Dear NHLA Members and Industry Friends:
I wanted you to know that the NHLA Executive Committee is monitoring the impact of the Hanjin Shipping Bankruptcy on our members. We have been in contact with our logistics company members to determine what, if any, guidance we can provide, as well as keep up-to-date as the situation unfolds.
The Korean International Trade Association reports that ten vessels have been seized in China due to creditor actions. Although ship brokers are speculating that additional ships will be seized or denied access to ports, we have learned that South Korean courts are taking legal steps to keep that from happening.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the South Korean government has indicated that the Hanjin bankruptcy would affect cargo exports for at least two to three months, if not longer. Rate hikes are expected from other ocean carriers until the market adjusts and more chartered vessels are available to take shipments.
Industry sources have advised that NHLA members should be aware of illegal attempts to extort money from companies whose shipments have been impacted by port delays or closures with the claim they can expedite off-loading lumber from seized ships. These actions are illegal and should be reported to authorities.
NHLA has spoken with the Hardwood Federation in Washington, D.C. to determine if and how the U.S. government may be able to assist members but with the Labor Day holiday on Monday, feedback on this issue may be delayed.
Upon speaking with international shipping expert Bill Ronney, VP Trade Management of Kuene and Nagel, he advised that each exporting company's situation is going to be unique and a one-stop shop answer won't exist in this complex situation. Bill will be conducting an educational seminar on Thursday, October 6 at the NHLA Annual Convention in Washington, DC and welcomes your questions on this matter.
We will continue to keep you posted as we learn more about the situation. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact NHLA staff with your questions or concerns.
All the best,
Pem Jenkins, NHLA President
Turn Bull Lumber