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Hanjin Shipping collapse strands cargo worth billions

Hanjin Shipping's largest shareholder, Korean Air Lines, has again delayed a decision on a rescue plan, adding to uncertainty about cargo stranded at sea following the container carrier's collapse.

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Hanjin Shipping collapse strands cargo worth billions

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The uncertainty continues for South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping.

Korean Air Lines – its biggest shareholder – has for the second time delayed a decision on a bailout plan for the troubled company. The board is due to meet again on Saturday.

The collapse of the world’s seventh-largest container carrier has caused havoc in global trade networks.

More than half of its 141 ships have been blocked from docking at ports around the world as ports, tug boat operators and cargo handling firms are refusing to work for Hanjin fearing they will not be paid. Four vessels have also been seized as of Thursday, according to Hanjin Shipping.

Cargo worth the equivalent of 12.4 billion euros is stuck as this has come during the peak shipping period ahead of the year-end holiday season.

There was a glimmer of hope on Friday when Hanjin Shipping said it has received authority to spend the money needed to dock at US ports and begin unloading four vessels that have been stranded at sea.

Ilana Volkov, a lawyer for the company lawyer told a US Bankruptcy Court hearing in Newark, New Jersey: “We have the money to fully service those four ships.” She said $10 million had been released by a South Korean court.

Samsung is one of the worst hit, and is asking a US bankruptcy court to let it pay to have tens of millions of euros worth of cargo unloaded in ports there.

The court has prevented Hanjin ships being seized if they enter US ports, but Samsung has also asked the judge to order the ships be allowed to leave port once unloaded and for cargo holders to recover their property.