LOS ANGELES—Following months of debt restructuring and bankruptcy filings, Hanjin Shipping Company, one of largest shipping container carriers in the world, has begun docking ships at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. While this move allows for importers to collect cargo that has been inaccessible since the company filed for bankruptcy protection on Aug. 31, Hanjin is not accepting the unloaded containers, or containers with export merchandise. California Apparel News reports this stance by the company has created a storage issue at the ports since empty Hanjin storage containers now occupy valuable spots in the shipyard. While these containers await a new home, the publication notes, wheeled chassis remained attached to the containers. This has caused a shortage of the wheeled frames for trucks arriving at the ports to pick up containers.
While significant percentages of the imported cargo from Hanjin include non-clothing items like televisions, small electronics, and sports equipment, Container News cites approximately nine percent of the U.S. supply chains disrupted by the bankruptcy as companies who specialize in “apparel articles and accessories.” Large apparel manufacturers such as Hanes and Under Armour use the container line to transport their goods.
In addition to chassis issues, California Apparel News notes that containers bound for the East Coast or warehouses beyond the ports are stuck there for the time being.
“Most people will have them to pull their containers out of the port, take them to a warehouse and then pay to truck them to their destination,” Robert Krieger, president of Krieger Worldwide tells California Apparel News.
Outside of the greater Los Angeles area, the company’s financial woes extend across the globe. As of September 26, the BBC estimates 89 Hanjin ships out of a 141 vessel fleet are either in financial limbo or seized by creditors.