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Prepare for Golden Week 2024 and its impact on freight shipping

Many Chinese businesses close their doors for Golden Week 2024, starting with China National Day on October 1st. Importers that source goods from China need to plan around this major holiday as Golden Week shipping grinds to a halt.

This nationwide holiday is a popular time to visit family, travel around China, and enjoy parades and ceremonies. Factories and offices shut down across the nation, and many businesses face a rush to fulfill orders before the holiday begins. Importers need to understand the impact of Golden Week on shipping and importing to avoid shipping problems, increased costs and significant delays.

How will Golden Week impact my shipments?

In addition to a nationwide shutdown of Chinese businesses, there’s also a domestic surge in demand for goods during Golden Week and the Mid-Autumn Festival, which happens on September 17th, 2024. The impact on shipments created by Golden Week includes:

Domestic shipping challenges – Since many businesses and government offices will be closed for the duration of the holiday, domestic shipping and services will experience delays and, in some cases, stop altogether. This can affect the timely delivery of parcels and freight flowing in and out of China.

International shipping delays – International shipping may also encounter delays due to reduced operations at China’s ports and customs offices. Since China is a major player in global trade, disruptions during Golden Week can impact supply chains worldwide.

Heightened demand – Golden Week sees a notable increase in consumer spending, both domestically and internationally, as people travel and celebrate the holidays. This surge in demand translates into higher shipping volumes and prices for goods being transported within China and exported to other countries.

Slow warehouse operations – Warehouses and distribution centres in China may shut down or operate with limited staffing or reduced hours during the Golden Week holiday. Prior to the holiday, these warehouses and distribution centres experience heightened demand for their service. This can lead to delays in shipping and order processing, both domestically and internationally.

Golden Week shipping

Prepare for Golden Week

The month leading up to Golden Week features frenetic business activity as importers rush to make sailings before the holiday. This activity eats into available freight space while driving up rates for both ocean and air shipping. You can expect overbooked carriers, limited trucking availability, and rising prices as service providers capitalize on the holiday.

3 ways to prepare for Golden Week

1. Advance planning: To mitigate the impact of Golden Week on shipping, businesses often plan ahead by increasing inventory levels and adjusting shipping schedules. This proactive approach helps to minimize disruptions and ensures the smooth flow of goods before and during the holiday period. Capacity becomes limited as the holiday draws near, so arranging shipping contracts early can help to avoid delays and reduce costs.

2. Customer communication: Effective communication with customers is crucial during Golden Week. Businesses typically inform their customers about potential shipping delays and provide updated delivery estimates. Transparent communication helps manage expectations and maintain customer satisfaction.

3. Strong supply chain partnerships: Maintaining a strong network of supply chain partnerships with a variety of shippers and suppliers can help create solutions when sudden issues or opportunities arise. By focusing on collaborative problem-solving, you and your partners can work together to mitigate shipping issues that arise during Golden Week.

Proactive preparation is the best way to avoid rising rates, tight capacity, and delays due to Golden Week. Experienced customs brokers and shippers know how to navigate the challenges of this major holiday. Customs consulting is what Cole has been doing for more than half a century. Connect with us today.

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