Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you won’t be surprised to know the top news on this site this week has been the decline and fall of Hanjin Shipping, the largest bankruptcy in container shipping history. We went large on it because we had the right resources on hand to give the story perspective from many, many angles and I am proud to say our coverage has been praised by many, including rival titles.
The four-month restructuring battle to stave off bankruptcy finally came to an end on Wednesday with Hanjin seeking court protection, resulting in a dramatic supply chain implosion during container shipping’s peak season. Santa might struggle to get those lovely LG flatscreen TVs down the chimney this year.
The news prompted the team at Splash to rush out our news ticker, something we tend only to do for major stories or at events. Expect to see the ticker switch from Hanjin to all things SMM next week as we descend on Hamburg to report from the world’s largest shipping show.
The clutch of Hanjin news stories that topped the hits charts this week were matched over in our Opinion department where Kris Kosmala’s piece entitled Hanjin Shipping and the futility of throwing more fuel on a fire burning out of control was read by thousands of people across the world.
In the Contributions section, campaigning Australian vetinerian Dr Lynn Simpson’s seventh article for Splash was the most read this week. Lynn described the horrendous conditions many seafarers have to endure onboard livestock carriers in yet another dramatic exposé of the sector.
Nevertheless, the week really belonged to Hanjin, a company I have been covering for 16 years. There are a lot of very competent and nice people who work there, let down by people higher up than them in the pecking order and I do feel sorry for them.
“In some ways, I am glad that at least we know the conclusion of this four-month long journey, because things have been so vague for the past few months which drained everyone,” a source at Hanjin’s Seoul HQ confided with me.