South Korea’s big three yards to slash manpower by another 30%

Politicians in Seoul are carrying out a two-day debate on the government’s mismanagement of its bailouts handed to local shipping and shipbuilding companies.

With Hanjin Shipping in court receivership – container shipping’s biggest ever bankruptcy and an accounting fraud to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) the current administration led by president Park Geun-hye has come in for massive criticism both in parliament and by the general public at large.

At the hearing, Yim Jong-yong, the chairman of the Financial Services Commission, said manpower at the nation’s top three yards – DSME, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries – would be slashed by 30% by 2018. All three are restructuring now with thousands of staff already laid off this year.

The nation’s finance minister also said that big conglomerates would be allowed to go under as Seoul gets tough on poor performing chaebols – the Korean name for the giant conglomerates that dominate the local economy.


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.


  1. Meanwhile all the yards that tried to compete on a ‘level playing field’ for the work that these yards ‘won’ have to stand by and watch as they are bailed out … again!

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