2020, Chinese New Year (CNY) is early, January 24-30. This is the most important holiday in China. With hundreds of millions of people to travel to see their families, it is the world’s biggest human migration, approximately 2.5 billion travels made during the festival.
Factories and offices are closed for the long holiday, it’s important to plan your supply chain for the impact.
Importers, what should you do before CNY?
Importers are advised to arrange orders in good time before the CNY.
- Delivery time with factories as many orders are to be shipped before the holiday.
- Shipping schedules with your forwarder as the holiday also impact the schedules and open capacity on vessels, planes, rail, and trucks.
- Factory, how long they close during the holiday, many factories are closed for a further 1-3 weeks after the official holiday, get informed when your factory can ship next time after the holiday.
Impact on freight rates?
From Nov/Dec the market normally sees increased freight rates due to higher demand. This keeps building up to the start of the holiday. After the holiday closure rates normally decrease with the reduced demand. After holiday carriers often have blank sailings to reduce capacity.
How about shipping space and road traffic?
Before CNY, space will be tight due to high demand. Talk with your forwarder for your planning and inform factories to make early bookings to secure space.
Expect trucking shortage due to the high demand the weeks before the holiday, further many truckers start the holiday days earlier for home leave, this further reduces the capacity. This increase rates and it’s important to plan timely.
Shipping Tips for Chinese New Year
- Plan delivery schedule ahead with suppliers and forwarders.
- Avoid short-notice orders.
- Place bookings for transportation timely, 2-3 weeks prior to departure for ocean freight.
- LCL cargo, check schedules and arrange timely delivery, terminals and traffic are congested in the last weeks before the holiday closure.
- For multiple containers, consider if to split in several B/L to secure delivery if any disruption in shipping performance.
- Beware of demurrage charge that can occur if cargo is missing the last closing or held by China’s custom.
- Airfreight and Rail freight is an option for urgent deliveries, communicate with your forwarder.
- Check again and reconfirm schedules with all involved in the period before the holiday.
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