How to avoid delays during Chinese New Year 2024?

Chinese New Year (CNY), also called Lunar New Year, is one of the most important traditional holidays in China, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, and other Asian countries. Chinese New Year 2024 falls on February 10. The celebration of this holiday affects the global supply chain. How to avoid delays during Chinese New Year 2024?

What is the cause of delays during Chinese New Year 2024?

Chinese New Year is a time for family gatherings, rest, and participation in New Year events. Public holidays in the People’s Republic of China for this occasion are from February 10 to 17, and employers should arrange paid leave for employees on February 9 (Chinese New Year’s Eve). 

Even though the Chinese officially have over a week off from work, preparations for CNY start much earlier. Many factories shut down production earlier when worker leave to get to their hometowns on time.

Importing during Chinese New Year 2024 – schedule

  • Until mid-January 2024 – the busiest period in factories
  • End of January 2024 – factories phase out manufacturing
  • Early February 2024 – employees start going away for the holidays; ports have limited operational capacity  
  • February 9–16, 2024 – Chinese New Year, factory shutdown
  • Mid-February 2024 – workers return to factories
  • Early March 2024 – operation in factories returns to normal

Read more about the impact of Chinese New Year 2024 on imports.

Transport from China during the Chinese New Year 

Here’s how Chinese New Year celebrations affect shipping from China:

  • sea freight: the last shipments before the Chinese New Year are scheduled on February 2; after this period, shipments will resume on February 18
  • air freight: dispatch is available until January 30, in some cases, on February 5-7; the situation will get back on track on February 19
  • rail and road freight: shipments are scheduled until January 30, and urgent shipments will be collected on February 8 or 13; the situation will normalize on February 18-19.

How to avoid delays during the Chinese New Year 2024? Advice for importers

Plan your imports months before the Chinese New Year

  • Anticipate the down season and plan your schedule accordingly.
  • Distribute time-consuming tasks appropriately.
  • Set deadlines for tasks with your team in preparation for the Chinese New Year.
  • Be sure that you will receive documents and other materials on time.

Maintaining contact with business partners

  • Stay in contact with suppliers, forwarders, and other contractors.
  • Ask about holiday schedules and the potential impact on your orders.

Perform more quality control

  • Carry out increased quality control at various stages of the order before and after the holiday season – goods manufactured during this time are often of lower quality.

Stock up in your warehouse

  • Be sure that you have a stock of products for the factory shutdown, including the possible transit time.

Work with a reliable forwarder

  • Working with a reliable shipping agent will be a huge advantage.
  • Book your container/space in advance.

Look for alternatives

  • Find alternative suppliers and service providers.
  • Consider choosing different means of transportation.

Adapt your marketing strategies

  • When planning your marketing campaigns, keep the holiday season in mind.

Inform your customers

  • Inform customers of potential delays and set realistic expectations.

Stay updated

  • Pay special attention to ongoing projects and make necessary changes based on real-time feedback and developments.

If you follow these tips, you will certainly reduce the negative effects that the Chinese New Year celebrations could have on your imports.