Hanjin looking to raise funds to keep day-to-day operations going

Hanjin Shipping’s parent firm Hanjin Group plans to raise $90m in operational funds to enable Hanjin Shipping to unload the cargo on currently stranded vessels. Hanjin Group reportedly plans to use assets as $55m collateral that include a stake in Total Terminals International, which operates Long Beach’s largest terminal. Hanjin Group chairman Cho Yang-Ho will contribute $35m personally.

That $90m might be matched by loans that South Korean government officials have said government-backed creditors are ready to provide if Hanjin Group puts up collateral. Hanjin Group is considering that offer.

Whether this sum would be enough to resolve Hanjin Shipping’s cargo problems is far from certain. However, it should be sufficient to cover the costs of unloading cargo from vessels currently stranded.

More than half of Hanjin Shipping’s 86 vessels currently at sea are reported to be behaving in a manner that deviates from normal shipping schedules.

Hanjin Shipping has about $5.4bn in debts as of the end of August.

HP Inc is just one of some 8,000 owners of cargo on Hanjin ships. It told Reuters that it had tens of millions of dollars worth of computers and printers in more than 500 of the carrier’s containers.

“The ongoing disruption to HP’s supply chain caused by the Foreign Debtor’s bankruptcy filings is material, costly, and worsening on a daily basis,” it said.

Meanwhile William Doyle, one of five commissioners of the US Federal Maritime Commission (USFMC) said that Hanjin had been contemplating tying their containers to any release of cargo by making the sale of the actual container – at $1,500 per container – a condition for the release of cargo to shippers and cargo owners, a move that would not meet the approval of the USFMC.

Hanjin received court approval on Monday to spend funds considered essential to operating ships, such as food for crew members, and yesterday planned to supply seven vessels that urgently need supplies.

Korean Deputy Finance Minister Choi Sang Mok said on Monday that Hanjin is looking to dock its stranded vessels in the “safe haven” ports of Singapore, Busan and Hamburg, these being the ports where the company sees it as least likely that the vessels will encounter legal problems.