Chinese New Year – Check alternatives for your shipping now

The Chinese New Year will once again have a significant impact on the global freight market – this year even more so than usual. Why is this and what can companies do now? This year, the Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, falls on 10 February and lasts for 15 days until 26 February. A seven-day public holiday is held to mark the celebrations, meaning that large parts of the country are practically at a standstill from 10 to 17 February. This regularly leads to delays in the transport of goods to and from China and the whole of East Asia, as well as increased capacity utilisation for freight forwarders before, during and after the holiday.

What is different this year?

The usual consequences include longer transit and layover times, cancelled flights and invalid timetables, some of which are still having a serious impact on the global movement of goods weeks after the Chinese New Year. This year, the ongoing crisis in the Red Sea is also having an impact. Many shipping companies have changed their routes and are having their ships take the longer route around the Cape of Good Hope. Irrespective of the New Year celebrations, there have already been disruptions and delays in China too, meaning that transport companies have been less able to prepare for the New Year celebrations than in previous years. In addition, many canals in China still have water shortages after the dry summer of 2023 and are only navigable to a limited extent.

The lack of capacity and the greater and earlier demand for alternative transport routes are likely to lead to a noticeable increase in tariffs for air, rail and sea transport.

Why are the current delays having such an impact?

Freight forwarders take the effects of the Chinese New Year into account when planning their transport capacities, especially in the sea freight sector. Ships leaving a European port for East Asia in December usually arrive at the beginning of the peak season, so that sufficient freight capacity and empty containers are available. The diversions will increase transit times by around two weeks, meaning that some ships will arrive too late, with expected container bottlenecks for local shippers and further delays.

The lack of capacity as well as the greater and earlier demand for alternative transport routes is likely to lead to a noticeable increase in tariffs for air, rail and sea transport.

What companies can do now

If the Chinese New Year has not already been taken into account when planning your shipping, a longer-term forecast of your own requirements should be drawn up now at the latest. This is because the effects of the various factors are likely to be felt for several months – possibly even into the summer if the canals are also affected by persistent drought this year.

Checks in particular:

  • Whether larger inventories should be built up
  • Whether shipments can be rebooked onto alternative routes or transport carriers.
  • Whether consignments can be brought forward or postponed

Flexible shipping solutions with a multi-carrier partner

Via LetMeShip you can book with various well-known carriers and forwarders – regardless of whether it is a standard shipment or a special service, or whether the transport is to be carried out by lorry, train, plane or ship. Thanks to our more than 20 years of experience in national and international business shipping, we know how important reliability, punctuality and flexibility are for companies and can help you to recognise and avoid problems in good time.

And the best thing is that you have everything on one platform:

  • Maximum flexibility thanks to many years of cooperation with various carriers
  • A personal account manager who supports you in contacting customs or the carrier
  • Extensive experience in handling special services
  • Create customs documents directly in the system and transmit them to the carrier

Already a customer? Your personal account manager will give you comprehensive advice on your options and prepare a free, no-obligation quote tailored to your needs.

Has your current haulier run out of capacity? Let’s talk about your requirements without obligation. We can always find the capacity you need through our specialised service providers.