With more than half of South Korea’s based Hanjin’s container ships being denied access to ports, a California judge granted World Fuel Services a court order
arresting 4,250-teu Hanjin Montevideo in Long Beach anchorage. The order relates to unpaid fuel bills of $488,750, supplied to the ship while it was at Seattle in July.
In what looked like a legal rush for what Hanjin assets might be available, Hastay Marine and Montemp Marine applied on August 31st to a court in California to have Hanjin’s assets in the US, including cash and property totalling more than $3m, seized to pay outstanding rental payments on two Hanjin ships. Hastay Marine is the registered owner of Eastern Pacific’s 3,670-teu Hanjin New Jersey. It is seeking $1.38m in unpaid charter hire on behalf of ship management company Zodiac Maritime.
Liberian limited partnership, London-headquartered Montemp Maritime, filed suit last Wednesday for $1.69m in late charter payments related to the 3,600-TEU Hanjin Louisiana. Montemp Maritime said it anticipates losing an additional $720,000 every month that Hanjin fails to make payments. Montemp Maritime applied for attachment and garnishment under Supplemental Admiralty Rule B in the federal district court for Central California, home of the ports of Long Beach, and in the district of Maryland, where the Port of Baltimore is located.
Kip Louttit, executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, said that three Hanjin ship captains set their vessels adrift in international waters last Wednesday — the Hanjin Constanza, the Hanjin Greece and the Hanjin Boston
Hanjin Shipping filed for bankruptcy protection in a New Jersey court on Friday – listing its liabilities at just over $5bn. Hanjin Shipping said at the weekend that 61 container ships and seven bulk carriers were currently stranded at sea.
Bulk carrier Hanjin Hirose was reported as drifting in the Bay of Bengal on August 30th with no apparent malfunction. Its next port of destination is Cape of Good Hope.
Service for Hanjin ships resumed at South Korea’s main ports of Busan and Incheon on Friday after the government said port authorities would guarantee payments for service providers.
Meanwhile, freight and container carriers are already seeking to raise rates in the wake of the collapse of Hanjin, gambling that the time pressure of the approaching holiday season will force the hand of transporters.
Hanjin’s collapse coincided with shipping industry’s busiest season, and the company made up 7.8% of trans-Pacific trade volume for the US market.
South Korea’s cabinet held emergency meetings over the weekend in an attempt to ensure that supply chain disruption does not get out of hand. Ten ministries are involved in a task force to avoid what Oceans & Fisheries Minister Kim Young-soek said threatened to become “cargo chaos”