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Seaspan stands firm on not cutting Hanjin charter rates

Seaspan stands firm on not cutting Hanjin charter rates
Seaspan Corp chief Gerry Wang says it will “not entertain” a cut in charter rates for struggling South Korean container line Hanjin Shipping.

Hanjin approached Seaspan in May seeking reduction in rates three 10,000 ships it has on long-term charter at $43,000 per day. Seaspan declined an offer of shares in Hanjin in exchange for a charter rate cut over three and half years.

As of 30 June Hanjin had $11.6m in outstanding charter payments to Seaspan.

Speaking during Seaspan’s half year earnings call Wang stated: “We've made it very clear. We'll not entertain the rate reduction.

“We have never had such situation before with any of our other customers and Hanjin Shipping has been the only one.”

Wang believes that while situation with Hanjin is very fluid that it will in the end honour its charter obligations.

“But we believe our Korean friends, the Korean government and the shareholders there and Hanjin Shipping will become more rational. They will soon realise honouring contractual obligations at the international stage is very important practice.”

GCI Group, a joint venture between Carlyle Group, Seaspan, Tiger Investments and the Washington Family, also has four vessels on long term to Hanjin and Wang said that GCI’s position was the same as Seaspan, which was taking the lead in the discussions.

The experience of Hanjin with Seaspan and GCI contrasts with that of compatriot Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) which was able to secure around a 20% cut in its charter rates with five different boxship owners allowing the shipping line to avoid court receivership.