Lunar New Year 2023 – (The Year of the Rabbit) – With Cooling Demand, Crane WW Logistics Expects Lessened Impact in 2023

SOURCE: Crane Worldwide Logistics

The holiday starts from Spring Festival Eve, so in 2023 it is from Jan. 21st to Jan.27th. In some cases, the holiday period may allow for extended time off for workers. The Lunar New Year dates change every year because the festival is based on the Chinese lunar calendar. We advise getting your shipments prepared and ready because many factories will shut down in China and other countries celebrating the lunar calendar.

How will transportation and logistics services be impacted by the Chinese New Year holiday?

The Chinese New Year holiday is a time for family reunions, a lot of people travel across China back to their hometowns to visit their parents and relatives. Thus a special phenomenon called Spring Festival Travel Rush or Spring Festival Migration arises before and after the Chinese New Year, every year so workers can spend time with family and friends who live further afield. In previous holidays in China, due to the COVID zero policy, less travel has happened to avoid the potential of COVID outbreaks.

In usual circumstances, many workers head to their home towns and quite often, factories release them from duties as early as the middle of January. In general, workers resume work after Lantern Festival. There are also some workers who decide to stay in the city where they work during the holiday, this enables factories to at least provide skeleton cover of work during the holiday season. Frequently, production sites will issue an office closure notice for Chinese new year.

COVID restrictions in China have created significant disruption over the past few years, however, it does appear that restrictions are easing due to fewer COVID outbreaks in China.

Does this also apply for truck drivers, how will Lunar New Year 2023 impact ground logistics?

It is common for truck drivers to also return to their hometowns. Therefore, during the lunar new year period there is a lack of resources to pick up and deliver goods for export and import. Usually two weeks before the official holiday (this coming year, it begins on January 22nd).

Have Ocean carriers announced their plans on how they will navigate through this season?

With ocean freight volumes decreasing over the past few months due to higher than usual inventory levels and less demand for goods, Chinese New Year will be a good indicator of how much replenishment is needed for stocks worldwide. Flattened demand is expected onwards in to 2023, therefore Chinese New Year factory shutdowns may not impact supply chains as significantly as they have done in previous pre-COVID years.

Ocean carriers have not yet announced their plans for the holiday. In previous years, there would be blank sailings from the latter half of the public holiday to the 2nd week after the holiday.

How will the Air freight sector be impacted by the Lunar New Year 2023?

As for the air market, it is still early to predict the flight options that will be available during the Spring Festival. Our past experience is that there will be less flights during the Lunar New Year holiday period, and customs officials will only be on duty for half a day, every day.  For cargo that is not urgent, we do not recommend clients to export during the one-week holiday, as there are no customs officials available to conduct customs inspection. This means if any cargo is randomly picked for inspection, the shipment will be held at the airport until inspection is completed after the holiday period. Our experience tells us that most importers prefer not to import cargo just a few days before and during the holiday in order to avoid incurrence of unnecessary storage or detention fees caused by issues on customs formalities or just being unable to clear.

  • For Ocean Import shipments into China, we suggest the latest ETA China port January 10th, 2023
  • For Air import shipments, if we aim to deliver before the holiday, we suggest to set the latest ETA of Destination Airport on January 14th, 2023.
  • For urgent shipments, our China team is available to support and communication is vital from all parties to ensure a timely delivery.

Lunar New Year 2023, logistics sector summary

Manufacturing facilities particularly in China usually close their doors to allow employees to enjoy the festive period with their families, planning ahead can help you achieve maximum benefit to your air freight, ocean freight, and logistics schedule and cost. The shutdown is likely to cause delays.

Due to the reduced amount of employees on-site during the festive period, production times may need to be extended. You will need to allow for not just longer production times but also an increased amount of time to receive your quotations.

Production slows down and a backlog of orders is often the case, factories, in general, will process orders from their regular clients and will assign priorities to their most valued clients.

Planning ahead of the site closures is critical and Crane Worldwide Logistics has a number of logistics solutions available to you. If your products allow for a longer delivery lead time, we can always find the best price for you via our ocean freight services.

We have strong relationships with our air freight partners, if this is your preferred option. In addition, Crane Worldwide can offer a road freight service from China to Europe, a reliable trucking service can provide multiple benefits to your supply chain requirements.

With supply chain disruption continuing to create problems for many to move their goods from China into both Europe and the United States, we advise to plan early for the Chinese New Year holidays. International trade has been impacted around the world and lunar new year holidays can create significant delays to your inventory production.

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