Business

Hanjin seeks funds to free stranded cargo worth $14bn

Hanjin container ship Image copyright Getty Images

The failed Hanjin shipping group is desperately seeking funds to rescue $14bn (£10.5bn) worth of cargo stranded round the world following its collapse.

Hanjin filed for receivership in South Korea last week after attempts to bail out the indebted company failed.

Ports have refused to accept Hanjin cargoes without guarantees that port fees will be paid.

However, creditors, banks and the South Korean government are all reluctant to put up the cash.

The global economic downturn, fierce competition and falling prices has hit profits across the cargo shipping industry and Hanjin collapsed with debts of about $5.4bn (£4.1bn) last month.

There are an estimated 89 Hanjin ships out of its 141-vessel fleet in difficulty, and some have been seized by creditors.

The ships contain everything from computer parts to perishable food with many of the cargoes destined for the Christmas market in the US and Europe.

Cargoes ahoy

Samsung Electronics has said it has goods worth about $38m on Hanjin ships in international waters. It is now considering chartering 16 freighter planes to take goods to customers - mostly in the US.

Hanjin's main creditors said it would be difficult to accept a request from the court presiding over the company's receivership to give it fresh funds.

The state-backed Korea Development Bank said it might provide funding, but there was no certainty that it would help the company survive.

However, the shipping company's parent, Hanjin Group, has pledged to raise 100bn won ($90m) - although there are doubts as to whether that would be enough to cover the cost of unloading cargo.

The South Korean government has said government-backed creditors would offer another 100bn won if collateral was provided. It will dispatch more than 20 substitute container ships next week to try to offload the cargoes.

Hanjin Group is considering the offer.

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