Source: Lloyd’s List
September 16th 2016
A new twist has unfolded in the Hanjin bankruptcy story, with a US Federal Maritime Commissioner noting that a Hanjin vessel scheduled to dock at New York/New Jersey will likely be unable to leave if it goes ahead with the stop.
Despite a US court granting Hanjin vessels temporary protection from arrest at US ports, Hanjin Miami could get stuck at New York/New Jersey because the terminal may refuse to reload empty containers.
“There are so many disputes right now attached to empty containers that the terminal is not going to load the empties back onto the ship,” FMC commissioner William Doyle said.
“If the empties cannot be reloaded on the vessel, then the ship will not be able to depart the harbour because it would not have the air clearance to navigate under the Bayonne Bridge, even at a dead low tide,” he said, adding that one solution under consideration is the replacement of these empties by ones that have different owners.
Hanjin Miami is currently adrift off the coast of Virginia, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence vessel tracking data.
The vessel is owned by Conti Holding, according to LLI.
Speaking at the annual FTR Transportation Conference in Indianapolis, Mr. Doyle identified logistical problems developing at US ports due to Hanjin’s financial troubles.
Mr. Doyle noted that the FMC, the US maritime regulatory agency, has received over three dozen complaints regarding Hanjin vessels. These complaints cover a number of different issues, ranging from stranded cargo and additional fees for cargo pickups to the inability to return empty containers.
An example of the problems Mr. Doyle referred to took place at the port of Virginia, which last week introduced a $325 fee for each Hanjin vessel box picked up at the port.
“On the equipment side we are facing a tough situation. The shippers are becoming very concerned not only about their inability to pick up inbound containers at the marine terminals but also in many instances they are not able to return chassis.”
“Based on past experience during tumultuous times, we know that ocean carriers and marine terminal operators begin charging detention and demurrage charges that become extremely expensive in short order”, Mr. Doyle said.