It sounds like the critics of the Hanjin bankruptcy think the Korean government should have bailed them out like the US did the too big to fail banks in 2008:
A container terminal is shown above in Singapore, Sep. 3, containing seized cargo from Hanjin Shipping. Analysts say that Hanjin’s court receivership could be just the tip of the iceberg for the shipping industry as the long-running global economic downturn has left it drowning in excess capacity. / AFP-Yonhap
Hanjin Shipping’s filing for court receivership is inflicting far larger-than-expected negative impacts both at home and abroad as major routes for trade are being suspended.
The government and creditors are facing growing criticism that they are responsible for having thrown global ports and traders into confusion.
About half of Hanjin’s fleet is stuck in ports around the world as the authorities there fear the shipper whose assets have been frozen is unable to pay fees.
The government will not be able to avoid criticism for underestimating the fallout of the bankruptcy of the world’s seventh largest shipper.
It is still pondering over contingency plans to contain the backlash, creating a task force to ensure there are no delays in the flow of cargo.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries will lead the task force along made up of ranking officials from nine related ministries and agencies.
“The government will make sure that the fallout from Hanjin Shipping doesn’t lead to chaos in logistics or a transmission to the real economy including exports,” said Oceans and Fisheries Minister Kim Young-suk, after an emergency meeting held Sunday.
“We will closely cooperate to support damaged industries, taking all possible policy measures,” he said.
However, officials from the shipping industry criticize the government for allowing the shipper to go bankrupt without having drawn up proper countermeasures.
The most urgent problem is that exports may fail to arrive at their final destination on time as 68 of Hanjin Shipping’s vessels are stranded at sea worldwide as of Sunday. [Korea Times]
You can read more at the link, but it is pretty amazing that a huge company like Hanjin has gone into bankruptcy. It seems like the simple answer is that another company buys Hanjin and then restarts operations with a fresh cash flow to pay the various port fees that are currently delaying shipping.