by Adrian Tolson, Senior Partner, 20|20 Marine Energy
When shipping rode the financial crisis of 2008/2009, there was always a view that certain companies in the industry were just too big to fail. It was assumed that the banks, shareholders and other industry stakeholders and institutions would give them their full support to ensure continuity; the alternative was simply not an option.
I am not talking about OW Bunker, although arguably there are clear similarities when we consider the impact of its collapse on the wider market. This week, the industry saw the demise of Hanjin Shipping, the seventh largest container carrier in the world and the sister company of Korea's national airline, KAL, a company that was for decades a growth-orientated shipping and logistics company that was much admired both inside and outside Korea. On 31st August this industry giant filed for bankruptcy protection and stopped accepting new cargo. With its assets frozen, ships were refused permission to offload or take aboard containers, and for those vessels in port, ship arrests soon followed.