While there have been a number of bankruptcies in the sector in none of them have been remotely on the scale of Hanjin which ranked number seven in the world in terms of capacity with over 600,000 teu on the water.
The bankruptcy of Hanjin comes during the latest and particularly deep slump in the container sector. Now while lines can point to the state of the global economy and limited to negative volume growth as a result the reality is that much of the sectors woes are also self-inflicted.
Almost no-one in container shipping is making money at present, even the mighty Maersk Line lost $114m in the first half of the year.
Hopefully the bankruptcy of Hanjin will be a wake up call to all in the sector that it cannot continue doing business in the way that it has for the last two decades, or more major companies will fail leaving shippers high and dry.