Hanjin liquidation likely as South Korea dismisses bailout
- Hanjin needed a bailout, and while it has received some funding from bankruptcy courts to help unload its cargo, the likelihood of government intervention decreased drastically when South Korean President Park Geun-hye criticized the company for economic irresponsibility and complacency.
- The Korean shipper is looking to make amends, though. Hanjin is resolved to liberate the $14 million in stranded cargo through sales and has indicated its help line will remain open for customers through the holidays, JOC reports.
- As part of the company's early efforts, Hanjin announced the more than $20 million sale of three bulk carriers it was chartering and additional contributions from the presidents of Hanjin and the Hanjin Group.
The Hanjin debacle is shaking up the container ship industry like few mishaps have in the past and the most recent news appear to doom Hanjin to liquidation, since it cannot expect government support.
Two major lessons arise from the global shippers' downfall: first, the maritime industry is suffering and fragile, specially to extended market downfalls. Ocean shipping worldwide has been hit hard by overcapacity and weakening demand. Container prices hit have slumped globally down to as much as $600 per container from Shanghai to Los Angeles.
Second, global visibility is important — when the Hanjin crisis began many businesses were left wondering whether their supply chain would be disrupted by stranded cargo, only to find that they would or that their receiving port was charging exorbitant fees for recovery.
Now that South Korea has made it clear it will not support the beleaguered company, what is left to see is how other companies absorb and adapt to the sudden exit of the World's 7th largest shipper. A JOC graphic estimates the bankruptcy has caused a short-term capacity crunch in all sea lanes, with Asia-Pacific leading the contraction at over 6%.
- American Shipper President of South Korea criticizes Hanjin’s ‘complacent mindset