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SK Shipping becomes latest Korean line to restructure

SK Shipping has become the latest Korean line to announce a major restructuring.

South Korea’s fourth largest shipping firm will split its shipping and non-shipping units from April 1. SK Maritime, a new entity, will take over SK Shipping’s non-shipowning duties such as bunkering. SK Shipping is on track to post losses of more than $150m for the full year 2016. It is part of the SK conglomerate or chaebol that is also a big name in South Korean oil refining and telecommunications. The line has also revealed it has cancelled the period charters of 20 ships in recent months.

SK Shipping said the restructuring was a “preemptive step” to battle the ongoing shipping recession.

SK Shipping spent much of the second half of last year offloading tonnage, especially from its dry bulk fleet. It also owns crude and product tankers and a number of LNG carriers.

Every major Korean shipping line has restructured in recent years with one name, Hanjin Shipping, being the only sizeable casualty.

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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