In 2020, Chinese New Year (CNY) is early, 24-30th January, and will catch out more unwary shippers than usual. These Chinese New Year shipping tips will safeguard you and your supply chain.
Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China, with hundreds of millions travelling to see their families during the festival. Over 2.5 billion journeys, make it the world’s biggest annual human migration.
Factories and offices closes for the extended holiday, so it’s important to plan your supply chain for the impact.
Importers; what you should do before Chinese New Year
Wise importers arrange for their orders to be motion in good time before CNY.
– Delivery time with factories as many orders are to be shipped before the holiday.
– Shipping schedules with your forwarder, as the holiday impacts the schedules and 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. It is critical that you know when your factory can next ship 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 typically decrease with the reduced demand. After holiday carriers often have blank sailings to reduce capacity and harden rates.
Talk to us and let us know how we can help with your planning
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. Many drivers start the holiday days earlier for home leave, which further reduces capacity and increases rates, so it’s important to plan timely.
Shipping Tips for Chinese New Year
1. Plan delivery schedule ahead with suppliers and forwarders.
2. Avoid short-notice orders.
3. Place bookings for transportation timely, 2-3 weeks prior to departure for ocean freight.
4. LCL cargo; check schedules and arrange timely delivery. Terminals and traffic are congested in the last weeks before the holiday closure.
5. For multiple containers, consider splitting in several B/L to safeguard delivery, if there is any disruption in shipping performance.
6. Beware of demurrage charges, that can occur if cargo is missing the last closing vessel, or held by China customs.
7. Air freight and Rail freight is an option for urgent deliveries, communicate with your forwarder.
8. Check again and reconfirm schedules with all involved in the period before the holiday.