HMM denies losing business with WalmartHyundai Merchant Marine CEO Yoo Chang-keun denied a report that it lost business with Walmart, the giant U.S. retailer.
Yoo on Wednesday called a sudden meeting with reporters at HMM’s building in Jongno District, central Seoul, to say “Cargo shipment negotiations with Walmart are still in progress.”
The Korea Times reported Tuesday that Walmart has “severed all contracts with Korean shippers” due to the chaos that was caused by the collapse of Hanjin Shipping last year.
Considering there is only one Korean carrier capable of dealing with Walmart, rumors flew that HMM would be losing a massive shipping contract.
But according to Yoo, HMM has passed the retailer’s initial screening and is proceeding with remaining processes in a bid with other shipping lines.
Walmart also rejected the rumors.
“The rumors and recent reports of Walmart refusing to do business with Korean shipping carriers are simply untrue,” Marilee McInnis, director of international corporate affairs at Walmart, told the U.S. shipping journal American Shipper on Tuesday local time.
“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,” McInnis added.
As this time of the year is an important time for sealing freight contracts for the coming year, Yoo added such rumors can greatly hurt business.
Walmart is due to finalize freight contracts by mid March.
Among local customers, Samsung, LG and Hyundai Glovis finalized deals with HMM earlier in the year.
“We have been recovering trust from customers … our ships have been fully loaded during the year-end and beginning of the year season,” Yoo said.
BY KIM JEE-HEE [email@example.com]