Chinese Golden Week – How does it affect importing from China?
Chinese National Day is celebrated on the 1st of October every year to commemorate the founding of the People’s Republic of China. While in the UK, a national bank holiday is no big deal, if you’re importing from China, it’s important you have this date on your calendar, because this national holiday lasts for seven days!
As well as the many activities that happen on the 1st October, the week from the 1st October to the 8th October is known as “Golden Week” and is a 7-day holiday. Lucky for some. However, this week off can cause a delay to your supply chain, so it’s important to plan appropriately.
Many people in China take time off work during the national holiday to make the most of the special events all over the country and visit their families. The impact on this for importers is that your Chinese suppliers will likely shut down for the week and your usual contacts won’t be available. As a result, cargo flights are cancelled, ports operate with skeleton crews, and carriers reduce their sailings to approximately 40% of average weekly capacity, which means little product gets in or out of China during this time.
Inevitably, large backlogs of orders and freight tend to pile up in the days before and after the holiday (especially as retailers plan for Christmas) which can leave importers fighting for space and rates at a premium. If you have goods to ship from China before, during or after Golden Week, speak to your freight forwarder as soon as possible to book your cargo and secure your space.
So if you can’t get hold of your Chinese supplier during Golden Week – don’t panic, it’s completely normal! And remember it’s an annual holiday that falls on the same date every year, so mark it on your calendar, so you’re prepared for it every time.
John Good Shipping’s offices in China will be closed during Golden Week, however, for our UK offices it’s business as usual and will be available to answer our customers’ questions during this time.