Business

Hanjin Shipping expected to shut down Singapore operations by end of March

South Korea's bankrupt Hanjin Shipping is in the process of winding up its operations in Singapore, and this is likely to affect about 100 employees here.

For a number of the firm's staff, the fallout has already begun.

When The Straits Times visited Hanjin's Anson House premises in Tanjong Pagar last week, the office had already been emptied of both staff and furniture - completely vacated.

The Anson House office was one of Hanjin's two locations here. The other is PSA Building in Alexandra Road, going by an online search.

A part of Hanjin's office at PSA Building appeared shut when The Straits Times visited last week, although another section remained open.

An employee, who declined to be named, told The Straits Times that the still-operating part of the office is due to close by the end of this month.

The axe finally fell on Hanjin last month, after a Seoul court declared the company bankrupt and ordered its assets to be liquidated in the biggest collapse in the container shipping industry.

Once the largest shipping line in South Korea and the seventh-biggest in the world, Hanjin had been struggling under the weight of billions of dollars of debt for years.

Mr Andy Lane, partner at shipping consulting company CTI Consultancy, told The Straits Times that most of Hanjin's staff in Singapore would have been gone by the end of last year, given that Hanjin would have needed to eliminate all costs as it had no revenue in recent months.

All that remains will likely relate to "winding-down formalities" and administrative tasks, he said.

Meanwhile, the Hanjin Rome, a cargo vessel previously owned by Hanjin, was sold in a sheriff's sale last Wednesday, according to a list of sold vessels on the Supreme Court website.

Ship valuation firm VesselsValue said the vessel is valued at its demolition value of $8.03 million.


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