NRF calls for continued resolution on Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy

WASHINGTON, 2016-Sep-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation and the Hardwood Federation today) (September 20, 2016) led a coalition of 120 organizations representing retailers, manufacturers, agribusinesses and other sectors affected by the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy in sending a letter to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker outlining specific concerns and urging her continued leadership in bringing about a resolution.

“U.S. businesses rely on predictability in their supply chains, particularly during the busiest shipping season of the year,” wrote NRF and the other coalition members. “The recent bankruptcy filing has caused widespread disruptions in freight shipments worldwide…. The impact on small and medium sized companies could be particularly devastating if this situation is not resolved in a timely manner.”

Among the concerns detailed in the letter is ongoing confusion about the location of cargo, where it will be unloaded and whether a cargo owner’s goods will be seized by Hanjin’s creditors once the ships are docked. The coalition also told Secretary Pritzker that shippers are facing both higher fees assessed to pick up cargo as well as steadily increasing freight charges as they look for new transportation options.

The coalition thanked Secretary Pritzker for her outreach to the business community thus far and urged her to “continue to work with the South Korean government to bring about a swift and economically beneficial resolution that will allow cargo to move through the global supply chain and give certainty to U.S. businesses.”

According to the latest monthly Global Port Tracker report released by NRF and Hackett Associates, import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports should still be at near-peak levels in September, even as retailers work to cope with the Hanjin bankruptcy.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. nrf.com

Contact:
Robin Roberts
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

RILA urged action in response to bankruptcy of shipping company Hanjin to prevent cargo disruptions

Arlington , VA, 2016-Sep-05 — /EPR Retail News/ — In a letter sent today (9/1/2016), the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) urged action in response to the bankruptcy of Hanjin, a major South Korea based shipping company, to ensure the flow of cargo to and from the United States. Specifically, RILA asked U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero to use their powers to work with stakeholders to resolve the developing situation.

“While the situation is still developing, the prospect of harm is significant and apparent,”said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. “We urge that Department of Commerce and the Federal Maritime Commission work together with all stakeholders, including ports, cargo handlers and the South Korean government, to resolve the immediate disruption and mitigate the harms posed by the current situation.”

Hanjin Shipping, which represents approximately 7.8% of the transpacific trade volume for the U.S. market, declared bankruptcy yesterday.

“The impact on importers and exporters is having a ripple effect throughout the global supply chain. U.S. bound cargo is already being delayed at origin ports and Hanjin ships loaded with cargo idle unable to enter U.S. ports, containers are being detained on arrival clogging already congested ports and preventing merchandise from reaching store shelves. Further, the inability to return empty containers is causing backups and interfering with chassis availability. Finally, given that Hanjin is part of a larger shipping alliance, uncertainty about its future is effecting the ability to move cargo unassociated with Hanjin. We understand that U.S. exporters are experiencing similar disruptions, as outbound cargo is turned away for the same reasons,” noted Kennedy.

The full text of the letter is below.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

The Honorable Penny Pritzker
Secretary
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave, N.W.
Washington, DC 20230

The Honorable Mario Cordero
Chairman
Federal Maritime Commission
800 North Capitol St, N.W.
Washington, DC 20573

Dear Secretary Pritzker and Chairman Cordero,

The recent bankruptcy filing of South Korean shipping company Hanjin Shipping presents an enormous challenge to U.S. shippers, the effects of which could have a substantial impact on consumers and the economy at-large.

While the situation is still developing, the prospect of harm is significant and apparent. Hanjin represents approximately 7.8% of the transpacific trade volume for the U.S. market. Given the great uncertainty about the future of Hanjin, terminal operators, ports and other cargo handlers are refusing to release cargo without assurances that payments will be made.

The impact on importers and exporters is having a ripple effect throughout the global supply chain. U.S. bound cargo is already being delayed at origin ports and Hanjin ships loaded with cargo idle unable to enter U.S. ports, containers are being detained on arrival clogging already congested ports and preventing merchandise from reaching store shelves. Further, the inability to return empty containers is causing backups and interfering with chassis availability. Finally, given that Hanjin is part of a larger shipping alliance, uncertainty about its future is effecting the ability to move cargo unassociated with Hanjin. We understand that U.S. exporters are experiencing similar disruptions, as outbound cargo is turned away for the same reasons.

We urge that Department of Commerce and the Federal Maritime Commission work together with all stakeholders, including ports, cargo handlers and the South Korean government, to resolve the immediate disruption and mitigate the harms posed by the current situation.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and we stand ready to work with you to resolve this situation.

Sincerely,

Sandra L. Kennedy
President

Brian Dodge
Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategic Initiatives
Phone: 703-600-2017
Email: brian.dodge@rila.org

Media Contact:

Caroline Stec
Manager, Communications
703-600-2082
caroline.stec@rila.org

Source: RILA