THE BANKRUPTCY of Hanjin Shipping is like the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers and will impact shipping the way Lehman's fall hit world finance, says non-operating shipowner Gerry Wang, CEO of Seaspan.
"It's a huge, a huge nuclear bomb. It shakes up the supply chain, the cornerstone of globalisation," Mr Wang said.
Seaspan, the Hong Kong-based containership leasing company that has three vessels chartered to the distressed line, is evaluating all options and examining systemic risks resulting from Hanjin's bankruptcy filing, Mr Wang said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
In June, Mr Wang had rejected Hanjin's requests for charter-rate cuts before the shipping line filed for court receivership last month.
With about 93 ships, including 79 container vessels, stranded at 51 ports in 26 countries, the gridlock at Hanjin has disrupted global supply chains during "peak season" when stores in the US stock up before the year's busiest holiday shopping season.
The owner and Hanjin's parent are in the process of injecting funds to help the beleaguered company offload cargo stuck aboard many ships and break the impasse.
The impact on Seaspan has been small, Mr Wang said, adding he is seeing a "silver lining" as freight rates improve in the short term.
The vessels he has leased to other shippers are more than 90 per cent full ahead of the holiday season, said Mr Wang, who owns 90 ships.
Source : HKSG.