Hanjin unlikely to be a mega-loss, says IUMI’s Berg

The impact on the insurance industry as a result of the collapse of Hanjin Shipping is unlikely to be a “mega-loss”, said Dieter Berg, president of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI). Speaking earlier this week at the association’s winter press briefing, Berg said that the collapse of Hanjin on 31 August last year was “certainly a concern”, because if the shipping industry is under so much pressure that companies as big as Hanjin can get into trouble, then this could be an indication of systemic risk. It would not just be about the solvency of an individual shipping company, but also about industries throughout the world that needed spare parts. Hanjin also put some ports into difficulty, with vessels blocking docking spaces and containers clogging up ports.

However, from an insurance perspective, Berg said that, although there certainly had been some losses emanating from the container side, it was unlikely to be an industry loss approaching $1.5bn, which was one estimate he had seen from the financial sector.

Meanwhile, of Hanjin’s fleet of 98 containerships, with a capacity of around 610,000 TEU when it filed for receivership, 31 ships have been redeployed by other lines, four have been scrapped, and 63 remain inactive, Drewry said in its weekly container report.

Maersk Line is the largest operator of former Hanjin Shipping vessels, chartering 11 vessels totalling 77,000 TEU, including two 13,000 TEU units. About 63 former Hanjin shipping vessels, with 440,000 TEU of capacity, remain idle. Drewry expects eight vessels to come into service with newly founded SM Lines acquiring five 6,655 TEUs for $23m — to be deployed on its planned transpacific services — and KMTC buying four 4,275 TEU units for $21.2m. Seaspan Corp is paying $21m for four 4,275 TEU vessels. Drewry estimated there remained for sale up to 150,000 TEU of Hanjin-owned ships.