February 16, 2018 ushers in the Year of the Dog, according to the Chinese zodiac cycle. Celebrated in many parts of Asia, this marks the start of the Chinese New Year. In China, more than other countries, the festival lasts for seven days. During this time, factories close down and many workers leave the cities to return to the towns where they were born. After the New Year, some estimate that as many as 50% of these workers will not return to their jobs.
Since there is no production for a week and production is slow during the retraining period that follows, ocean carriers take this opportunity to void scheduled sailings in favor of anchoring their ships or sending them in for maintenance. This results in a rush to get cargo loaded roughly three weeks prior to the holiday. During this time, we typically see overbooked vessels and an increased risk of cargo rolling.
There are a couple of things you can do to prepare. We suggest rearranging your shipments to move earlier or later than the festival week—February 16-23—or provide us with a weekly forecast of your containers moving in January and February. This will allow us to book cargo early and reserve space on your behalf.
Do not hesitate to reach out to your Mohawk sales associate with any questions.
Rich Roche is Vice President, International Transportation for Mohawk Global Logistics. Click here to read more about Rich.