How does Chinese New Year impact global supply chains?


After the festive celebrations of Christmas and New Year in the UK, it’s easy to think that by the second week of January, normality resumes to UK business until the same time next year.

One national holiday many businesses fail to take in to account is the Chinese New Year.

If your business is dependent on exports from China, the importance of pre-planning your shipments in anticipation of Chinese New Year cannot be overestimated.

Chinese New Year falls on Saturday 25th January this year, with festivities taking place for 2 weeks. For those reliant on the logistics and transportation industry, the holiday has a huge impact on global supply chains originating in China. During this time, shippers are strained to find available space on container vessels sailing out of Asia, and typically must pay sizeable increases in freight rates to meet their capacity. The impact of Chinese New Year does not affect supply chain transportation during the period of festivities alone, but can start to have an effect a couple of weeks before, and extend to 2 to 4 weeks after as carriers attempt to deal with the backlog.

If If you are able to manufacture and ship stock across to the UK in advance of requirements, storing products in a customs bonded warehouse enables you to defer the payment of tax and VAT until the products are sold, ensuring the effect of the holiday period has minimal effect on your product.

If you have not pre-planned your shipments in advance, then it may be necessary to consider alternative transportation methods for urgent shipments. For example, air freight instead of ocean freight.

To discuss your supply chain requirements throughout Chinese New Year, and beyond, contact us on
+44 (0)1376 505160 or email


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