The Lunar New Year is upon us
It’s that time of year again when companies face potential supply chain challenges during the Lunar New Year. Learn why this annual event is important and why it matters for international shippers.
CNY starts on February 10, 2024
The Lunar New Year, often referred to as Chinese New Year or simply CNY, is a large-scale festival celebrated by countries in Eastern Asia, most prominently China, that often doubles as a family reunion for people in the region. CNY is based on the lunar calendar, and the dates vary each year between late January and mid-February.
This year, the Lunar New Year falls on 2/10/2024 and ends 15 days later.
Many traditions come along with religious and secular aspects of this celebration to seek blessings and good fortune in the new year. This includes one of the most prominent traditions of handing out red envelopes with money to friends and family. In 2024, the festivities will center around the year of the dragon.
How the Lunar New Year can impact your supply chain
Although you may think these 15 days will be the sole disruptors in global supply chains, CNY can have a much larger impact. As a public holiday, Chinese people get 7 days off from work, but many workers take 3 weeks off prior to the new year to travel home and spend time with family. This means the holiday can delay manufacturing and transportation for more than 5 weeks.
Here are some common effects produced by CNY:
Due to the closure of most factories and businesses in Eastern Asia, shipping delays become commonplace. Fewer exports from China during this period can cause backlogs before, during and after the holiday in global ports, which can further extend delays to shipping.
In anticipation of Chinese New Year, demand is usually intensified in the period leading up to this event. Increased shipping volumes should be expected in the weeks beforehand as shippers rush to get their goods shipped before workers begin their trips home for the holiday.
Extended lead times
Many suppliers overseas will also extend their lead times this time of year. This is in anticipation of the time off their workers will receive. Typically, longer lead times persist for weeks leading up to and after CNY.
Your communication with your suppliers or shippers overseas may come to a halt during CNY. If Chinese businesses do not close completely, they will most likely run on significantly reduced staff, and your correspondence will be slow or non-existent.
Navigate the Lunar New Year with ArcBest
With a full suite of shipping solutions, including international, ArcBest can help you navigate this year's Chinese New Year. Consult an expert today and stay ahead of the curve while anticipating this yearly global disruption.