Your Holiday Stock Could Be Stuck in South Korea


Major brands are scrambling to try and retrieve their products off shipping containers literally stranded at sea. Hanjin Shipping Co.  – South Korea’s biggest shipping container company – announced its sudden bankruptcy, immediately cutting off all resources to ships headed to the U.S.

The massive ships are carrying products from major brands like Hugo Boss, LG Electronics, Nike and Samsung, most of which are dependent on Hanjin’s shipping services to carry them through the holiday shopping season. And ‘tis the season… like, now. 40% of Americans start to shop for Christmas before October.

“Whatever’s in that container [on the ship], that’s your whole season’s products” chimes in resident retail expert @RetailPhil of smaller business who could be affected by the bankruptcy.

How are they going to fix it?

This could not only affect the holiday season if it’s not cleared up within a few weeks, but it’ll also change the landscape of the international supply chain at large. With news of Hanjin’s issues, prices of shipping from Hong Kong to Los Angeles with their competitors have instantly surged 40%.

In order to cover costs of the disruption, estimated at $546 million, Hanjin’s owner is going to put forward $91 million, and is asking the government to match it in loans with low interest rates.

How you can avoid it happening to you

“There are less logistics when dealing with local manufacturing companies” continues @RetailPhil. “You face longer lead times when dealing with manufacturers overseas. You also have to consider discrepancies in quality – something that’s easier to oversee when it’s being made in your backyard.”

For more information on sourcing and manufacturing your products locally, head over here.