Shipping containers from the bankrupt South Korean firm Hanjin continue to pile up off the west coast, as cargo sits in limbo. Jane Lee reports.
80 tonnes of spicy Kimchi is bobbing off the coast of California and at risk of going sour. That's a sliver of a growing problem of pile ups at U.S. ports after the South Korean shipping firm Hanjin went belly up last week. Ports around the world fearing they won't be paid for docking and unloading are rejecting some ships, in other cases concern the goods could be siezed by creditors is keeping vessels floating nearby waiting for orders on their next moves. Some Hanjin vessels are stuck in southern California and it's having a knock on affect further north, says Reuters bankruptcy reporter Jim Christie in San Francisco. SOUNDBITE: JIM CHRISTIE, REUTERS BANKRUPTCY REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Just over my shoulder you can see the Port of Oakland. There're about 200 Hanjin shipping containers there that have been held in limbo since the company filed for bankruptcy//normally Hanjin ships that first visit southern california come to the port of oakland so currently the port of oakland is just waiting to see really what happens with developments in southern california." Around $14 billion worth of cargo is stranded like this globally during a period that's critical to moving goods for the big preholiday shopping season. Some cargo shippers have forked out thousands of dollars in fees to terminal owners and truckers to reclaim their goods from Hanjin ships. The South Korean government has stepped in and plans to send over 20 substitute container ships to the U.S. Europe and Southeast Asia to help contain the fallout. As for the Kimchi off of California...it's destined for Costco and other retailers, but it can spoil in days and then it would all have to be tossed out.