China's commercial sector more or less stalls during the celebration of Chinese New Year (CNY) as offices and factories will close from Saturday 25 January to Sunday 2 February. In Hong Kong, offices and factories officially close for three days.
CNY – or Spring Festival – is celebrated by more than 20% of the people in the world. It’s the most important holiday in China, and to millions of Chinese who live outside the country and to those of Chinese descent.
In the 21st century, the national holiday begins on the first of the Lunar Calendar. In 2020, Chinese New Year begins on January 25th – the Year of the Rat – and ends on 8th February.
The most important aspect of Chinese New Year is the family reunion – family members are expected to be home for New Year’s Eve dinner, and this means China witnesses the largest annual migration of people on earth – called the Spring Migration (chunyun (春运), as the elderly typically live in the rural areas, and are joined their by their children.
Most Chinese workers take more than the 15 days that CNY lasts, so many Chinese companies, factories and government institutions close during this period. Stores close for the first five days of the Spring Festival, and some don’t open until the end, so its imperative people stock up beforehand.
This means that government and private companies and factories are closed, and no goods are produced or orders processed during this period. If you have shipments leaving China, we recommend that you book well in advance as several shipping companies, air carriers and rail operators cancel many of their scheduled departures.
This is what you can expect this year around CNY:
- DSV’s local offices will be closed from 24 January to 1st February.
- The vessel capacity of shipping companies will reduce, and departures are limited in the weeks running up to CNY.
- The environmental IMO 2020 regulation will be effective from 1st January 2020, and this may lead to longer transit times on the FEWB lanes.
Our advice to you is to encourage your Chinese suppliers to place sea freight bookings as quickly as possible at local DSV offices. This will increase the possibility of us reserving space in advance on the carriers.
It’s best to include one or two extra weeks in your logistics planning, as this helps mitigate the risk of any delays.
Chinese New Year consists of a preparatory phase and two festivals:
- Jan 17th – 24th – Little Year - preparations last until New Year’s Eve
- Jan 25th – 4th Feb – Spring Festival
- 5th Feb – 8th Feb – Lantern Festival
READ MORE ABOUT THE CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL