Chinese New Year - 2020


To all our Valued Customers


It is important to note that Chinese New Year (CNY) falls early this year!


Remembering that this year the holiday period is the 24th to the 30th January so no doubt this will catch out a lot of unwary importers and shippers in 2020.


We thought it prudent to provide these Chinese New Year shipping tips as they will reduce the chances of container offloads and delays in 2020.


As we know Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China, with hundreds of millions travelling to see their families during the festival.


Over 2.5 billion journeys, make it the world’s biggest annual human migration.


Factories and offices close for the extended holiday, so it’s important to plan your supply chain for the impact


All shipping lines will be overbooked in January so expect delays and as always, we suggest all importers add an additional 7 days to the into store date.


All Customers, what you should do before Chinese New Year


Purchase order progress


  • Delivery time will be a critical element for shipping again remembering CNY is the 24th Jan to 30th Jan so space will be restricted week 2-5 of 2020.
  • Check with your assigned BRI Customer Solutions Representative so you can discuss Shipping schedules as the holiday impacts the schedules and capacity on vessels and ships.
  • China Factories
    • How long does the factory close during the holiday? We have seen many factories close for a further 1-3 weeks after the official holiday. It is critical that you know when your factory can next ship after the holiday.


Impact on freight rates


In December and January, we normally see all shipping lines passing on increased freight rates due to higher demand. This normally keeps building through January leading into start of the holiday period.


After the holiday period we tend to see a fall in freight rates due to reduced demand although the shipping lines tend to try and counter this by introducing blank sailings which reduce capacity and reduce rate reductions.


Container Space and China Trucking


Before CNY, space will be tight due to the high demand.


All customers should communicate with their factories and insist on earlier container bookings as this will also assist with container planning and loading.


You should also expect trucking shortages in China due to the high demand the weeks before the holiday. Many drivers start the holiday days earlier for home leave, which further reduces capacity and increases rates, so it’s important to plan timely.


Shipping Tips for Chinese New Year

  1. Plan delivery schedule ahead with China factories
  2. Avoid short-notice orders (rushed orders) where possible.
  3. Place bookings for transportation in a more timely basis
    1. 2-3 weeks prior to departure for ocean freight.
  4. Less than container loads
    1. Check schedules and arrange timely delivery.
    2. China Terminals and traffic is congested in the last weeks before the holiday closure.
  5. For more than 1 container per bill of lading, consider splitting them over several bills of lading so as to safeguard delivery, if there is any disruption in shipping performance.
  6. Beware of demurrage charges, that can occur if cargo is delayed at port or held by China customs.
  7. Reconsider air freight where goods are urgent!
  8. Check again with your BRI CS rep and confirm sailing schedules before the holiday period


If you have any questions, please contact your assigned Customer Solutions Representative for assistance.


We thank you for your support and look forward to working with you in 2020.


Keeping you updated

BRi Customer Solutions Team


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