Freight forwarder Dachser has urged shippers to be proactive in preparing for the Chinese New Year.
The forwarder’s America-based business warned that Chinese manufacturers would close factories for one to four weeks for the Chinese holiday, which this year begins on January 25.
All suppliers will wind down operations one to two weeks in advance of the holiday. In total, the holiday impacts about two months of production, it added.
Guido Gries, managing director, Dachser Americas, said: “With the upcoming Chinese New Year period, it is a time of many challenges for importers and exports. Proactive planning and preparation are key to effectively navigating and managing supply chain issues that could occur during this time; ensuring that freight is handled consistently and without interruption.
“We have reviewed the critical steps that are needed to prepare for Chinese New Year with our customers well in advance. This proactive preparation helps to ensure that there is minimal disruption to their global supply chains.”
The forwarder said shippers should build up adequate inventory to cover a period of four weeks after the Chinese New Year and also contact manufacturers to see if they can carry out operations in non-Asian locations.
It also recommended that bookings should be made well in advance, forwarders should be told of any priority shipments and space should be reserved on passenger flights for any shipments that cannot be delayed.
The coming year is the year of the rat. The Lunar New Year is also celebrated in other Asian countries such as Vietnam and Korea also at the same time.
The celebration is typically a time when Asians travel and visit relatives to celebrate the festivities with loved ones. For instance, some 80m Chinese workers, most from urban areas along China’s coast, travel back to their rural hometowns.