Hanjin Shipping Line
by Elliot Njus
Hanjin Shipping Co., the South Korean shipping company that once provided most of the Port of Portland's container cargo service, filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday.
The Wall Street Journal reported the filing came a day after the company's creditors ended financial assistance that amounted to $896 million. The Seoul Central District Court will determine whether the troubled shipping line should be liquidated or restructured.
Hanjin and shipping companies like it have suffered from a worldwide decline in trade in recent years. It came after the companies, expecting growth to continue, over-invested in ships and terminals.
The Port of Portland has pointed to trouble in the international shipping industry, along with a continuing labor dispute, as part of the reason it won't be able to attract new service in the short term.
Hanjin once called at the Port of Portland's Terminal 6 weekly, accounting for 78 percent of the container terminal's business. The ships left behind imported goods, like sports apparel manufactured in Asia, and carried back agricultural exports.
The company ended service at the Port of Portland in February 2015 amid labor strife. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has chafed under the management of the terminal by ICTSI Oregon, the private operator to whom the port leased the terminal in 2010.
ICTSI accused the union of slowing work, leaving ships sitting. Hanjin said the extra idle time was too costly to justify continuing service.
Westwood Shipping Lines withdrew just over a year later in May, leaving the container terminal idle.
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