Thousands of containers stranded in Vietnam after S.Korean shipping giant goes bust

By Hoai Thu   November 8, 2016 | 12:01 am PT
About 4,000 containers have been left floating in Ho Chi Minh City's harbors.

South Korean shipping company Hanjin filed for bankruptcy in early September, leaving 4,122 containers anchored in Ho Chi Minh City's harbors, the Vietnam Maritime Administration said.

Of the figure, 4,072 are empty, but the remaining 50 still contain shipments.

South Korea’s largest shipping line also owes Vietnamese enterprises $118,000 in pilotage charges.

Hanjin is the world’s seventh largest container carrier, operating approximately 60 regular lines worldwide.

The company used to be responsible for delivering about 5 percent of commodities to and from Vietnam. Each month, 11 container Hanjin vessels would dock in Ho Chi Minh’s City harbors.

On September 2, Hanjin filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. to protect its vessels from being seized by creditors.

The bankruptcy has affected Vietnamese import-export companies, especially those working in the areas of footwear, seafood, wooden products and logistics.

Since the bankruptcy, the Vietnam Maritime Administration has been working with other authorities to instruct local companies to unload the goods or look for other shipping partners.

Saigon New Port Cooperation, one of Hanjin’s creditors, has allowed container carriers to dock without demanding payments for outstanding debts.

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