Marilee McInnis, director of international corporate affairs at Walmart, said although the retailer no longer does business with Hanjin due to the carrier’s bankruptcy, it is currently speaking with another Korean carrier regarding its shipping needs.
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Marilee McInnis, director of international corporate affairs at Walmart, said the Korea Times report that the retailer terminated all contracts with Korean carriers was not true.
Walmart, the United States’ largest brick and mortar retailer, has rejected a rumor that it had reportedly terminated all contracts with Korean carriers.
The Korea Times said Walmart “has severed all contracts with Korean shippers after sustaining severe damages by the South Korean government’s abrupt decision to let debt-ridden Hanjin Shipping go under in the name of corporate restructuring.”
However, Marilee McInnis, director of international corporate affairs at Walmart, told American Shipper Tuesday, “The rumors and recent reports of Walmart refusing to do business with Korean shipping carriers are simply untrue. While we are no longer doing business with Hanjin because of their recent bankruptcy, we are currently speaking to another Korean carrier regarding our shipping needs.
“I can’t tell you who specifically we are speaking with, but we go through an annual bid process for services where multiple companies participate,” McInnis added.
In regards to how Walmart was affected by Hanjin’s bankruptcy, McInnis said, “We have detailed logistic plans in place, so when the Hanjin bankruptcy occurred, we took the necessary steps to move our freight to other carriers in our multinational carrier base.”
Overall, 2016 was a volatile year in the maritime shipping industry, especially for Korean ocean carriers, with Hanjin Shipping filing for bankruptcy protection at the Seoul Central District Court Aug. 31, and in early September, the carrier requested to have its rehabilitation in bankruptcy court in Korea recognized under Chapter 15 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.
Meanwhile, fellow South Korean ocean carrier Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) saw its operating loss grow even larger in 2016 from a year prior on declined revenues, but on a bright note, the carrier’s bottom line improved from 2015.