- Bankrupt Hanjin Shipping is in talks with the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) to sell its 54% stake in Total Terminals International, which operates Pier T at the Port of Long Beach and Terminal 46 in Seattle, various news outlets reported.
- The company is currently in wider talks to sell its U.S.-Asia route operations and assets, container ships and overseas businesses, Fortune reports. Yet, Hanjin's vessels were mainly mid-sized, and are rapidly becoming obsolete in a post-Panamax age, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- The Port of Long Beach handles mainly mid-sized ships and reported a 16.6% drop in year-over-year container volumes according to the Journal. Hanjin Shipping accounted for 12.3% of those volumes.
The potential sale is part of Hanjin's large-scale restructuring ordered by the South Korean bankruptcy court, through which the shipping line plans to raise much needed cash and downsize to a regional carrier.
So far, MSC, Hyundai Merchant Marine and Maersk Line have emerged as the most likely purchasers, revealing a potential bid by the 2M alliance to increase its trans-Pacific trade capacity in light of competition. The 2M alliance, formed by Maersk and MSC, is reportedly considering Hyundai Merchant Marine as an alliance partner.
The consolidation of the Port of Long Beach and Port of Seattle terminals by MSC would give the alliance a partner with full decision-making authority for potential expansions and a logistical safe haven for the alliance's shipments.
Hyundai's entry into 2M is far from certain, but seems likely considering these potential sales and the recent approval of the Ocean Alliance by U.S. regulators, which would replace 2M as the largest alliance by volume.