How South Korean Shipping Got Its Groove Back

How the government resuscitated the shipping business from the disastrous Hanjin bankruptcy

How South Korean Shipping Got Its Groove Back

Credit: Public Domain

Kim Hun-nam 김훈남 of Money Today chronicles how South Korea’s once-great shipping business bounced back from the catastrophic bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping 한진해운, the seventh-largest ocean shipper at the time in 2016. With Hanjin’s bankruptcy, the total shipping volume for South Korean shipping companies was slashed from 1.05m TEU to 501,000 TEU.

Moon administration’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries intervened by assisting Hyundai Merchant Marine, the second-largest shipping company after Hanjin, to purchase 12 ships of 24,000 TEU and eight ships of 16,000 TEU for nearly USD 3b. The first 24,000 TEU ship began operation in April with early success. By July 2021, South Korea’s total shipping is expected to recover to 904,000 TEU, approaching the pre-Hanjin bankruptcy level.

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