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After Hanjin Bankruptcy Crisis, Shippers Seek Out Large, Stable Companies

The sudden bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping left billions of dollars’ worth of cargo, potentially including all of your holiday gifts, floating on container ships in the ocean in legal limbo. Now the companies that ship cargo don’t want to risk having that happen again.

The bankruptcy of Hanjin, a South Korean company, was the largest collapse of a shipping company during a downturn in the industry that started with the economic meltdown in 2008, and never quite recovered.

“A lot of customers are looking at the more stable shipping lines to contract their cargo with,” the chief executive in charge of Asia Pacific for the shipping part of Maersk, a Danish company, told Reuters.

Industry insiders say that their customers are seeking out large, stable carriers for their valuable cargo. Smaller carriers began merging, including the three largest shipping companies out of Japan. Others have even been showing potential customers information about the health of their finances to prove that bankruptcy isn’t imminent, and their cargo isn’t about to get stranded.

Maersk has a plan, too: take advantage of the situation and buy up smaller carriers that are struggling to stay… “afloat” is the wrong word to use here, isn’t it?

Cargo owners in flight to safety after Hanjin collapse, shipping lines say [Reuters]

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

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