Chinese New Year to slow freight

( Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Cecioka )

While the holiday rush starts in North America a few weeks before Thanksgiving, there is a holiday rush going on already in China as well. The rush has a way of affecting shipping industries that do business in the mainland, according to a blog post by John Good Shipping. As a shipping company familiar with the level of supply chain disruption in this part of the East, it did not mince words in claiming that “because, while China celebrates the New Year, your suppliers and manufacturers will completely shut down.”

The Chinese New Year actually starts on Feb. 16, 2018, but goes on for five days. As such, it will mean workers are preoccupied with the preparations that come with organizing events in the run-up to the holiday season in China. Some China-based companies grant their employees vacation leave to allow them to get home, with some factories closing for up to three weeks. The celebrations even break out of the 5-day limit seeing holiday-related events that go as far as March 2, 2018.

If there is delay in production, delays occur in shipment as well. Freight shipping by sea will get tight. John Good Shipping noted that “carriers usually start to pull capacity out in preparation for the low down with blank sailings and port omissions.”

During the week of celebrations, no new orders get processed for suppliers because factories are closed and workers in holiday mode. 

Orders placed after Jan. 26, 2018, have the change to be impacted. Cautious enterprises send in their orders before Jan. 19. Consignments for enterprises expecting their shipment by sea freight are secured before or on the first week of February 2018. Coordinating with your chosen freight forwarder is highly advised to “get your consignments to their port of origin.”

Similar precautionary measures apply for companies using air freight with flights to be rigorously busy towards the Chinese New Year itself. Costly transactions are expected the later you book the shipment’s flight.

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