If your supply chain extends into China (most do, even if you’re not buying directly) here are the approximate dates you need to be concerned with based upon this year’s calendar and my own past experiences with many suppliers in the Shanghai, Ningbo and Fuzhou areas…
FEB 8TH–15TH – Preparation for the new year begins on February 8th, 2018, and lasts until New Years Eve. Many suppliers start letting employees leave for home during this period so they can arrive in time for the actual holiday. There will be a “mad dash” during this time frame to get all possible shipments to the ports before the final cutoff dates.
FEB 16TH–26TH – Spring Festival – Chinese New Year officially begins on February 16th, 2018, and ends on March 2nd. Basically, nothing happens or moves during this time frame. You may be able to get a high level manager or owner on a cell phone but otherwise communications will be very unreliable. Don’t expect e-mails to be answered until after the 26th. No containers will be loaded, no ships will depart, etc.
FEB 27TH–MAR 2ND – Lantern Festival – Preparations begin the 27th, and the Lantern Festival is held on March 2nd. Just an extension of CNY.
Beginning the 28th employees will be returning, communications will return to normal and production will begin again. As with virtually all manufacturing operations there will be hiccups and issues during the startup period. Shipping will return to normal soon.
In short, while the actual CNY holiday is only about 10 days or so, the disruption to service is usually about a month in duration. Hopefully you’ve planned accordingly and will weather this annual storm with ease.
More later! Have a great January and February!
Oh, and don’t forget the relatively minor impacts of Tomb Sweeping Day April 5 – 8 and May Day April 28 – May 1. These pale in comparison to the CNY disruption but it’s wise to have them in your calendar to avoid surprises.