Shipping By Sea: What is the difference between Matson and SM Line?

Since 2017, there is an type of Ocean Shipping called Matson, everyone does not seem to know that SM LINE is also another shipping company, almost nobody knows SM LINE except Matson and some other express lines(by sea) in Chinese market ( such as Yantian (Shenzhen) Express). However, our customer generally think that Matson is right the pronoun of express line by sea, Actually SM LINE is another fast and cost-effective Ocean Shipping solution from China.

So, how to distinguish between the Matson and SM LINE?

Difference between Matson and SM LINE

Base information

Your Product Sourcing Dept. in China | The7 Sourcing Basic-info-of-Matson-and-SM-Line Shipping By Sea: What is the difference between Matson and SM Line?

Route Map

SM LINE Route Map

Your Product Sourcing Dept. in China | The7 Sourcing SM-Line-Route-Map-from-China-to-US-Long-Beach Shipping By Sea: What is the difference between Matson and SM Line?

Matson Route Map

Your Product Sourcing Dept. in China | The7 Sourcing Matson-Route-Map-from-China-to-US-Long-Beach Shipping By Sea: What is the difference between Matson and SM Line?
  • As the images shown above, at present, there is no Ocean Shipping company that is faster than Matson on the CN – US line. It only takes 10 days to reach Long Beach in the United States from China.
  • Both carrier arrive to the same port, but Matson has dedicated container terminal, so the cost will be a lot more expensive.
  • Since Matson’s boat is only 2600 TEU, the processing speed will naturally be much faster.

Of course, the time mentioned above does not take into account the customs inspection situation. Once it encounters unpacking inspection in United States custom, it will basically delay 7-15 days. In fact, the inspection rate of Matson is below 4% (based on the 2018 annual data).

This is also why your goods shipped by Matson has always been checked assigned, resulting in a delay of about a week. Perhaps, your forwarder sent your cargo by SM Line….

Moreover, your forwarder might tell you that the inspection rate of Matson is as high as 8% ~ 10%, and the inspection fee can be waived, it sounds it is reliable, in fact, nobody knows whether it is assigned with the Matson or SM Line.

Here we have to emphasize the necessity for legal customs clearance, if it is in accordance with the normal export tax rebate declaration, then your documents will generally have the basic information such as the name of the Vessel Name / Vessel no. / bill of lading number (B/L No.), Matson’s B/L No. is beginning with MATS. See the pictures below:

If the inspection is really encountered, the relevant information can be found through the bill of lading number.

The following are the operating time nodes of these two different shipping companies for your reference.

The United States is pre-clearance mode, which can be declared to the US customs before the goods arrive.

Your Product Sourcing Dept. in China | The7 Sourcing cut-off-time-limits Shipping By Sea: What is the difference between Matson and SM Line?

Time limit signing for a package delivery of UPS Ground courier services in US as follows:

Your Product Sourcing Dept. in China | The7 Sourcing US-Ground-Delivery-Time-3 Shipping By Sea: What is the difference between Matson and SM Line?

Matson is currently the only one in the Chinese market that is able to dispatch your parcel to Amazon ONT8 warehouse in 14 days (counting from the day of set sail ), compared with SM Line which requires 19 days to signing for a package.

Check the picture below:

Your Product Sourcing Dept. in China | The7 Sourcing US-Ground-Delivery-Time-1 Shipping By Sea: What is the difference between Matson and SM Line?

As shown in the figure, Matson, lead time on 12th Feb., and set sail on 20th Feb., goods was picked up by UPS 12 days after set sail and signed for the next day.

Currently some Chinese forwarders collect your goods in very low price in market and declared they use Matson line, time limit is around 17-19 days, this might be SM Line.