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Shipping giant insolvency worries importers, exporters

09:27 | 15/09/2016

The bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping Global has surprised the world’s freight & forwarding market and caused alarm among Vietnamese goods owners.

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Shipping giant insolvency worries importers, exporters.

The international press has reported that the Hanjin Shipping Global, one of the world’s 10 largest shipping firms, has filed for bankruptcy in the Korean court. The representative office of Hanjin Shipping Global in Vietnam has announced that it stopped receiving booking on August 31, 2016. The heavy debt of US$5 billion sunk the giant.

Many Vietnamese goods owners said the bad news was a big blow.

“Hanjin’s sudden filing for bankruptcy has made us unable to respond to emergencies. Goods went aboard, but we don’t know if we can get the goods. We heard that some ports have refused Hanjin’s ships or seized its ships,” the director of an import/export company said, adding that the company has dozens of containers of goods on the way from and to Vietnam.

At business forums, many goods owners and shipping agents also complain that they do not know anything about the fates of their goods carried by Hanjin.

An importer said that his company wanted to cancel the booking with Hanjin and hire another shipping firm, but Incheon Port in the Republic of Korea (RoK) does not allow the return of container goods from the port.

Meanwhile, the goods owners who intended to sign contracts with Hanjin have hurried to change their plans.

“We were lucky that we have not put our goods in containers. So, we have to give back empty containers to the shipping firm,” a goods owner said.

According to BBC, right after filing for bankruptcy, Hanjin ship was stuck at sea with 540,000 containers and many sailors. Ports have refused to let Hanjin’s ships dock and have goods handled for fear their services would not be paid.

A Hanjin manager confirmed that Hanjin’s ships were rejected to enter Busan Port in RoK. Since the information about the bankruptcy was released, 45 Hanjin ships with more than 500,000 containers of goods have been refused by ports.

Experts said the problem may last a couple of weeks, or months. The container shipping fee in the global market has increased in recent days.

The Vietnam Logistics Association (VLA) has advised its members to take prompt action to protect their benefits. If enterprises have booked with Hanjin, and goods have not been loaded aboard, they should fulfill procedures to take back the goods and work with other shipping firms.

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The Ministry of Industry and Trade has recommended enterprises to urgently complete procedures to clear goods out from Hanjin containers.

Source: Vietnamnet