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caption: A Hanjin shipping container ship dwarfs a Washington State Ferry. 
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A Hanjin shipping container ship dwarfs a Washington State Ferry.
Credit: Flickr Photo/Jeff Youngstrom (CC BY NC 2.0)/

Hanjin declares bankruptcy, and a cargo ship may not make it to Seattle

Hanjin of South Korea filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this week. It's one of the biggest shippers in the world, with ships often seen on Puget Sound and containers piled near our ports.

Now retailers are worried about the holiday goods that are in those containers.

The National Retail Federation is pleading with shippers to keep the movement of goods going. But around the world, port terminals are turning their backs on Hanjin ships.

The Hanjin Scarlet is currently anchored at Prince Rupert, BC -- near Canada's border with Alaska. It’s a container ship that is due in Seattle on Saturday.

What’s happening to it is what’s happening just about everywhere: Port terminals are not allowing Hanjin ships to unload.

Tara Mattina speaks for the Northwest Seaport Alliance, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

She said terminal operators and even railways won’t work the ship or touch the cargo until they get paid up-front.

Hanjin was more than $5 billion in debt when its banks pulled the plug this week. The company filed for protection from creditors.

In Seattle and Tacoma, terminals have stopped serving Hanjin ships.

But there is still hope for Hanjin containers at the Husky Terminal in Tacoma. According to Husky’s website, it is still possible to unload Hanjin cargo.

Mattina specified that that cargo would need to come in on a K Line ship, not Hanjin.

K Line and Hanjin are part of the CKYHE alliance – one of several alliances meant to help shipping companies survive a decline in global shipping. In Hanjin’s case, it hasn't worked.

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