Hanjin Shipping, which used to be South Korea's largest container carrier, will disappear from the center stage of corporate history after it was formally liquidated Friday to end its 40-yea run.
A bankruptcy court in Seoul announced the permanent liquidation of Hanjin, which had been under a rehabilitation plan due to falling freight rates stemming from an oversupply of ships and a protracted slump in the global economy.
Hanjin, once the world's seventh-largest ocean carrier established in 1977, has sold key assets including a terminal in California since it filed for court receivership last year that triggered chaos in its global cargo traffic.
The company was abandoned under a sweeping government-led program to restructure South Korea's ailing shipping and shipbuilding sectors. South Korea now plans to rebuild its tattled shipping industry with an injection of some 5.67 billion US dollars in state money.
The government has suggested South Korea still needs a shipper in the ranks of the world's top five. Hyundai Merchant Marine controlled by creditors has absorbed Hanjin's assets to become a new flag carrier.
Data from the central Bank of Korea showed that South Korea posted a deficit of 530 million US dollars last year in its sea transportation covering cargo, passengers and service, compared to a profit of $4.3 billion a year ago. The deficit reflects South Korea's troubled cargo traffic caused by Hanjin's court receivership.
Lim Chang-won = email@example.com