Vietnamese exporters seek help after Hanjin bankruptcy
HCM City (VNA) – Local exporters, freight forwarding firms and seaports are calling for Government support to ease the effects of the bankruptcy filed by the Republic of Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Global (HJS), the world’s seventh-largest container carrier.

Bui Thi Lien Thuy, Director of Hai Bang Trading and Service Logistics Company, said Vietnamese exporters risk losing their goods shipped by Hanjin while freight forwarding firms could be fined for violating contracts.

Thuy said her company has to offload goods carried by HJS ships at a Singapore port and hire another carrier at a cost of 3,000 USD a container to deliver to their customers on time.

Nguyen Dinh Viet, Deputy Director of Vietnam Maritime Administration (Vinamarine), said the bankruptcy has affected business around the world, not just Vietnamese ones, and the Government should help firms offset their losses.

In addition, Vinamarine encourages firms to be active in finding solutions themselves for containers outside Vietnam.

He added that the Ministry of Transport has asked the Government to establish a team to deal with the effects of the HJS bankruptcy.

Hanjin Shipping Company (Photo: AFP)

According to Vinamarine, Hanjin accounts for over five percent of Vietnam’s container shipping industry. The bankruptcy has badly hurt many Vietnamese companies, especially those exporting seafood, garment and textile products, footwear and furniture to China, the Republic of Korea and the US.

Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), estimated that about 150 containers of frozen seafood due to reach the US by the end of this month are affected.

The Hanjin Chennai has been stranded for days off the coast in southern Vietnam as it was refused permission to enter a port in Vung Tau. There are concerns about whether the failed shipping line could pay docking and other fees.

Vietnamese seaports should allow Hanjin ships to dock in Vietnam as soon as possible to reduce losses, Viet urged.

As many as 733 containers of merchandise on the Hanjin Chennai were scheduled to dock in HCM City on September 2.

There were also reports that some Hanjin ships had been seized in China on behalf of creditors.

Customs statistics show that the Korean shipping line has run up a debt of about 2.5 million USD to HCM City-based Saigon Newport Corporation, and more than 200,000 USD to other ports in the north.

Some said Saigon Newport should ask for help from relevant authorities so that the Hanjin Chennai can dock in HCM City and allow retailers and companies to offload their cargo, while creditors can seize other assets.

HJC accounts for 2.9 percent of the world’s sea shipping market share, ranking the 7th and biggest shipping firm in the Republic of Korea. The carrier has operated 140 vessels on 60 international maritime routes. It carries more than 100 million tonnes of goods a year.

Source: VNA