Summary
In April 2016, Hanjin applied to its creditors for debt restructuring, in an attempt to avoid formal bankruptcy proceedings. However on August 31, 2016, Hanjin was forced to file for bankruptcy protection at the Seoul Central District Court and requested the court to freeze its assets. The company had lost the support of its banks the previous day. Hanjin was the world’s 8th largest shipping company, an organization which controlled close to 100 container ships and around $10 bn worth of revenue per year. Its collapse is the biggest ever seen by the industry. The root cause of the problem however has overshadowed the industry since the financial crisis of 2009. Overcapacity in the system caused by ambitious companies ordering new ships that were too big and in too large a number has meant that the entire industry has suffered from poor prices and assets that are too expensive to maintain.

Key Findings

  • Learn the timeline of how Hanjin collapsed and why.
  • Examine how overcapacity in the shipping industry came about and why.
  • Understand what the main players in the industry are now doing to try to survive the conditions they find themselves in.

Reasons To Buy

  • What happened to hanjin?
  • What is happening in the global shipping industry?
  • Could this disaster happen to other companies?

Key Highlights

  • In September 2016 Hanjin the 8th largest shipping company in the world was suddenly unable to trade. The company was ditched by its creditors and despite some attempts from the Korean government to save it, filed for bankruptcy. The company had been having trouble since around 2011.
  • Existing shipping companies benefited from the death of Hanjin, none more so than Maersk. But despite this feeding frenzy over Hanjin’s best shipping lines, companies continue to consolidate which suggests they think the capacity crisis is far from over.
  • The shipping industry in general has for a number of years been in crisis. Many huge super carriers were ordered at precisely the moment when demand for shipping dropped. The industry has further struggled as it adapts ports to handle the huge new ships and deals with increased complexity within the market as the results of consolidation mean even ships themselves are shared between companies.