Seoul fights to minimise supply chain chaos in wake of Hanjin bankruptcy

The South Korean government held emergency meetings over the weekend to discuss how best to minimize the supply chain fallout from the demise of Hanjin Shipping. The Korean line filed for court receivership last Wednesday, the largest bankruptcy in container shipping history.

The government has set up a task force led by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries to deal with the aftermath. Nine other ministries and agencies are involved in the task force.

“The government plans to deal with this crisis so it does not lead to cargo chaos, which can affect exports, as well as impact the overall economy,” Oceans and Fisheries Minister Kim Young-soek told reporters on Sunday.

Hanjin Shipping said 68 ships – 61 box vessels and seven bulkers – have been stranded at sea due to port entry denials in many countries.

Compatriot line Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is stepping into the breach providing 13 ships to cover two Hanjin routes.

Meanwhile, Friday saw Hanjin Shipping file for bankruptcy protection in the US at a court in New Jersey. Court documents showed the line has debts of $5.04bn.

Container analysts from SeaIntelligence Consulting will be on hand at 0.900 hrs Copenhagen time on Monday for a live Q&A session on Splash Chat to discuss the fallout from Hanjin’s demise.

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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