The Chinese Golden Week is a week-long holiday in China that actually happens twice a year in what are known as golden weeks. As importers rush to move shipments out of China before the holidays, capacity is expected to be tight and prices high for both ocean and air freight due to the fact that most factory, warehouse, and office workers are given their vacation at the same time so that the companies in the country can close down completely.
The first, known as the Chinese Lunar New Year Golden Week, is at the start of the year in January/February, giving people time off to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
The second Golden Week, known as National Day Golden Week, in 2019 will be celebrated from October 1st. to October 7. Factories will close for the extended holiday week, and operations will resume on Tuesday, October 8.
How Chinese Golden Week affect logistics?
prices for ocean and air freight will go up As demand for Chinese exports rises due to importers attempting to get their exports out of the country before the factories completely shut-down their operations, this will further constrain space which is already in a tight situation due to the peak season.
Trucking services at origin will also experience high demands, so naturally, prices for trucking will be higher than usual.
Immediately after the Golden Week, carriers will announce blank sailings in order to optimize their vessel utilization. Because factories will be closed during this week-long holiday, blank sailings are inevitable until operations resume their labor and new shipments can be booked.
How importers can prepare for Golden Weeks?
Either it is for the winter holiday or just to keep your inventory stocked, as an importer your main concern is for your cargo to arrive in time if you’re shipping via ocean. During the Chinese Golden Weeks, we recommend to book your shipments with at least 2 weeks of anticipation to the holidays, plan ahead, and work closely with your logistics provider to avoid any unnecessary delays.
- Book 1 week prior to Golden Week if you’re shipping by air.
- Book 2-3 weeks prior to Golden Week if you’re shipping by ocean
- Share your forecast with your logistics partner as soon as you can.
- Define which shipments are the most urgent and communicate it to your logistics partner.
Consider alternative options.
- Services with longer transit are less keen to be overbooked, consider a slightly longer transit in order for your cargo to not be rolled.
- An alternate port of discharge might be a good option (if your cargo is moving inland) as this will give you more sailing options to choose from.
- Also, consider air shipments if you’re in a rush. Keep in mind that prices for air shipments are considerably higher compared to ocean shipments, especially during peak season where tight capacity has made the prices rise above the usual market.