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South Korean court declares Hanjin bankrupt

South Korean court declares Hanjin bankrupt
A tugboat pulls away from the Hanjin Greece container ship last year after it docked for unloading at the Port of Long Beach. (David McNew / AFP/Getty Images)

A South Korean court has declared Hanjin Shipping Co. bankrupt, about six months after the struggling shipper first filed for bankruptcy.

The Seoul Central District Court said Friday it had appointed a bankruptcy administrator and that claims by creditors are due May 1, according to Reuters. The first meeting of creditors will be held a month later.

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The South Korean firm was once the seventh-largest shipper in the world. But the company couldn't overcome the widespread turbulence in the shipping industry, as carriers purchased more and more vessels in hopes that global demand would soon follow.

Hanjin's financial woes caused a tie-up last fall at ports worldwide, including in Los Angeles and Long Beach, when its cargo ships idled off docks amid fears that creditors would seize the vessels once they reached land.

In January, Hanjin received approval from a U.S. bankruptcy court judge to sell its majority stake in Long Beach container terminal operator Total Terminals International Inc.

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