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Hanjin Unloads Some Ships, but Gridlock Still Rampant

The latest in the ongoing Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy saga is that the first of the floundering shipper’s vessels destined for the U.S. are offloading containers at the Port of Long Beach.

Hanjin Greece finally docked at the port Saturday after sitting idle for two weeks following Hanjin’s bankruptcy announcement, according to The Wall Street Journal, and Hanjin Gdynia, Hanjin Jungil, Hanjin Montevideo and Hanjin Boston are expected to dock this week.

While this might be great news for companies awaiting their goods, the not-so-small problem of the havoc already wreaked on supply chains hasn’t gone away.

Dozens of Hanjin ships are still stuck idle, holding billions and billions of dollars worth of customers’ goods—some perishable—and a lot of ports aren’t accepting Hanjin vessels headed back to Asia after unloading at warehouses inland, the Journal reported.

What’s happening as a result is that shippers are pulling their would-be Hanjin loaded containers from the dock and transferring them to other carriers, which has further tied up conditions at the ports and bled businesses of more money to move the same goods.

A report out early this month by Drewry Research said container freight rates are up as much as 42 percent on major routes from Asia since Hanjin’s bankruptcy filing. Add to that twice paid rails and taking over Hanjin’s terminal fees and the shippers’ bankruptcy is already costing companies beaucoup money.

Earlier in the month, Maersk Line said some of its customers have cargo on board two Hanjin operated vessels, Maersk Sebarok and Maersk Senang, sailing between Far East Asia and India.

“While we expect minimal disruption, we are proactively working on reducing impact on cargo delivery. Impacted customers are communicated to directly,” Maersk Line said in the statement.

Maersk Line said it isn’t loading any cargo onto Hanjin-owned vessels.

And for goods that companies are able to rebook with other carriers, many are facing the fact that no one wants to walk away with empty Hanjin containers, so many are piling up at the ports and helping fuel delays. According to the Journal, Hanjin has asked a South Korean court to allow it to use some funds to help get goods idle at U.S. ports to their rightful owners and that process could begin as soon as Wednesday.