Cosco Shipping eyeing Hanjin’s port assets

China Cosco Shipping Corporation (Cosco Shipping) may consider acquiring Hanjin Shipping’s port assets, but it has no desire to buy any distressed ships from the Korean line, reports said.

The chairman of Cosco Shipping, Xu Lirong, ruled out the purchase of Hanjin Shipping’s container vessels, even when the opportunity has arisen as creditors have moved to impound the ships.

Xu told reporters at Cosco Shipping’s rebranding ceremony held on Wednesday that the group might, however, look at the possibility of taking over Hanjin Shipping’s port assets.

Hanjin Shipping operates 12 dedicated terminals and two logistics center globally, with annual handling capacity of 10million TEU.

Xu did not specify which of Hanjin Shipping’s port assets would be an acquisition target for Cosco Shipping.

Director at the shipping research and development department of Shanghai International Shipping Institute (SISI), Zhang Yongfeng, observed that Cosco Shipping is itself struggling to utilise fleet capacity amid the severe tonnage supply glut.

“The acquisition of distressed ships at possibly attractive prices is indeed a rare opportunity for Cosco Shipping, but the group has to carefully weigh the consequences of taking on more tonnage,” he said.

Zhang believed that it might be more beneficial for Cosco Shipping to consider snapping up those better quality vessel assets from domestic shipping lines that are struggling to survive. 

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