About 6,000 empty Hanjin-leased cargo containers are sitting on chassis at the Port of Long Beach right now after the Korean shipping company—one of the world’s top container carriers—filed for bankruptcy in late August, prompting port officials to partner with a terminal operator in clearing the backlog.
The port is helping clear the backlog through an agreement with terminal operator Total Terminals International (TTI), during which a container ship will be brought in to remove nearly 4,300 empty containers, according to port officials. They said the bankruptcy has created a “significant buildup of empty containers” across the Southland and has tied up the chassis they rest on.
“The Port of Long Beach recognized the urgency to alleviate the shortage created by the estimated 6,000 Hanjin-leased containers sitting on chassis which are needed throughout Southern California to move goods in and out of the region,” Lori Ann Guzmán, president of the Board of Harbor Commissioners, said in a statement. “The Port of Long Beach has been working with TTI and other supply chain partners to find creative solutions to solve the chassis shortage.”
Through the agreement, Long Beach and TTI have secured an empty vessel—expected to arrive in the coming week—to reposition the containers and eventually help move empty containers back to Asia, bringing significant relief to the region to the inventory of chassis, officials stated. Chassis are the truck trailers onto which containers are mounted.
“TTI has already begun accepting empty Hanjin containers from container-leasing companies, freeing up every chassis that drops off a container,” stated Dr. Noel Hacegaba, managing director of commercial operations and chief commercial officer for the port. “We expect that as many as 3,000 containers will literally be taken off the street and shipped back to Asia, with another 1,300 being removed from the Port, putting thousands of chassis back to work.”
According to port officials, TTI will load the ship at cost while the port will waive its fee for accessing the port’s terminal.
“We feel this is a fair and necessary accommodation to keep goods moving through the ports in Southern California and to ensure our customers are able to remove their containers,” Hacegaba stated.
A number of companies will receive specific Hanjin-leased empty containers, including Triton, Textainer, Seacube and Florens. Delivery instructions can be found at www.ttilgb.com.
Guzmán said the bankruptcy filing has impacted shippers form around the world, creating a complex and challenging situation.
“We are grateful for the partnership between Long Beach and TTI,” she said.
Above, left photo of chassis and Hanjin containers at the Port of Long Beach courtesy of POLB.