As head of air freight for Greencarrier International, I am often asked about the best way to prepare for air freight deliveries so as to avoid unnecessary costs and delays. The advice I usually give is: do your research, plan well in advance and maintain a regular dialogue between all relevant parties. In this article I will address these three simple steps and give you a few tips to help you follow them and optimise your logistics supply chain.
1 Research as much as you can about your logistics supply chain
With the rapid growth of E-commerce over the past decade, air freight has become an essential link in the logistics supply chain for a lot of companies and organisations. But this link will only run smoothly and reward you if you are fully informed about events and circumstances that can affect your regular schedule. This means keeping yourself informed of local holidays and celebrations for the regions you ship to and from.
One of Greencarrier’s main logistics hubs is located in China, and it is the home market for many of our clients. Although we are in contact with China on a daily basis, it is easy to forget exactly when each cultural celebration or peak logistics season begins and ends. Which is why we’ve drawn up a handy list of Chinese holidays and celebrations – located at the end of this article. But it is a good idea to stay on top of this type of information for all of your logistics markets.
2 Plan your air freight shipments well in advance
Doing your research is all well and good, but you have to know how to use the information if you are to avoid those extra costs or delays. Luckily, that is easier than it sounds. Once you know the dates of your planned air freight shipments, simply check these against your research and then readjust your schedule to allow for any possible delays.
It’s generally a good idea to book air freight shipments at least two weeks in advance. And, because of the increased demand around certain dates, shipping rates may go up. Bear in mind that you may have to pay extra if you want a guaranteed space on a specific date.
At Greencarrier, we’re constantly analysing market developments so we can help our customers plan their shipping schedule. In my experience, this makes it much easier to prevent bottlenecks and unforeseen expenses.
3 Maintain a regular dialogue with everyone involved in your logistics supply chain
Regular communication usually leads to fewer misunderstandings and oversights. This is particularly true when it comes to logistics. Maintaining a close dialogue with your supplier or manufacturer reduces the risk of last minute surprises. It also enables you to provide your freight forwarder with updates to your anticipated air freight volumes and/or dates.
When your logistics provider is kept informed of any potential changes, this enables them to plan your shipments more precisely. Which means a smoother goods flow for everyone involved and, at the end of the day, fewer delays and a much more predictable budget.
An optimised shipping calendar keeps everything running smoothly
Following these three simple steps – research, plan and communicate – is a great way to keep everything running smoothly. And, as I said, it will help you avoid any unnecessary costs or delays.
If you’re looking for a logistics partner to help you draw up an optimised shipping calendar for the year, then myself and my colleagues here at Greencarrier Freight Services would love to hear from you.
I hope you found this article helpful and if you’d like to read more about preparing for shipments to China, then I warmly recommend our recent article about Chinese New Year 2020: 5 tips on how to prepare for shipments.
CALENDAR OF HOLIDAYS AND CELEBRATIONS
The following calendar of Chinese holidays and celebrations in 2020 should only be used as a guideline.
Type of event
|1 Jan||Wednesday||New Year’s Day||National holiday|
|19 Jan||Sunday||Special Working Day||Working day on weekend|
|24 Jan||Friday||Spring Festival Eve||National holiday|
|25 Jan||Saturday||Chinese New Year||National holiday|
|26 Jan||Sunday||Spring Festival Golden Week holiday||National holiday|
|27 Jan||Monday||Spring Festival Golden Week holiday||National holiday|
|28 Jan||Tuesday||Spring Festival Golden Week holiday||National holiday|
|29 Jan||Wednesday||Spring Festival Golden Week holiday||National holiday|
|30 Jan||Thursday||Spring Festival Golden Week holiday||National holiday|
|1 Feb||Saturday||Special Working Day||Working day on weekend|
|8 Feb||Saturday||Lantern Festival||Observance|
|24 Feb||Monday||Zhonghe Festival||Observance|
|8 Mar||Sunday||International Women’s Day||Half day holiday|
|12 Mar||Thursday||Arbor Day||Observance|
|20 Mar||Friday||March Equinox||Season|
|4 Apr||Saturday||Qing Ming Jie||National holiday|
|5 Apr||Sunday||Qing Ming Jie holiday||National holiday|
|6 Apr||Monday||Qing Ming Jie holiday||National holiday|
|26 Apr||Sunday||Special Working Day||Working day on weekend|
|1 May||Friday||Labour Day||National holiday|
|2 May||Saturday||Labour Day Holiday||National holiday|
|3 May||Sunday||Labour Day Holiday||National holiday|
|4 May||Monday||Labour Day Holiday||National holiday|
|4 May||Monday||Youth Day||Half day holiday|
|5 May||Tuesday||Labour Day Holiday||National holiday|
|9 May||Saturday||Special Working Day||Working day on weekend|
|1 Jun||Monday||Children’s Day||National holiday|
|21 Jun||Sunday||June Solstice||Season|
|25 Jun||Thursday||Dragon Boat Festival||National holiday|
|26 Jun||Friday||Dragon Boat Festival holiday||National holiday|
|27 Jun||Saturday||Dragon Boat Festival holiday||National holiday|
|28 Jun||Sunday||Special Working Day||Working day on weekend|
|1 Jul||Wednesday||CPC Founding Day||Observance|
|11 Jul||Saturday||Maritime Day||Observance|
|1 Aug||Saturday||Army Day||National holiday|
|25 Aug||Tuesday||Chinese Valentine’s Day||Observance|
|2 Sept||Wednesday||Spirit Festival||Observance|
|10 Sept||Thursday||Teachers’ Day||Observance|
|22 Sept||Tuesday||September Equinox||Season|
|27 Sept||Sunday||Special Working Day||Working day on weekend|
|1 Oct||Thursday||National Day||National holiday|
|1 Oct||Thursday||Mid-Autumn Festival||National holiday|
|2 Oct||Friday||National Day Golden Week holiday||National holiday|
|3 Oct||Saturday||National Day Golden Week holiday||National holiday|
|4 Oct||Sunday||National Day Golden Week holiday||National holiday|
|5 Oct||Monday||National Day Golden Week holiday||National holiday|
|6 Oct||Tuesday||National Day Golden Week holiday||National holiday|
|7 Oct||Wednesday||National Day Golden Week holiday||National holiday|
|8 Oct||Thursday||National Day Golden Week holiday||National holiday|
|10 Oct||Saturday||Special Working Day||Working day on weekend|
|25 Oct||Sunday||Double Ninth Festival||Observance|
|8 Nov||Sunday||Journalists’ Day||Observance|
|21 Dec||Monday||December Solstice||Season|
|25 Dec||Friday||Christmas Day||Observance|