 4,300TEU ships are deployed to the Transpacific lanes.
The CPE service connects Ningbo and Shanghai in China with Gwangyang and Busan in South Korea directly to Long Beach. The PNS service includes Yantian in China and goes direct to Vancouver and Seattle.