Hanjin Shipping to return all chartered tonnage

Leading tonnage providers are set to take a $1.2bn hit to their bottom lines with a judge in Seoul ruling that bust Hanjin Shipping should return all chartered-in vessels once these ships have offloaded their current cargoes.

Hanjin Shipping, which sought court protection at the end of last month, had a total of 141 vessels, including 97 container ships as of early September. Out of the 97 container ships, 60 were chartered and 37 owned by Hanjin. Key names who are tonnage providers to the ailing line include Danaos, Navios and Seaspan.

Poor freight rates for boxships and bulk carriers are likely to see many of the returned vessels put up for sale, and if that fails sent for scrap. The avalanche of extra tonnage likely to hit the S&P markets in the coming weeks is expected to further dampen asset prices.

Toby Yeabsley, joint head of cargo shipping at online pricing platform, VesselsValue.com, told Splash today, “We would expect to see asset prices soften following any possible sales that may occur.”

Since the court receivership announcement Hanjin has already returned three bulk carriers, four boxships and made plans to return another 13 container vessels.

Hanjin’s chartering fees at the moment are costing the line more than $2m a day, money it does not have, especially since the Korean government has intimated it will not be helping the line with any more financial aid.

Of the estimated $14bn of cargoes on Hanjin ships spread across the world, it is estimated around $2bn has now been unloaded.