Vietnamese port offers amnesty to bankrupt S.Korean shipping giant

By Dam Tuan   September 23, 2016 | 05:00 am GMT+7

Massive container ships have been left floating in waters around the world after Hanjin went broke.

Saigon Port has said it will allow boats belonging to the world’s ninth largest container shipping company Hanjin to dock without fear of being seized following news that the firm has gone bankrupt. 

Hanjin already has a considerable debt with the port.

Saigon New Port (SNP) announced it is willing to allow 830 container carriers to dock without demanding payments for outstanding debt, according to the Ministry of Transport's newspaper.

Enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City have been waiting anxiously for the shipments since the beginning of September when South Korea’s largest container carrier announced bankruptcy and filed for receivership. This left many of its container ships stranded at sea with the company unable to pay for docking fees.

The Hanjin Chennai was scheduled to arrive in Ho Chi Minh City on September 2 but has been left floating at sea in the largest container-shipping failure in history.

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Hanjin's container carriers have been given permissionm to dock at Saigon New Port without the fear of being seized. Photo by Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

Numerous container carriers are temporarily anchored near seaports in 23 countries without permission to unload their shipments as seaport authorities doubt the company's ability to pay services fees.

This is the peak time for Vietnamese export enterprises to prepare for Christmas and New Year in the European and U.S. markets, and late deliveries could hurt their businesses.

The Hanjin Chennai will be unloaded at the 24th busiest container port in the world, Saigon New Port, which is one of Hanjin’s creditors. The port has pledged to help local enterprises obtain their imported goods smoothly.

“Saigon New Port has sent official confirmation to the Hanjin Chennai to inform the ship that the seaport is willing to receive shipments and provide full services," said Ngo Minh Thuan, the deputy director of Saigon New Port. "[We] will not seize the Hanjin Chennai or change any conditions relating to payments or unloading services.” 

South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Co., one of the world’s largest container shipping companies, filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. on September 2 to protect its vessels from being seized by creditors.

Hanjin is currently the largest shipping company in South Korea, operating approximately 60 regular lines worldwide, with 140 containers or bulk vessels, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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