One of the effects of the Hanjin collapse has been endless rumour and speculation – with one of the main protagonists in any shipping story inevitably being Maersk. Will Maersk buy either of the Korean lines’ ships? And what is Cosco doing? And will Hanjin re-emerge as a small, regional line? Whatever, the latest story from the WSJ, in this round of predicting a frankly unknown future, suggests that Maersk has never wanted Korea’s vessels, but would consider a cheaper deal to buy a smaller, bankrupt or distressed carrier. Analysts have predicted that only eight of the top 20 carriers will still be operating by 2020 – giving acquisitive lines a reasonable choice.

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