Stranded Hanjin Cargo Ship Finally Begins Unloading in U.S.
Hanjin Shipping found at least temporary reprieve off the coast of California Saturday, as the Korean giant fights worldwide against creditors seizing its assets out of worry that Hanjin won’t be able to pay its bills.
Hanjin Greece, which has been at sea since leaving Busan on Aug. 21, began unloading its cargo of clothing, electronics, furniture, and plastics goods at the Port of Long Beach on Saturday, according to ABC News.
That came after a U.S. Bankruptcy court in New Jersey allowed Hanjin to dock without having its assets seized in the country Friday, while Korean bankruptcy courts allowed Hanjin to spend $10 million to unload Hanjin Greece among others. At the end of August, Hanjin filed for bankruptcy protection with a Korean district court, and had its assets frozen.
“This is good news for cargo owners and American consumers, just in time for the holiday shopping season,” Noel Hacegaba, the port’s chief commercial officer, said in a statement to ABC.
The ship is expected to leave after unloading. It’s not been announced when the two other ships currently of the coast of California, Hanjin Montevideo and Hanjin Boston, will be unloaded, the LA Times reported. In the three ships, there are millions in cargo bound for big retailers including Walmart and J.C. Penney.
It’s also a glimmer of hope for Hanjin, which has been facing gridlocks in ports around the world amid uncertainty about who would pay docking, container-storage, and unloading fees.
More than half of the companies vessels, 86 as of Wednesday, are still stranded as port authorities and services block the ships from docking for fear they won’t be paid. Other vessels have been seized by creditors. The vessels have been said to contain around $14.5 billion in goods.
Hanjin has plans to pursue legal action in about 10 countries, and later expand it to 43 jurisdictions, Reuters reported.
Hanjin Shipping’s parent company, Hanjin Group, announced plans to raise $90.46 million to fund cargo ship unloadings around the world. Though that still falls short of the estimated $543 million needed to help unload all of its vessels currently at sea, ABC reported.