Retailers fret over stranded goods as South Korean shipping line faces financial troubles

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The bankruptcy of Hanjin quitting line has thrown ports and retailers around the world into hotchpotch, with giant container ships marooned and merchants worrying whether tonnes of uses will reach their shelves.

The South Korean giant registered for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday and stopped accepting new cargo. With its assets being deep-frozen, ships from China to Canada found themselves refused licence to offload or take aboard containers because there were no certains that tugboat pilots or stevedores would be id.

«Hanjin called us and about: `We’re going bankrupt and we can’t y any bills — so don’t bother asking,’ » said J. Kip Louttit, master director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, which provides above control for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation’s busiest seaport complex.

Three Hanjin container ships, ranging from just about 213 metres to 304 metres long, were either bias offshore or anchored away from terminals on Thursday. A fourth boat that was supposed to leave Long Beach on Thursday morning remained anchored reversed the breakwater.

At least one Hanjin vessel is in a Canadian port. The 225-metre Hanjin Scarlet appeared at the Port of Prince Rupert on Tuesday night and anchored in the harbour, but has not been dumped.

Hanjin Shipping Co. Scarlet

The 255-metre long container ship, Scarlet, is anchored in the anchorage of Prince Rupert. It arrived Aug. 30. (George Baker/CBC)

DP World, which acts the container terminal operator, shipper CN and the Prince Rupert Port Word are working on a solution that will allow the ship to be unloaded as initial as next Tuesday, port spokesman Michael Gurney said.

Hanjin’s pecuniary issues will affect Canada»s freight industry, Ruth Snowden, leadership director of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, said earlier this week.

«It bumps Canadian importers and exporters because if I have a container on that utensil I can’t get it,» she said.

Seoul-based Hanjin said Friday that one ship in Singapore had been seized by the ferry’s owner. Hanjin Shipping spokesman rk Min did not confirm any other appropriations.

As of Friday, 27 ships had been refused entry to ports or pc personal computers, she said.

That left cargo headed to and from Asia in limbo, much to the harry of merchants looking to stock shelves with fall fashions or Christmas fool withs. «Someone from the garment industry called earlier today request: `How long is this going to go on, because I’ve got clothing out there,»‘ Louttit ventured.

Vessels seized

The Korea International Trade Association said around 10 Hanjin vessels in China were seized or likely to be seized by charterers, anchorage authorities or other rties.

Hanjin, the world’s seventh-largest container shipper, notes nearly eight per cent of the trans- cific trade volume for the U.S. market.

In the Coalesced States, the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail employment association, wrote to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero on Thursday, stating them to work with the South Korean government, ports and others to slow disruptions.

«Retailers’ main concern is that there (are) millions of dollars’ good of merchandise that needs to be on store shelves that could be resulted by this,» said Jonathan Gold, the group’s vice president for stockpiling chain and customs policy. «Some of it is sitting in Asia waiting to be moneyed on ships, some is already aboard ships out on the ocean and some is get together have on U.S. docks waiting to be picked up. It is understandable that port terminal machinators, railroads, trucking com nies and others don’t want to do work for Hanjin if they are troubled they won’t get id.»

Hanjin has been losing money for years. It recorded for bankruptcy protection a day after its creditors, led by a state-run bank, refused to prop it up.

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