Companies manufacturing in China have been warned to prepare for a spot of monkey business this Chinese New Year.
The Chinese holiday, or Spring Festival as its also known is marked by the lunisolar Chinese calendar and is an important traditional holiday, but it may disrupt some US supply chains.
Shippers sourcing from China and other areas in Asia should be aware that government, construction and factories will be closed during the period of 7th – 13th February.
This is because festivities traditionally start the day before the New Year begins (8th February) and continues until the Lantern Festival, which is 15 days after the New Year.
Diana Maure of Lilly and Associates, International Freight Forwarders explains that the holiday may lead to a rush to ship goods before the holiday starts: “That rush, both before and after Chinese New Year puts an increased stress on the supply chain, causing congestion and capacity issues for shippers. Along with the rush, it has become the norm for ocean carriers to omit one to two sailings a week during the most popular deadline date for production. These omissions, creating more demand, create further delays at the port and for shippers who need to secure space on these carriers.”
Therefore, this could mean that companies manufacturing in China may experience a rush in production rates before the holiday to compensate for the loss of working days.
But there is some good news for the supply chain. Some ports may be operating with reduced staff numbers, to ensure that perishable goods don’t go to waste during the holiday.
Of course, the holiday is celebrated every year and the supply chain will be aware of the possible disruptions, but it’s better to be prepared; especially in the year of the monkey which is seen as the most unlucky year in the Chinese calendar!