5 tips on how to prepare for shipments during Chinese New Year

By Carman Yeung, December 11, 2018

Time to celebrate! The Chinese New Year – and the year of the pig – is around the corner. According to the Chinese zodiac, people born in the year of the pig are blessed with good fortune in life. To stay lucky, also with your shipments during this festive yet busy season, I present to you five tips on how to prepare.

Why you need to prepare for shipments during Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year is the most important festival in China with celebrations going on for more than three weeks. It kicks off on January 28th with the Little Year, continuing with the Spring Festival, and ending with the Lantern Festival that goes on until February 19th.

Despite the long-lasting celebration, there are usually only seven days of public holiday. However, many factories allow for a longer holiday as the majority of the employees are migrant workers who take this opportunity to travel to their hometowns in the countryside to spend time with their families.

Without sufficient labour, the factories are unable to maintain normal production and there will be a long shutdown period. China being a world factory, this means hundreds of thousands of manufacturers are away for celebration, affecting most industries.

How to prepare for shipments during Chinese New Year

Before and during Chinese New Year, space gets booked fast, shipping rates go up because of limited capacity, and transit times increase due to congestion. To avoid unnecessary costs and delays, there are a few things you can do.

1. Keep a close dialogue with your manufacturer to stay updated on production

First of all, keep a close dialogue with your manufacturer to make sure the production process is on schedule – you may also want to buffer for the CNY. By identifying the production speed, you will have enough time to update your freight forwarder on the prognosis of your goods volumes and any possible changes prior to shipment.

2. Book your shipment in advance to secure space for your goods

Book your shipment as early as possible, preferably a month in advance, to secure space for your goods. Some freight forwarders are able to provide you with a peak season schedule and reserve space for your goods based on the analysis of past shipping data.

3. Consider choosing a multimodal service to avoid increased shipping rates

Ask your freight forwarder for the possibility to use a transport service that combines different modes of transport such as sea, air, road, and rail. Sometimes, choosing a multimodal transport service with slightly longer transit time pays off as the regular services with the faster transit times tend to get overbooked.

4. Book Partial Truck Load to avoid congestion and extra trucking wait fees

Extreme amounts of goods are shipped off during the holiday season. Therefore, keep the inland trucking ability in mind. It may be a good idea to book a Partial Truck Load to avoid congestion, extra trucking wait fees, and long transit time as there is usually no need to stop at distribution terminals along the way with this service.

5. Keep an eye on the Cargo Ready Date for the possibility of early shipment

The Cargo Ready Date, the day the cargo is expected to be available, usually shifts a lot prior to the Chinese New Year when the factories kick into high-gear. Make sure to check the date regularly as it may be possible to arrange an early shipment with your freight forwarder if your cargo is ready earlier than expected.

We help you book smart and effective transport solutions prior to CNY

Are you feeling stressed about your shipment? No worries! Greencarrier Freight Services has extensive knowledge and vast experience in operating in the Chinese market. We offer a wide range of transport solutions as well as added-value services to optimise your goods flow. From our office in China and the Nordic countries, we help you book smart and effective transport solutions to make sure your good will arrive safely on time.

But most of all, we hope that the new year will be a great one, bringing lots of joy and happiness to everyone! To all of you who celebrate the Chinese New Year, we just want to say: 新 年 快 乐!

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