Hanjin Bankruptcy Leaves Shippers in the Lurch

On August 31st, Hanjin Shipping Co. filed for bankruptcy protection after having failed to secure credit to address a cash shortage. Hanjin, one of the world’s largest shipping lines, stopped taking new cargo on Wednesday. This has caused a ripple of uncertainty and worry throughout the trade community, and has resulted in rate increases for shipments on routes to and from Asia.

There are reports of various ports turning away outbound containers that are scheduled for shipment on Hanjin vessels, and of vessels not being allowed to dock because port authorities are afraid they will not get paid. According to the JOC, thousands of containers transported by Hanjin are stranded on ships that are being refused entry by ports or held by terminals until payment is received.

Still, in the midst of all the chaos, companies are trying to get these containers to their destination, and to protect the interests of their customers. CN Rail has released a statement informing the public that it is taking the following steps to protect shippers:

Import containers – All Hanjin import containers are being released for pickup. This applies to both containers on ground at CN inland terminals and containers currently moving on the CN network destined to CN terminals.

Export containers – All Hanjin export containers currently at CN inland terminals will not be loaded onto trains and can be picked up from the CN origin terminal.

While CN Rail is not charging storage fees for these containers, this is not the case with all rail and truck companies. Shipments may incur additional charges due to increased fees, warehousing, port and terminal demurrage, equipment repositioning charges, and more. Additionally, there is the concern that companies, such as retailers, are losing money as goods that have been shipped through Hanjin are not being released.

Livingston is proactively working to divert shipments that were previously scheduled on Hanjin vessels and making arrangements with other shippers, and we are working diligently to account for our clients’ shipments as they arrive at destination or are waiting to be loaded at the port of origin.

We are taking all of the necessary steps to ensure that the impact to our clients is minimal, and will keep you apprised as new developments arise.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your Livingston service team or freight representative.