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Tuesday, 13 Sep. 2016
The bankruptcy of the Hanjin shipping line has thrown ports and retailers around the world into confusion, with giant container ships marooned and merchants worrying whether hundreds of tonnes of goods being carried by the South Korean company will reach shelves.
Hanjin is the world’s seventh-largest container shipper and the news left cargo headed to and from Asia in limbo. There were reports that some Hanjin ships had been seized in China on behalf of creditors.Seeking to contain the fallout, a South Korean court said it would begin proceedings to rehabilitate the carrier – which would allow Hanjin to take legal action in other countries to keep its ships and other assets from being seized
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“Unlike dry cargo, liner shipping is all about marketing and service reliability – we haven’t seen any large carriers come back from collapse,” said Rahul Kapoor, a director at maritime consultancy Drewry Financial Research Services.
“There is a loss of faith among customers. It’s very unlikely Hanjin can come back from the ashes.”
The collapse comes at a time of high seasonal demand for the shipping industry ahead of the year-end holidays.
Hanjin has been losing money for years and filed for bankruptcy protection a day after its creditors, led by a state-run bank, refused to prop it up.
Other shipping lines were moving to take over some of the Hanjin traffic but at a price, with vessels already are operating at high capacity because of the season. The price of shipping a 40ft container from China to the US jumped by up to 50% in a single day, said Nerijus Poskus, director of pricing and procurement for Flexport, a licensed freight forwarder and customs broker based in San Francisco, who predicted the higher prices would last a month or two.
The weaker trade and overcapacity has sent ocean shipping rates plunging in recent years.With Reuters and the Associated Press