Hanjin Shipping nears agreement over US terminal
Hanjin Shipping could soon get a final agreement to develop a planned container terminal at Jacksonville on the US east coast, the South Korean carrier and terminals group has confirmed.
The move comes more than 30 months after Hanjin Shipping and Florida"s Jacksonville Port Authority in Florida signed a memorandum of understanding to build the Hanjin Shipping Jacksonville Container Terminal.
The two sides have had protracted negotiations to reach a final deal since the initial agreement was signed in October 2007.
Among the issues has been uncertainty over the exact location of the $360m terminal and wrangles over a bond issue to finance the 1m teu per year complex.
Hanjin Shipping spokesman John Park told: ?We are close to meeting each other"s needs.?
Pushed on when a final agreement would be reached, he would only say it would be soon.
?We have had very good negotiations. They are not concluded yet. They know what we want and we know what they want,? he added.
Mr Park was adamant that Hanjin Shipping was determined to develop the container terminal at Jacksonville rather than at any other US east coast port.
?Before we decided on Jacksonville we looked at lots of places and met many port authorities on the east coast,? he said.
Mr Park added that Jacksonville was the only port to already have the necessary infrastructure.
He pointed out that Savannah could offer the land but had no infrastructure, Charleston had a navy pier while the Bayonne area in New York was earmarked for cruise facilities or housing.
?There were lots of obstacles. Not much land was available. Jacksonville is still the preferred location,? Mr Park said.
Hanjin Shipping said the terminal would open in 2013 and would become a key hub on South America, North America and Asian trades.
?Jacksonville is right there. It can be a hub or gateway port in the future,? Mr Park added.
The planned opening of Jacksonville would come after the launch of Hanjin Shipping"s Algeciras terminal in Spain this year and the Tan Cang-Cai Mep facility near Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam in 2011.
Together the facilities would take the number of Hanjin Shipping"s dedicated terminals from the current 12 to 15.