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Hanjin Shipping says membership in CKYHE shipping alliance suspended

Hanjin Shipping files for bankruptcy protection Hanjin Shipping says membership in CKYHE shipping alliance suspended
Carmela Zoppi | 09 Settembre, 2016, 10:32

The South Korean shipping giant filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday.

In the United States, at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation's busiest port complex, three Hanjin container ships, ranging from about 700 feet to 1,100 feet long, were either sitting offshore or anchored away from terminals on Thursday.

But service for Hanjin ships resumed at the ports of Busan and Incheonon on Friday after the government said port authorities wuld guarantee payments for service providers. That adds to one other ship seized in Singapore by a creditor earlier in the week.

But in the meantime, ship running costs can not be covered and dozens of vessels with thousands of containers are tied up in ports, about to be or not being allowed in, with a knock-on effect for customer supply chains and landside container transport and empty container park (ECP) operations. Hanjin said on Friday that number was incorrect.

Thursday, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., South Korea's second-largest container line, told Bloomberg News it plans to deploy 13 more vessels to the US and Europe to help ease cargo disruptions, a person familiar with the situation said.

Hanjin Shipping, one of the world's biggest cargo movers, handled almost 8 percent of transpacific trade for the USA market.

Hanjin's vessels, sailors and cargo are stuck in a maritime limbo as ports, wary they will not be paid for their services, refuse to let them dock and refuse to handle or free cargo already landed. Hanjin's woes reflect those of an industry that's been operating at a loss since the end of 2015, and set to lose about $5 billion this year amid an oversupply of vessels, according to Drewry.

A spokesman for the Port of Felixstowe, the UK's largest container port, said that, in line with its normal practice, the company would not comment on commercial matters.

Shippers said container rates have climbed and could jump further with fewer available cargo ships to move flat-screen TVs, shoes and other consumer goods across trade corridors.

USA retailers on Thursday urged their government to take steps to minimise disruption from the collapse of the world's seventh-largest container shipper as more of its vessels have been seized or blocked from entering ports around the world.

A fourth ship, the Constanza, which is owned by Hanjin but operated by NYK, was being allowed to dock in the afternoon of September 1 at the Yusen terminal at the Port of Los Angeles, Louttit said, because NYK is responsible for all costs and charges at the port. But major creditors including the state-run Korea Development Bank decided Tuesday not to offer more help.

Hanjin Shipping has been striving to cut its chartered rates and extend the maturity of debts in the face of worsening financial health stemming from a continued fall in freight rates. Of 8,281 owners of goods to be transported as of late August, 847 were South Korean firms, according to government data.

It said the bankruptcy is rippling through the global supply chain and could cause significant harm to consumers and the USA economy.

"What you are seeing is a doubling of shipping rates", said Mark Hirzel, board chairman for Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association.

Other shipping lines may take on some of Hanjin's traffic but at a price.

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