UPDATE:11:44 AM EST Hanjin Shipping has advised that the Hanjin Miami will commence work at Maher Terminals on Thursday, September 22, 2016 (Source).
As we complete the third week following Hanjin’s filing for bankruptcy protection, there have been plenty of words exchanged and court battles begun, but little has changed since the initial ripple effects impacted our industry in early September. A few more ships have been arrested and injunctions have been filed to protect Hanjin in the USA, United Kingdom, Japan and Singapore, but much of the 500,000 containers stranded on Hanjin vessels remain onboard. There are more creditors than there is available money to pay them, and many are attempting to secure their own piece of the Hanjin pie to protect their interests. As a result, Hanjin has been slow to move their vessels from current positions where they are waiting safely to ride out the risk of further arrests until an orderly process for unscathed delivery of the container is in place.
While there is no telling how long the process will take to create and implement, it is becoming more likely that any cargo on Hanjin vessels destined for Black Friday or Christmas retail sales may miss its window to get to the stores on time. Two ships bound for New York (Hanjin Miami & Hanjin Switzerland) share the same fate even though one is currently just outside New York Harbor, and the other awaits orders in the Suez Canal. Both are hoping to avoid arrest, and neither are expected to move anytime soon. Worse off are the Hanjin Baltimore and a number of other vessels around the globe that have been arrested. Their fate is directly tied to their creditors and the jurisdictions they are trapped within.
Vessel charterers, chassis leasing companies, container leasing companies, truckers, fuel suppliers, longshoremen, chandlers, and pilots (to name a few) all have vested interest in protecting their contractual obligations with Hanjin. The complexities of their cases presented to the bankruptcy court in New Jersey continue to postpone resolution and further dash hopes of a quick and amicable process.
If you have cargo aboard a Hanjin vessel, you may want to consider alternate options of reordering goods to meet any deadlines you have.
You can check the updated status of all Hanjin vessels daily here.
Rich Roche is Vice President, International Transportation for Mohawk Global Logistics. Click here to read more about Rich.