Chinese New Year (CNY), known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is an important event that influences the global freight market due to the extended national holidays.
Festivities usually last until the following full moon and can impact supply chains for weeks or even months as many corporations and factories will shut down days ahead of time and workers return home for the annual celebration. It means one of the world’s largest exporters shuts down for nearly a month.
It impacts the capacity to and from China in general. Shipping delays, long transit times, and flight cancellations are all possible consequences.
This year, the lingering pandemic and COVID policy change may also complicate matters for the upcoming holiday, as well as cause great uncertainty in influencing the logistics of transport.
When is Chinese New Year 2023?
The date of CNY varies from year to year. Therefore, it is crucial for companies that source products from China to be aware of the exact dates of the holiday.
In 2023, the Chinese welcome the Year of Rabbit on Sunday, January 22nd, and celebrations culminate with the Lantern Festival on February 5th. Celebrations last up to 16 days, but only the first 7 days are considered a public holiday.
Public holidays are from Jan. 21st to Jan. 27th.
How does CNY affect production?
With the holiday beginning in late January this year, suppliers slow down production by late December. Only a skeletal workforce would be working the factories by the middle of January. On January 21, production will officially shut down. Most employees would return to work in the middle of February, so normal production levels will usually resume after four to six weeks.
In the absence of manpower, the remaining staff can’t meet the usual volume of work. It may even affect product quality standards.
Some workers won’t return after the celebration, so the factory needs to start recruiting new workers, and these workers do not get the training that they need. As a result, it’s possible that retailers receive substandard products for the rest of their orders.
Understand the unusual circumstances – With Covid-19 restrictions being lifted earlier this month, the surging Covid cases may cause additional disruption such as manpower shortages. However, it is still uncertain what the impacts on logistics transport and export will be.
Some tips when planning ahead:
Don’t forget to plan for the inventory needed to get you through the holiday;
Communicate with your supplier, and understand their production and capacity level;
Try to ship your order prior to CNY, and plan departures from terminals in China a few days before the holiday;
Declare shipment as soon as possible - customs offices throughout China will be closed during the national public holidays;
Be aware of policy changes that may influence the supply chain;
- Work closely with logistics providers to develop accurate forecasts;
If you have some questions, please get in touch with us, our local team members are dedicated and can be "your partners" in China, and we can help with quality control of production for your company.