Avoid Chinese New Year Shipping Delays

As the year winds down, businesses around the world are already gearing up for the next big event on the horizon – the Chinese New Year (CNY), also known as the Lunar New Year. This annual celebration comes with its own set of challenges, especially for online retailers and eCommerce operators who depend on China’s massive manufacturing sector. To Avoid Chinese New Year Shipping Delays, it is essential to understand the scale of this holiday and its impact on global supply chains.

Latest update on 15 January, 2024 by Aiden Ng– Marketing Analyst at FreightAmigo

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The Impact of Chinese New Year on Businesses

China is globally recognized as a powerhouse in product development and manufacturing, often referred to as the “world’s factory.” During CNY, most factory operations halt to allow workers to celebrate the holiday. This pause in business operations can lead to significant disruptions in a retailer’s supply chain.

Production Shutdowns

Most manufacturing operations shut down during CNY. Workers are on holiday for at least a week, but the slowdown in production begins weeks before and continues weeks after the event. With the holiday starting on February 1 in 2022, retailers anticipate suppliers to slow down production by mid-January, with only a skeletal workforce operating by the last week of January. It isn’t until the end of February that factories return to normal operations.

Compromised Product Quality

In the run-up to the holiday, operations are far from optimal due to the reduced workforce. The remaining staff struggle to meet the usual volume of work, leading to potential compromises in product quality standards. After CNY, suppliers often have to scramble to replace workers who did not return, leading to potential quality issues with the rest of their orders.

Shipment Delays

Many retailers increase their inventory orders in anticipation of the holiday to avoid items from selling out. However, this surge in orders can lead to an overflow of shipments right before the holiday, resulting in inevitable shipment delays.

Preparing for the Chinese New Year 2024

As we look further ahead to 2024, businesses should be aware that Lunar New Year falls on February 10th, 2024. To avoid CNY shipping delays, retailers need to be well-prepared. Here are some suggestions on how to stay ahead of the rush:

Plan Your Imports Early

Forewarned is forearmed. The ability to predict demand is key to managing inventory well. Therefore, in the weeks and months leading up to CNY, it is best to order additional stock for in-demand items.

Communicate with Suppliers & Customers

Clear communication with suppliers is critical. More often than not, these suppliers have experience dealing with the rush and can offer valuable advice and support.

Even with proper preparation, delays may be unavoidable. In such cases, it is crucial to communicate these delays directly to the customers.

Understanding Your Supply Chain Needs

To minimize any potential delays, it is advisable to have a comprehensive understanding of your shipping requirements and the average transit times involved. It would be beneficial to plan your shipments well in advance of the New Year, ideally several weeks prior.

Inventory Management

By reviewing your past customer behavior and orders during the New Year season, you can gain valuable insights to help predict your inventory needs. By anticipating the expected demand and taking into account any potential supply chain disruptions during this period, you can minimize the risk of stockouts and ensure smooth order fulfillment.

Opt for Multiple Small Shipments

Dividing your goods into smaller shipments offers several advantages. Firstly, it reduces the likelihood of delays caused by customs clearance and port congestion, which are common during the Lunar New Year holiday. Smaller shipments are generally easier to process and handle, resulting in faster transit times.

Tips to Avoid Shipping Delays During Chinese New Year 2024

Be Flexible with Shipping Modes

If you usually ship ocean freight, consider alternate modes such as express, air or rail if possible. By diversifying your shipping modes, you gain greater flexibility and adaptability in responding to seasonal constraints or disruptions.

Consider Alternative Ports with Less Congestion

When dealing with holiday congestion at your destination port, considering alternate ports with lower congestion or import volumes can be a viable solution. Ports experiencing high congestion during holiday periods may result in significant delays in customs clearance and unloading of shipments. By diverting your shipments to alternate ports, you can minimize the risk of delays and ensure a smoother and more efficient delivery process.

Strategic Budget Planning

Delays can happen, especially during holiday seasons. Be prepared for possible tariff increases and additional freight costs to hit your inventory goals during the Chinese New Year period. This involves setting aside a contingency budget to accommodate these unforeseen expenses.


Finally, remember that the chaos of Chinese New Year can be a stressful time for most online retailers. But, with the right partners, you don’t have to miss out on profit opportunities because of the challenges Chinese New Year brings. Services like FreightAmigo offer logistics solutions that can better prepare your operation for the delays brought on by the holiday. With our support, you can rest assured that packages seamlessly get from everywhere you want. Reach out to FreightAmigo today to learn more.

In conclusion, As the Lunar New Year draws nearer, the demand for shipping services experiences a significant surge, resulting in limited availability of shipping slots. It is essential to plan your shipments ahead of time and take prompt action to secure your desired shipping dates. By proactively contacting shipping providers, exploring alternative shipping methods if needed, and being flexible with delivery dates, you can increase the chances of your packages reaching their destinations on time. Additionally, optimizing packaging and labeling, as well as tracking your shipments, will help ensure smooth and efficient shipping during this busy period.

Take advantage of this opportunity to beat the Lunar New Year rush and ensure your business operations continue smoothly.

Kenneth Poon