By Mark Edward Nero
A potential supply chain meltdown resulting from Hanjin Shipping’s insolvency has been averted at the Port of Oakland. The port said Sept. 21 that it will receive empty containers owned by the ocean carrier, which filed for bankruptcy protection Aug. 31.
The announcement means cargo owners and truckers won’t have to find storage space for the unwanted boxes after they’re emptied, and that empties can be removed from chassis, thereby freeing up equipment to transport new loads.
Storage space is needed across the globe because Hanjin is not accepting empty containers on its vessels.
“With this move, we can at least eliminate the worry about storage and prevent a potentially crippling chassis shortage,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll said.
Empty Hanjin-owned containers can be returned to the port’s Roundhouse property on Middle Harbor Road. The site is adjacent to Oakland International Container Terminal, where Hanjin ships are loaded and unloaded.
The port said containers identified by the prefix HJCU will be received, but that truckers should contact Hanjin to ensure that the empty containers are Hanjin-owned and not leased.
The port said the terminal will process empties and remove them from chassis. Drivers are then required to return the chassis through the main gates at Oakland International Container Terminal.
Harbor truck drivers can return Hanjin-owned boxes between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.
Hanjin’s receivership filing has disrupted the global supply chain, with many of the carrier’s ships becoming stranded at sea, forbidden to berth at ports. Two Hanjin ships have arrived in Oakland to discharge cargo since the filing was announced.
Oakland said operations haven’t been hampered by Hanjin’s predicament, but that the empty container problem threatened to inhibit cargo flow in and out of the port, until the newly designated storage property averted that potential outcome.