Marine ports worldwide, including in the Northwest, are scrambling after South Korea's Hanjin Shipping filed for bankruptcy Wednesday.
Hanjin is one of the largest shipping companies in the world. Some ports are refusing shipments from the companies.
"It's still fluid, we're not sure of the long-term impact," said Tara Mattina with the Northwest Ports Alliance.
At Terminal 46 in Seattle, where Hanjin is the main customer, empty containers and exports are not being released. Information to that affect is on the website of Total Terminals International, which runs the facility.
Ports worldwide are following suit, fearful Hanjin cannot pay its bills.
"Industry-wide, shipping lines are losing billions of dollars," added Mattina, calling the situation in the shipping industry a "death spiral".
Hanjin did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday. However, the company told the Wall Street Journal a South Korean court will decide if it will be dissolved or get a chance to restructure.