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Hanjin Shipping lost 'game of chicken' with other container lines in price war

Hanjin Shipping lost 'game of chicken' with other container lines in price war
Hanjin Shipping lost a “game of chicken” with its state-backed rivals in a freight rate war says Hanjin Group chairman Cho Yang-ho.

Speaking at a parliamentary hearing in Korea on the collapse of the world’s seventh largest container line Cho said: "Hanjin Shipping lost the game of chicken played among large shippers.”

"As a private company, we felt the limit of participating in a dumping war and asked for support, but I failed to convince."

The Korean Development Bank (KDB) pulled its financial support for Hanjin Shipping in late August resulting in the container line filing for receivership.

Cho said that after Korean Air Lines Co Ltd acquired a controlling stake in Hanjin Shipping in 2014, the group injected about KRW2trn ($1.81bn).

"But as foreign shippers that are supported by their governments by trillions and tens of trillions of won, flooded the market with low prices, we felt our limit," Cho said.

The receivership filing left Hanjin’s 98 containerships stranded across the globe with $14bn worth of cargo onboard.

"What pains me the most is that due to the court receivership many ship crews are in the middle of international waters like orphans, and I am very sorry and pained to have created a logistics crisis, but we did everything we could," he said.

Read all the background to the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy on our timeline