11 Sep 2016

Shippers face anxious wait after Hanjin collapse

4:13 pm on 11 September 2016

New Zealand importers and exporters are waiting anxiously for news of their goods after the collapse of a major shipping line.

A Hanjin container ship docks at Long Beach, California, after a week stranded at sea for fear it could be seized by creditors.

A Hanjin container ship docks at Long Beach, California, after a week stranded at sea for fear it could be seized by creditors. Photo: AFP

Hanjin Shipping of South Korea filed for bankruptcy last week. At least 460,000 containers - worth about $US14 billion - could be left stranded as ports, tug boat operators and cargo handling firms refuse to work for the company.

Hanjin's ships have not come to New Zealand for several months, but goods to and from this country are often changed in Singapore to other shipping lines, including Hanjin.

The deputy chair of the Shippers Council, Murray Horne, said containers could still be at risk.

"It might go on one vessel out of New Zealand but then connect to another one for a trans-shipment into Asia or Europe and that's where the exposure would lie for most New Zealand shippers.

"I would say it's minimal exposure but there is some definitely exposure there."

One New Zealand freight company, Mondiale, had 12 containers on a Hanjin ship from China to Singapore and says it has not been able to recover any of them.

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