Arrested Hanjin bulker resumes sailing


HANJIN Shipping has convinced a counterparty shipowner in charter rate talk to release a Hanjin-owned bulk carrier that was under arrest in South Africa.

The 82,000 dwt bulker, Hanjin Paradip, resumed sailing on May 27 at 1700 hrs South Africa time, the South Korean carrier said in a statement.

“Both Hanjin Shipping and the relevant parties agreed that successful financial restructuring of Hanjin Shipping correlates to everyone’s interests, hence [they] decided to resume the sailing of the vessel and to resolve the arrears issue through further discussion.”

The bulk carrier was arrested at Richards Bay on May 24, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence data.

Earlier media reports suggested the ship had been held because it owed months of charter fees to its owner. But LLI data showed Hanjin Paradip is actually owned by Hanjin itself.

A spokesman from the South Korean carrier told Lloyd’s List the ship was arrested by one of the major shipowners that is currently in charter rate negotiations with Hanjin.

Nevertheless, Hanjin seems to have convinced its counterparty to return to the negotiating table.

“Relevant parties commented in the email that they support Hanjin Shipping’s restructuring procedure and that they will diligently co-operate and discuss with Hanjin Shipping to continue their partnership,” Hanjin said.

Hanjin embarked on a creditor-led restructuring in May in a bid to help the cash-strapped company restore its financial health, of which a charter rate reduction is a crucial part.

As of end-December 2015, Hanjin Shipping had a fleet of 155 vessels, 62 of which are owned and 93 are chartered in. Of the 93 chartered-in vessels, 61 are containerships, 24 are dry bulk vessels and eight are tankers.

The charter rate negotiations do not appear to be an easy task, though.

Seaspan said last week it had received and rejected an offer from Hanjin to reduce the $43,000 daily hire rate for its three 10,000 teu containerships for a period of 3.5 years in exchange for an equity stake in the Korean carrier.

Keeping you updated,

Aaron Poole

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