South Korea’s troubled container shipper Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd has filed for bankruptcy in the United States to protect its vessels from being seized by creditors, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Hanjin filed for protection under chapter 15, the section of the U.S. bankruptcy code that deals with international insolvency matters, on Friday to a court in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Newark, New Jersey
The company’s filing for rehabilitation, akin to chapter 11 in the U.S., in Seoul has roiled ports in the U.S. and beyond, as creditors seized ships and terminal operators refused to handle cargo.
Hanjin's failure would be the largest container-shipping failure in history, dwarfing all previous carrier bankruptcies.
Hanjin is currently the largest shipping company in Korea, operating approximately 60 regular lines world-wide, with 140 container or bulk vessels, court papers said.
It is ranked as the world’s ninth largest container shipping company, transporting over 100 million tons of cargo a year.