Industry News

West Coast freight businesses rush to rebook shipments on other ocean carriers

Aug. 31, 2016 5:42 p.m. ET

Up and down the West Coast, freight businesses were scrambling Wednesday in the wake of news that Hanjin Shipping Co. of South Korea had filed for receivership.

As port terminals from Long Beach, Calif., to Seattle turned away outbound containers destined for Hanjin ships, cargo businesses were rushing to rebook shipments on other ocean carriers. That involves the extra work of shuttling the cargo on trucks, then unloading and repacking it into the new carriers’ containers.

“There’s going to be exorbitant costs,” said Peter Schneider, vice president of T.G.S. Transportation Inc. in California. He said he offered to help customers rebook their Hanjin shipments and is waiting to hear back. “Everything is unraveling,” he said.

On trans-Pacific routes, Hanjin accounts for about 7% of cargo traffic, according to an industry source. Canceling that capacity, however small a portion of U.S.-Asia trade, will force hasty adjustments and raise shipping rates for many U.S. retailers and manufacturers.

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