CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Culture

That Samsung fridge on your holiday list could be stuck at sea

The electronics giant is fighting to get 1,500 tons of its products from ships that are unable to dock in California so they'll be in stores in time for Black Friday.

Up to $38 million of Samsung's products are stranded out at sea in California, and it could cost the company even more to get them back in time for the holidays.

Target shopping

Samsung worries the shipping hold-up could affect holiday shoppers.

Target

The South Korean electronics giant is fighting to get 1,469 tons of its products off two Hanjin Shipping vessels, which are currently unable to dock in Long Beach, California, because Hanjin filed for bankruptcy on August 31.

The stranded ships could leave holiday shoppers high and dry as well, as Samsung worries the hold-up of its television and home appliances could disrupt supplies supply during the critical months ahead of Black Friday.

U.S. Congress members raised the same concerns on Tuesday, urging the Department of Commerce to work with Hanjin and the ports in time for the shopping season.

"We are entering peak season -- when the entire shipping industry must work together to get gifts on shelves for holiday shoppers -- our priority should be getting these ships unloaded," a letter signed by members of the Congressional Port caucus said.

Hanjin's vessels are holding $24.4 million in television parts meant for factories in Mexico, along with $13.5 million in refrigerators, washing machines, microwave ovens and dishwashers, Jung Tae Ahn, the senior vice president of the company's Visual Display Business division, said in court documents.

With Samsung's haul stuck in 616 containers on the seas near California, the company would have to charter at least 16 planes to airlift its 1,469 tons of products off the marooned ships -- an $8.8 million plan that comes at "great costs," it said in court documents.

"These losses will continue to escalate so long as the cargo aboard these ships remain unloaded," Samsung said in the filing.

Samsung said it was "taking measures to minimize any impact on our business."

Hanjin Shipping filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in South Korea, affecting 85 vessels across the world in 26 countries. Ports are refusing to allow Hanjin Shipping vessels to dock due to concerns over delinquent fees, according to Bloomberg.

As the business faces up to $5.5 billion in debt, its parent company Hanjin Group has chipped in $90 million in relief funds for the cargo costs.

South Korea's Ministry of Strategy and Finance is expecting a ruling Friday in Hanjin's favor, which would allow Samsung's shipment, as well as several other cargo vessels, to unload in the Long Beach port, the Associated Press reported.