The Chinese New Year and the year of the ox is just around the corner. According to the Chinese zodiac, people born in the year of the ox are known for their diligence, dependability, strength, and determination. The Chinese New Year is a busy season that requires preparation. To make sure your goods arrive on time, here are five tips on how to prepare your shipments.
CNY usually affects almost all industries
In 2021, we celebrate the year of the ox. The ox is associated with the earthly branch, early morning hours, and is yin as opposite to yang. 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 12th February this year, marks the traditional start of celebrations. But festivities really kick off on 4th February with the little year, followed by the Spring Festival on 12th February and ending with the Lantern Festival on 26th February.
Despite it being a long-drawn-out celebration, there are usually only seven actual days of a 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 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.
How to prepare your for shipments for CNY 2021
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 CNY
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
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 date.
3. Choose a multimodal service to avoid higher rates
Ask your freight forwarder for the option of using a transport service that combines different modes of transport such as the 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 PTL (Partial Truck Load) to avoid congestion
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 out 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.