Nearly half of Hanjin’s container fleet denied port access

The failure of the world’s seventh-largest container shipper comes during the industry’s busiest season ahead of the year-end holidays and has manufacturers scrambling as they worry about the fate of their cargo and surges in freight rates.U.S. retailers also urged their government to take steps to minimize disruption.

“The impact on importers and exporters is having a ripple effect throughout the global supply chain,” Sandy Kennedy, president of the U.S. Retail Industry Leaders Association said in a Thursday letter to the Department of Commerce and the Federal Maritime Commission.A Hanjin spokeswoman told Reuters that 44 of its 98 container ships had been denied access to ports including Shanghai, Sydney, Hamburg, and Long Beach, California. One ship had been seized, in Singapore.These include instances where lashing firms have refused service, or where port authorities have blocked entry.But service for Hanjin ships resumed at the ports of Busan and Incheonon on Friday after the government said port authorities would guarantee payments for service providers.On Thursday, a Korean trade group said about 10 Hanjin ships were effectively seized in China, which Hanjin said on Friday was incorrect.Hanjin accounts for 7.8 percent of trans-Pacific trade volume for the U.S. market.A South Korean court has ordered the start of rehabilitation proceedings and set a Nov. 25 deadline for the carrier to submit a plan, appointing Hanjin Shipping CEO Suk Tai-soo as trustee.However, industry insiders and analysts have said it is unlikely that Hanjin Shipping can survive as creditors make claims on its assets and customers look elsewhere, setting the stage for what would be the container shipping industry’s largest-ever bankruptcy in terms of capacity.”It’s going to be exceptionally difficult to turn it around as cargo owners are going to be very wary of booking with Hanjin, for fear that their boxes may be stuck in port if Hanjin vessels get arrested by the creditors,” said Alan Murphy, CEO of consultants SeaIntel Maritime Analysis.Adding insult to injury, Hanjin has also been suspended from the CKYHE shipping alliance, which includes China COSCO, and Evergreen Marine Corp Taiwan Ltd.Hanjin’s shares, suspended since plunging 24 percent on Tuesday, will resume trading on Sept. 5, the stock exchange said.

Nearly half of Hanjin's container fleet denied port access

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