- Bankrupt Hanjin Shipping will now accept empty containers at Terminal 46 in Seattle, and Pier T in Long Beach, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- For six weeks thousands of Hanjin containers have been causing clutter throughout the West Coast, obstructing much needed chassis. Last Friday, Judge John Sherwood of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey demanded the containers be reclaimed.
- However, Total Terminals International — which is majority owned by Hanjin and runs both Terminal 46 and Pier T — announced the company would only accept Hanjin-owned, not Hanjin-leased containers, the Journal of Commerce reports. Roughly 40% of the 15,000 to 20,000 unclaimed containers in Southern California are leased.
The chance to return the empty containers is a bit of good news for former Hanjin customers and logistics partners, who have suffered through 43 days of delays, fees, and uncertainty. In addition to liberating much needed chassis and space throughout the logistics chain, it clears up the legal question of responsibility for the empty containers.
Yet the financial burden of transporting the empty containers to Seattle and Long Beach remains with the logistics companies, and containers (both owned and leased) are still piling up at Oakland. The news is a first step, but full resolution of the issue becomes increasingly urgent as each day of lost capacity could hamper sales for the upcoming peak shopping season.
Meanwhile, fearful of a repeat episode, many shippers have begun to demand proof of financial solvency before signing on to do business with other carriers.