Some who see this blog might say, “Why are they writing about Lunar New Year in October?” To those people, we say, “It’s closer than you think.”
This annual celebration has a habit of sneaking up on supply chains, and since part of the holiday includes two (or up to four) weeks off for nearly a billion people, we decided to discuss it sooner rather than later. After all, working ahead can be the key to success this coming February.
How Lunar New Year Impacts Supply Chains
As Lunar New Year (LNY) approaches, suppliers in China and many Asian countries will begin to shut down their production facilities. Why? Because many of those workers will travel hours to return home for several weeks during the new year celebrations. That means production comes to an absolute screeching halt.
If your organization doesn’t plan ahead, these weeks of festivities can turn into a squeeze for supplies. However, since Lunar New Year is an annual occurrence, nearly everyone in the industry is prepping shipments in advance. That means the sooner your organization can get everything in order, the better. Otherwise, delays can come not just from the holiday but from the rush to get ahead of it, too.
Shipping companies and freight forwarders are well-aware of the delays caused by the Lunar New Year, and they often adjust their schedules accordingly. Before the end of the year, organizations should at least have plans for:
- Increasing supply volume before LNY
- Warehousing any swell in supplies/inventory
- Contingency plans if the supplies/inventory run out before the end of LNY
- Plans to make cargo available for pickup as soon as possible once factories re-open
Partnering with reliable suppliers and shipping companies is a good idea year-round, but it’s essential this time of year. This will ensure that your organization’s supplies arrive on time, reducing the risk of running out of stock, which could cause delays or disruptions in operations. It’s important to work with companies that have proven track records and are knowledgeable in navigating customs and shipping regulations.
Get Ready for Changes
As LNY gets closer, organizations should expect everything from Cargo Ready Dates to rates to change. One way to manage these changes is to work with a third-party logistics provider like TOC Logistics. We can help ensure a diverse range of trusted vendors for your supply chain, which can also help spread your organization’s containers across multiple bills of lading. This helps reduce the chance of delays impacting an entire shipment.
Due to the high demand for goods during Lunar New Year, your organization can also expect to encounter higher rates. Understanding and planning for increased production costs can help manage budgets during these weeks. Plus, negotiating for pricing and lead times early in the process can help maintain full transparency from beginning to end and avoid last-minute rate hikes. TOC Logistics works alongside our network of trusted vendors to negotiate rates and secure the best prices possible for our customers, even when the market is in flux.
Your business can continue to operate effectively during this festive time while minimizing disruptions to operations. Remember, transparency and clear lines of communication with suppliers and shipping partners will be key to avoiding last-minute changes, fees, and bottlenecks. And if you need any assistance, you know where to find us.