This week Hanjin Group, the parent company of Hanjin Shipping Co., announced plans to provide $91 million of support to its financially troubled affiliate in an effort to alleviate shipping disruptions resulting from Hanjin Shipping’s entry into receivership. It is not yet clear, however, if this pledge of financial support will be enough to prompt the state-operated Korea Development Bank to offer a new round of financial assistance.
Also this week, a U.S. federal judge granted Hanjin’s request for temporary bankruptcy protection. This may help bolster the effort to clear cargo from Hanjin vessels still awaiting entry into U.S. ports – a situation that has raised U.S. exporters’ concerns about port congestion and potential delays for outbound shipments.
USMEF-Korea reports that the turmoil surrounding Hanjin Shipping’s financial situation is not preventing Korean importers from receiving most incoming meat shipments in a timely manner. Some short-term increases in costs are being endured due to container deposits and shifting of cargo to alternative carriers, but with the amount of shipping capacity available the level of disruption has been limited. The situation seems to be hitting Korean exporters of manufactured goods much harder, as they were ramping up shipments in preparation for the U.S. holiday season. To meet demand resulting from Hanjin Shipping’s entry into receivership, Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) announced this week that they will add additional services to Korea at the Port of Busan. More details are available in news releases from Maersk and MSC.
USMEF continues to gather information from its international directors and staff on how the Hanjin situation is impacting product flow in specific markets, and we will report more details as they become available. If you have questions or have information to share about shipping delays or other issues, please contact the USMEF Technical Services Department.