Friday, September 9, 2016

Hanjin Shipping’s Troubles Leave $14 Billion in Cargo Stranded at Sea

Written by: Costas Paris and Erica E. Phillips
Blog by: Craig M. Banner

The recent bankruptcy filing of Hanjin Shipping Company has sent shockwaves through an industry that is already reeling from decreasing profit margins and increasingly alarming logjams across international ports.  While Hanjin has historically carried only 3.2% of cargo that is sent through international waters, the disruption has the potential to be costly and interrupt the supply of goods and inventory preparations across thousands of companies.  While Hanjin has received bankruptcy protection from the United States and South Korea, this ruling doesn’t apply to various countries and ports across Europe and Asia.  As a result, many of Hanjin’s ships that are currently in transit are at risk of having their assets seized by creditors due to their inability to unload their cargo and pay the port’s fees that are associated with disembarking.  This increasingly perilous situation has extended to many well-known international brands.  Samsung Electronics, for example, recently stated that they would be chartering 16 cargo planes to unload their cargo from Hanjin’s ships in order to fulfill their obligations.  Hanjin’s bankruptcy filing has also affected the personal well-being of its crews, as they are unable to replenish their supply of water, food, fuel, medicine, and other necessities due to their inability to disembark.

While experts state that this problem is only projected to be temporary, the inability to reach an international consensus to end the current maritime shipping stalemate sets the stage for future problems between a company, the industry as a whole, and an essential need to fully participate in international shipping routes.  The ability for a company to market its products internationally rests with the assurance that their products can be delivered on-time, intact, and without any major interruptions.  With increasingly complex political and trade relationships unfolding across the world, companies, industries, and governments have the responsibility to sustain the continuity of centuries-old traditions that have transcended social and economic inequities and forged constructive relationships.  

1 comment:

  1. Craig, see below email we received concerning Hanjin containers, this situation has directly affected our clients here in Houston and will eventually be passed on to the consumers.

    "Good afternoon,

    Effective tomorrow morning, September 1, 2016, loaded Hanjin containers will only be released from the PHA terminals with a payment of $100.00 per unit.
    Hanjin containers will NOT be accepted.

    Payment can be received in the form of a cash or check payment of $100.00.

    Cash payments can be made at the terminal - we will provide a receipt.

    Check payments can be handled:

    1. Directly at the terminal (600 E. Barbours Cut Blvd LaPorte, TX 77571). Ask for Carla Williamson or Jennifer Aksoy. We will provide a receipt.

    2. By sending a scanned copy of the check and a copy of the overnight slip to

    a. Reference the container number

    b. Reference a telephone number

    c. Send payments payable to Port of Houston Authority to:

    Port of Houston Authority

    Lockbox 95279

    3330 West Royal Lane

    Irving, Texas 75063-6013

    Once payment is confirmed received, the container will be released.
    *Note: When applicable, exam payments will still be due before container can be released*

    All questions should be directed to


    Candice Armenoff
    Customer Service Manager, Container Terminals"