Hanjin collapse results in higher freight rates
As was to be expected, the Korean company Hanjin became the first major shipping company to collapse a few weeks ago. About 80 ships of Hanjin were not operating mid-September. Although the number of vessels not operating represents only a fraction of the global container ship fleet of 6000 ships, the situation has already had an impact on freight rates: in the first week following the insolvency, the freight rates between Asia and North Europe rose by nearly 40 per cent, and between Asia and the USA by more than 50 per cent. This was reported by Spiegel Online using data of the Shanghai Shipping Exchange. Other cargo areas are now affected, including routes between Asia and the Mediterranean. The loss of the vessels is causing a noticeable drop in capacity and a temporary market adjustment that benefits the competitors in the form of higher freight rates. Experts are uncertain as to whether this trend will continue. In the medium term, the Hanjin vessels may sail again after resale or recovery by the creditors, so that the immense overcapacity under which the market has been suffering for a long time is unlikely to be reduced. For importers, this would mean that the higher freight rates would not last.