South Korea’s container carrier SM Lines has forged a strategic alliance with state-owned shipping firm Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) in an effort to secure a stable foothold in Southeast Asia’s fast-growing shipping logistics market.
The partners would share cargo and expand business cooperation under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in Hanoi on September 10, 2018. Vinalines will dispatch a ship to support SM Lines on a route covering South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand.
SM Lines, which is a part of Samra Midas Group, agreed to help Vinalines set up a business branch in South Korea. For their long-term strategy, the two companies will consider setting up a joint venture with the aim to become leading players in Asia.
“With the signing of this MOU, we will strengthen the strategic alliance between South Korea and Vietnam, work together to develop new markets and spearhead the shipping market,” Woo oh-hyun, SM Group chairman, said.
The two companies will jointly develop and operate the container shipping business to increase their competitiveness. Additionally, Vinalines could expand its business into Asia while SM Lines hopes to increase its influence in Vietnam.
SM Lines acquired a U.S.-Asia route from Hanjin Shipping, which was liquidated in February 2017. The company has launched a series of joint routes with domestic and foreign partners to strengthen its competitiveness.