One Hanjin ship cleared to dock at U.S. port, others remain in limbo

Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:11am EDT
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By Lisa Richwine and Jim Christie

LOS ANGELES/SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - A Hanjin Shipping Co container vessel idled off the coast of Mexico after the company's bankruptcy has received permission to dock and unload cargo at the Port of Long Beach, industry and union officials said Friday.

Authorization for the Hanjin Greece to enter the port came after bankruptcy courts in the United States and South Korea cleared the way for the company to spend $10 million to unload cargo from four ships headed for ports on the U.S. West Coast.

South Korea said it expects Hanjin Greece to start unloading cargo on Saturday morning U.S. time. Hanjin could not be immediately reached for a comment.

"We're looking forward to getting these ships unloaded, said Ray Familathe, vice president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union representing 20,000 dockworkers.

But he said that could be complicated by legal wrangling. "It's a day-to-day thing for us," he said.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Sherwood, who issued an order barring seizure of Hanjin property by creditors, acknowledged that some details remained unresolved and urged the parties to "self-help" and work out problems among themselves.

That could prove thorny. Hanjin has identified 14 U.S.-bound ships in bankruptcy filings, including the Hanjin Greece and two other vessels currently near the Southern California coast.

Port operators, cargo owners, longshoremen, shippers and others all must reach financial agreements with Hanjin before each ship can be docked, officials said.   Continued...