China is getting ready for Golden Week, a seven-day festival, for which the country goes into virtual shut-down. Factories close and forwarders, logistics providers and other supply chain participants also shut their doors as China and Hong Kong celebrate this holiday.

The week-long New Year and Golden Week holidays occur every year, but they never cease to cause supply chain disruption to unwary shippers. We run through best practice below.

In 2018, Golden Week will be celebrated from 1st-7th October. Businesses will close for the extended holiday week, with operations resuming on Monday, 8th October.

The 1st October was established in 1949 as the Memorial Day for the founding of the People’s Republic of China. This first day of Golden Week, Chinese National Day, is also observed in Hong Kong.

Norman Global Logistics office closures:
China mainland; 1st to 7th October 2018
Hong Kong; 1st October 2018

While airlines will be struggling with excessive passenger traffic during the holiday, ocean carriers often start to withdraw services and capacity ahead of the peak season. The run up to Golden Week and the following fortnight always generates extremely high demand and the early start of the peak season adds further pressure on this lack of space.

Time pressure, lack of space, stock-outs and other issues make shipping around Golden Week particularly difficult, and is why we encourage customers trading with China to factor this annual event into their shipping schedules, along with the New Year holiday and the annual peak seasons.

We recommend always booking your freight up to four weeks in advance of these holiday periods and, if possible adapting your shipping schedule to avoid them and the potential of higher shipping costs altogether.

However, even the best prepared shippers get last-minute orders, or experience sudden increases in customer demand, which have to be managed, even at this challenging time.

If you have to ship over Golden Week, our colleagues in China are best placed to use their local contacts to assess the best shipping line carrier options in terms of availability and costs.

And, if you have deadlines to hit over Golden Week they can find the most economic and favourable air freight options to hit your target at lowest price.

Planning for Golden Week 2018

  • Learn from experience: Which goods where you short of? Why did a shortage happen? Make adjustments accordingly
  • Increase shipping volumes: Get critical goods into stock ahead of Golden Week
  • Plan your shipping schedule: Consider all major holidays at origin and destination and plan them in with your factories
  • Talk to us: We have the local offices, network and expertise to assist you at challenging times