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HMM in the mix for Hanjin’s transpacific operations

Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has come out and said it is likely to bid for the transpacific assets of troubled compatriot Hanjin Shipping. Bidding for the transpacific operations is slated to start on November 7. Hanjin, which sought court protection at the end of August becoming the largest bankruptcy in container shipping history, put up its transpacific business for sale last week as part of plans to try and convert itself into a pure intra-Asia player and stave off liquidation. Hanjin has until December 19 to submit its rehabilitation plan to a court in Seoul. Also put up for sale last Friday were five 13,000 teu boxships.

HMM, meanwhile, is still trying to nail down its membership at 2M, the vessel sharing agreement between Maersk and MSC. Having been spurned from joining THE Alliance, a new container grouping due to start operating in April next year, HMM stunned competitors earlier this year by signing an MoU with giants Maersk and MSC to join 2M, however entrance to the alliance has not yet been cemented – a greater transpacific marketshare could prove a useful bargaining chip to ensure 2M entrance. Hanjin had a 7.54% market share on the transpacific in the first half of this year, according to PIERS.

Meanwhile, unloading of Hanjin vessels continues. The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries in South Korea has revealed 76 of Hanjin’s 97 containerships have finished unloading, and nine were standing by for unloading in Korean ports as of late Monday.

Finally, in today’s Hanjin roundup, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission has promised to unveil a set of measures soon designed to reinvigorate the local shipping industry. South Korea has suffered more shipping bankruptcies in the past couple of years than almost any other nation, with Hanjin being the most high profile.

To access Splash’s unrivalled coverage of the decline and fall of Hanjin Shipping, click here.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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