Time to celebrate! The Chinese New Year – and the Year of the Rat – is just around the corner. According to the Chinese zodiac, people born in the Year of the Rat are blessed with material success, wellness and luxury in life. To help you remain successful, in particular 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 the main celebrations lasting for more than three weeks. The Laba festival, which falls on 2 January this year, marks the traditional start of celebrations. But festivities really kick off on 17 January with the Little Year, followed by the Spring Festival on 25 January and ending with the Lantern Festival on 8 February.
Despite it being a long-drawn-out celebration, there are usually only seven actual days of public holiday. However, many factories allow for a longer holiday as the majority of employees are migrant workers who see the time off as an opportunity to visit to their rural villages and spend time with their families.
During this time, factories are unable to maintain a normal production volume due to lower staff levels, resulting in a long shutdown period. As China has become something of a world factory, this means that hundreds of thousands of manufacturers are away celebrating, which affects almost all industries.
Chinese New Year: How to prepare for shipments during this busy time
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. Maintain a close dialogue with your manufacturer during Chinese New Year to say updated on production
First of all, maintain 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 higher shipping rates
Ask your freight forwarder for the option of using 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 times pays off, as the regular services with faster transit times tend to get overbooked.
4. Book a Partial Truck Load to avoid congestion and extra trucking wait fees
Extreme volumes of goods get shipped during the holiday season. So it is a good idea to keep the inland trucking option in mind. You might want to book a Partial Truck Load to avoid congestion, extra trucking wait fees and long transit times, as this service doesn’t usually involve having to stop at distribution terminals along the way.
5. Keep an eye on the cargo ready date for the possibility of early shipment
The cargo ready date, i.e. the day the cargo is expected to be available, usually shifts a lot prior to the Chinese New Year when the factories kick into a higher 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 2020
Are you feeling stressed about your shipment? No worries! Greencarrier Freight Services has extensive knowledge and vast experience of 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 offices in China and the Nordic countries, we help you book smart and effective transport solutions that ensure your goods arrive safely and 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! And to everyone celebrating the Chinese New Year, we just want to say: 新 年 快 乐!