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  • Hanjin Shipping Declares Bankruptcy: Stranded Cargo Prompts Financial Preparedness

    Hanjin Shipping

    On August 31, Hanjin Shipping declared bankruptcy. The South Korean company’s declaration left $14 billion worth of cargo and more than half a million containers stranded offshore, as ports fearful of going unpaid refused to allow the company’s ships to dock or unload.

    So why should we care?

    First, Hanjin Shipping transports 8 percent of manufactured goods that enter into the United States. Look around. Imagine if one item of every 12 you see suddenly became unavailable. It adds up fast, doesn’t it? Companies like Wal-Mart and Target are twiddling their thumbs while they wait for Hanjin to work out how it’s going to pay to get everything unloaded. Even if they don’t have anything on the ships in limbo, they still have to try to find other ways to ship their goods. Samsung, for example, is considering sending smartphones and devices in cargo planes to accommodate its U.S. market. That’s going to cost extra.

    And this time of year, as retailers order more goods for holidays, there’s not a lot of extra shipping space to go around. Already, freight prices for Asia-U.S. cargo have jumped 40 percent, according to The Wall Street Journal. Honestly, what are the odds retailers won’t pass any of these costs on to consumers?

    Second, for the moment, fewer manufactured goods are reaching the U.S. Though no one is predicting shortages, and every financial planner predicts the bankruptcy mess will be sorted out by the end of the year, it means supply could be temporarily reduced, again driving up prices right around the holidays.

    “This is not impacting store shelves now,” Nate Herman, a senior vice president for the American Apparel & Footwear Association, told The Wall Street Journal. “It will impact store shelves if the situation isn’t resolved.”

    pipeline-colonial-pipeline Hanjin Shipping Leaking oil pipe in Alabama - Image via Colonial Pipeline

    The world is a global marketplace. A bankruptcy in Asia can cause the cost of goods to increase in Indianapolis. A leaking oil pipe in Alabama can cause fuel shortages and governors to declare states of emergency in six states.

    “The key to keep in mind is that anything can happen,” said Kaylee Chen, a peer mentor at the University of Utah Personal Money Management Center, in an e-mail. Add, “anywhere.”

    “Therefore, always prepare for any possible emergency,” she said.

    Start by building long-term food storage. And don’t be afraid to use it when you need it.

    Early in 2015, avian influenza affected more than 35 million egg-laying hens, or 12 percent of the domestic population, according to a June 22, 2015 blog from the American Egg Board.

    The USDA’s Egg Market News Report said for the week of June 22, 2015 a dozen large eggs sold for a $2.35 national average. The average price over the previous three years, for the same week, was about 95 cents.

    If you have powdered eggs when eggs prices are sky high, you can use them instead. This 2010 article in the Deseret News, a Utah newspaper, tells how to use powdered eggs in everyday cooking.

    Second, have an emergency savings.

    Kayleen Chen, a peer mentor at the University of Utah’s Personal Money Management Center, suggested the 50/30/20 rule. Fifty percent of a paycheck should go toward fixed expenses, like house payments and utilities. Discretionary expenses that can be adjusted, like grocery bills and fuel, should take up about 30 percent. Twenty percent should go toward short-term savings, an emergency fund and retirement.

    Hanjin Shipping Containers

    The short-term savings fund is for future expenses like holidays or a down payment. An emergency fund helps when things come up like car repairs or doctor bills, to avoid paying for them with high-interest debt like credit cards or short-term loans.

    Women should put 12 percent of their salary toward retirement; men 10 percent, Chen said.

    “The reality is that women live longer and make less income than men,” she said.

    Third, get out of debt. Interest never stops, even when you’re struggling.

    Consider learning additional skills that can translate into side jobs for additional income or to help get out of debt. Chen used the example of a piano teacher. She also encouraged a budget or lifestyle change. Peter Dunn, a financial columnist for USA Today, suggested decreasing spending by 10 to 15 percent over time.

    Personal finance collapses like job loss, divorce, medical emergencies and retirement are far more common than a major shipping company’s collapse. Creating a long-term food storage, getting out of debt and saving can reduce their impact.


    Disaster_Blog_Banner Hanjin Shipping

  • Our Christmas Shipping Schedule

    Need to get a last-minute order shipped in time for Christmas? We’re here to help! We want you to get your gifts on time, whether they’re shipping to your house or directly to the recipient. Take a look at the charts below to determine the day and time your order needs to be placed to guarantee arrival by Christmas!*

    Christmas Guaranteed Shipping Chart

    Ground Shipping Guarantee

    We guarantee that your products will arrive before Christmas if you place your order on or before the designated last day and time to order for your shipping zone (see the chart above). You can shop with 100% confidence by following the chart above to determine your order deadline.

    • If, for some reason, your product does not arrive in time for Christmas, you can refuse the shipment and get a full refund of your purchase price and shipping fees.
    • If your order does not arrive by Christmas and you would still like to keep the shipment, we will refund your shipping charges. Accept the order from FedEx and give us a call to arrange the refund.

    This shipping guarantee is our way of helping lift the stress of the holidays juuuust a little bit. Keep in mind, though, that all the items on the order need to be in stock in order to guarantee the shipping time frame.

    *Restrictions may apply.

    Expedited Shipping Also Available!

    This year we’ve teamed up with FedEx, a leader in the shipping industry, to offer expedited shipping options. While we can’t offer the guarantee or refunds on expedited shipments that we offer on ground shipments, you can still order with confidence, knowing FedEx will do their utmost to get those items delivered on time.

    • FedEx’s 3-day shipping typically has a 100% on-time delivery rate
    • FedEx’s 2-day shipping is on time around 99% of the time
    • FedEx’s Standard Overnight Shipping boasts around 98% on-time delivery

    Of course, inclement weather, the volume of shipments going out nationally, and your geographic location may influence when your package ultimately arrives (rural and residential shipping percentages are typically not as high as commercial and urban locations). However, FedEx’s reputation and the statistics above illustrate the reliability of their expedited shipping program. And, again, remember that your order items all need to be in stock for your expedited order to leave the warehouse on time.

    Check out our Holiday Gift Guides

    Looking for some great emergency preparedness gift ideas? Take a look at our Gift Guides:

    Holiday Gift Guide, $50 and Under

    Holiday Gift Guide, $10-$25

    Holiday Gift Guide, $10 and Under

    Crazy for Christmas! Holiday Gift Combos

    And don’t forget goodies like Freeze Dried Ice Cream and small MyChoice cans of Yogurt Bites or Cinnamon Apple Slices!

    Help Santa (and yourself) by ordering early to avoid those last minute delivery disappointments. The Christmas rush goes faster and faster as the holiday approaches, and we greatly appreciate all our customers who get their orders in on time.

    We wish you the happiest of holiday seasons!

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