Hanjin ship begins unloading at California

Reeling under a $5.5 billion debt, Hanjin’s plight have increased freight rates and are casting long shadows on the coming U.S. holiday season.

In a development that bodes well for importers, a ship belonging to bankrupt shipping company, Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd., is in the process of unloading its cargo in California. Truckers can then expect to pick up their loads and deliver their cargos.

The ship, Hanjin Greece, was allowed to dock in Long Beach, California, after a U.S. bankruptcy court granted it protection. Terminal operators have also agreed to service it.

Hanjin Greece however carries only a tiny fraction of the $14 billion worth of goods transported by dozens of the carrier’s ships.

Hanjin, the world’s seventh-largest container carrier, has filed for receivership in a Seoul court on September 4.

Reeling under a massive debt of $5.5 billion, Hanjin’s collapse has created havoc in global trade networks and have seen freight rates surge up. Some of its ships have also been seized.

So far it is yet unclear as to when port operators will allow Hanjin’s other ships to berth in Southern California and elsewhere.

Last Friday, a U.S. court allowed 3 of Hanjin’s ships protection from search and seizure. While one has been at Long Beach port since then, two others are in the pacific.

Unloading delays have caused concern for importers, including Alex Rasheed, president of Pacific Textile and Sourcing Inc. in Los Angeles, who expects a shipment of 16 containers from Hanjin’s ships off Long Beach.

“We’re already starting to run out of some colors and some sizes,” said Rasheed said while noting that Hanjin’s collapse comes as U.S. retailers prepare for the all-important holiday shopping season.

As per Barbara Maynard, Teamsters’ spokeswoman, Truck drivers are expected to begin moving containers from the Hanjin Greece today since the vessel will leave port for the Port of Oakland later today.

With uncertainty surrounding Hanjin’s ships, Robert Krieger, president of Carson, a California-based customs broker and freight forwarder Krieger Worldwide, is looking for contingency plans to bring containers now on Hanjin ships in Asia across the Pacific.

“We’ve already planned for the contingency for Hanjin saying, ‘Here are your containers, come get them,'” said Krieger.

The three Hanjin ships that are protected by the U.S. court includes the Hanjin Boston, which has remained off port in Long Beach, Hanjin Gdynia, which was several hundred miles away from Long Beach, and the Hanjin Jungil, which is 310 nautical miles west of San Francisco with its destination listed as Long Beach, according to Marine Exchanges on the west coast that coordinate shipping traffic.

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