Hanjin will shutter Europe

Hanjin Shipping Co. has won approval from a court in South Korea to wind down its European operations. Demand for the services of South Korea’s largest container line have slipped since the company filed for receivership on August 31.

Hanjin is undergoing a breakup process intiatied by the Seoul district court. The shut down of its Europe business is the latest phase of the at process. Hanjin is already seeking bids for its Asia-U.S. network and for its stake a terminal in the port of Long Beach.

Analysts believe the move will benefit the larger European container lines like Maersk and CMA CGM who will be able to move in and increase their market share on the Far East-to-Europe trade lane, the world’s largest, and are alreadty doing so, according to a report from Drewry.

Hanjin enjotyed an estimated 4.3-percent market share on the Asia-Europe trade last year, carrying 1.27 million TEU which accounted for 27 percent of its total container business.

A company representative declined to say how many Hanjin employed in Europe and how many of them would lose their jobs.

The South Korean court is currently receiving bids for Hanjin’s Asia-U.S. marketing network. An agreement is expected by mid-November to raise funds for the company, which owes $5 billion.

Hanjin is also in talks to sell its 54-percent ownership in the Long Beach container terminal. Several large container shipping and port operations companies have reportedly expressed interest.