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Chinese Golden Week 2021: Plan ahead and book early to avoid delays this year

  • WELLMAX

5 months ago · 5 mins read

Golden Week is a national holiday in China in October. The knock-on impact of Golden Week is that logistics-related business slows down. Additional delays make this Golden Week extremely challenging.

Every year from the 1st – 7th October, China bursts into life as the country celebrates its National Day with a week of cultural events, concerts, sports and fireworks – all kicked off by a national flag-raising ceremony in Tiananmen Square.

Most people in China have Golden Week off, making it one of the busiest weeks for tourism in the country as people use the time to take trips with families and friends. Visiting China during Golden Week requires plenty of planning. Looking at the world of logistics, the same can be said of planning your cargo shipments in and out of the country as China is one of the world’s largest and most influential economies. Not only does its population of over one billion people provide a huge and growing market for products; it is also the world’s largest exporter, and countless businesses rely on its ports as gateways to the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Golden Week can affect your whole supply chain, especially when shipping to or from China and later on a global level.

How does Golden Week impact your supply chain?

Before Golden Week, importers rush to finish production in factories and get their goods ready to be shipped out of China before the event starts. This is often referred to as the pre-Golden week rush.

Few ships are leaving from China in the week itself as most port and terminal staff is on holiday. And if you have suppliers in the country, they’ll likely be low-staffed or their factories are completely closed – slowing down the country’s productivity for a week. By the time Golden Week comes around, getting cargo in or out of the country becomes almost impossible – and if it isn’t impossible, it’s very costly. The inter-connected nature of supply chains means that the ripples of the slowdown around Golden Week can be felt in other nations and other ports too.

But that’s not all: the disruptions continue further after Golden Week. With container shortages due to the pre-Golden Week rush, goods arrive later than usual at the factories. That being said, Chinese Golden Week can have a huge impact on your supply chain for about a month. However, given the current ripple effects and congestions impacting logistics all around the world, the effect can be felt much longer. That means: this year’s Golden Week could be one of the most challenging yet.

Why is this year’s Golden Week different?

If you work in logistics in any way, you’ll have felt the turbulence and pressures that the industry is facing this year. A perfect storm of a global pandemic, one-off incidents and bottleneck after bottleneck has left a shipping situation where delays are increasing, vessel capacity is tight, and equipment shortages are common.

In the Asia-Pacific, as we’ve detailed in recent updates, this pressure is being felt more strongly than anywhere else. Disruptions at some of its major ports continue as well as the overall demand to import and export to/from one of the biggest markets in the world is booming. Add Golden Week into the mix, which on its own would be a peak period in the industry, and you can see why this year could be particularly challenging for logistics.

Source: Turfmarkt

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