Like a stone thrown into a calm pool, the ripple effects of Hanjin Shipping's slide towards bankruptcy has spread across the globe. Companies big and small are caught up in the multibillion dollar fiasco, prompting governments to act amidst threats of legal action.
After filing for bankruptcy on 31st August, the South Korean company stopped loading new cargo on ships and was turned away from docks. This left 73 out of 141 ships stranded at sea, carrying approximately US$14 billion in assorted commodities.
Among the big hitters who have been stung by the debacle, Samsung Electronics Co. (the world's largest smartphone manufacturer) had US$38 million in parts and products in limbo, unable to make landfall.
A month after the announcement, and dozens of vessels still remain stranded at sea around the world. South Korean's maritime ministry confirmed various crew are rationing drinking water and provisions to prolong their time at sea, though it's tipped they only have enough to last until 6th October.
In the meantime, Hanjin’s lead creditor, Korea Development Bank, has announced it will offer a line of credit, valued at US$45 million, to allow the carrier to unload stranded cargo. This follows an earlier announcement by the shipping company's largest shareholder, Korean Air Lines, which said its board had approved a US$54 million loan to aid the troubled ocean shipping line. The news prompted Hanjin shares to surge 29% on the Korean Exchange by close of trade on Thursday.
Note: Champion Freight does not have any cargo on any Hanjin vessel.