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SM Line signs intermodal deal with Union Pacific

OMAHA, Nebraska: July 26, 2017. Union Pacific has signed a partnership agreement with SM Line for intermodal rail distribution from Pier A at the Port of Long Beach.

Owned by the South Korea-based Samra Midas Group, SM Line launched in December 2016 after the company acquiring the Hanjin Shipping terminal at Seoul Incheon.

Since then the rapidly expanding container line has launched services to East and West India, China and the U.S. with its first Long Beach call in April. The company now has more than 20 ships and 78,000 TEUs.

Union Pacific and SM Line"International intermodal is typically a mature business; we're used to seeing long-term stakeholders, such as 'K' Line and Evergreen," said Union Pacific assistant vice president of International Intermodal Mark Simon. "You just don't see a startup happen this quickly."

Simon credits SM Line's early success to its people, many of whom are former Hanjin employees with years of industry experience. He also attributes much of SM Line's rapid growth to electronic and appliance manufacturers who immediately signed deals honoring previous relationships with Hanjin.

"One of the things I've learned about this industry is that relationships are key," he added. "It's about having more than faith, but demonstrating an outward confidence and hard work," he added.

The weekly box service from Busan via Ningbo, Shanghai and Kwangyang takes nine days to Long Beach where Union Pacific provides an on-dock rail service. Avoiding drayage delay and rail terminal congestion, containers depart on trains to inland destinations within hours of vessel discharge, according to SM Line.

"SM Line entered into trans-Pacific trade to win," Simon continued. "They're growing at a rapid rate, and Union Pacific is working to evaluate additional opportunities to meet SM Line's growth needs."

About 40 percent of the railroad's overall volume stems from international trade, much of which is trans-Pacific traffic. Earlier this month the company reported second quarter net income of nearly US$1.2 billion on revenue of US$5.3 billion, an increase of 10 percent year-on-year.

Pictured: Union Pacific chief marketing officer Beth Whited and SM Line Corporation president and CEO Chil-Bong Kim.

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