Chinese New Year shipping can pose a real challenge if you don’t plan ahead. In this blog, we’ll walk you through how to save money and avoid delays around this holiday. Additionally, use Container xChange to buy and lease containers at competitive prices from reliable suppliers.

Chinese New Year is a significant event in the logistics industry, as factories close down and production is halted for a few weeks every year. This has a ripple effect on the entire supply chain, causing delays, bottlenecks, and an increase in freight prices. 

To avoid the chaos, planning ahead for Chinese New Year shipping is the name of the game. Having a strong network of reliable container suppliers is also essential.

With Container xChange, you can source containers to buy or lease from vetted partners anytime, from anywhere. We’ve got 50,000+ units to choose from, in over 2,500 locations worldwide. With over 1,500+ suppliers to choose from, you’re bound to find the containers you need, even at short notice.

Check out our trading platform right now to browse and compare prices for yourself. Simply fill in the container type you’re after, plus the location, and then press ‘search’ to get started.

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    Chinese New Year: An overview

    Chinese New Year (CNY), also known as Lunar New Year, is celebrated in various East-Asian countries including China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and North and South Korea. The exact dates for this holiday change each year, depending on the lunar calendar. 

    CNY celebrations last a total of 15 days. However, preparations begin up to three weeks in advance, as factory workers travel to their hometowns, manufacturing plants close down, and production starts to taper off. After the holiday, staff slowly head back to work, factories reopen, and operations gradually return to normal. 

    When is Chinese New Year 2024?

    In 2024, Chinese New Year will take place between February 10th to 17th. Check out the general flow of events for CNY 2024 below:

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    Chinese New Year and shipping: 2023 recap

    In December 2022, China announced the end of its strict Zero-Covid policy. Unfortunately, January 2023 came with a new wave of infections, with half to three-quarters of the labor force being unable to work.

    As a result, container pick-up, loading and drayage (trucking) were all affected. This, in turn, hampered port operations. According to a CNBC report, manufacturing orders in China from the US were also down 40% amidst a demand collapse. 

    In the weeks leading up to CNY 2023, blank sailings along the Asia-US West Coast trade lane shot up. This was coupled with a big drop in orders. Combined with the early arrival of the festival, factories ended up closing two weeks earlier than usual.   

    How much will you pay for shipping containers: 2024 vs 2023

    Let’s compare prices from December 2022 & January 2023 to those in December 2023 7 January 2024. Check out the table below, with prices of cargo-worthy 40ft containers:

    January 2023 (USD) January 2024 (USD)
    United States $2,602 $1,571 
    Northern Europe $1,450 $1,617
    India $2,066 $1,718
    China $1,533 $1,468

    Generally speaking, you’ll pay less for 40ft containers in January this year compared to last year. In the US, prices have dropped by around US $1,031, and in India, by about US $348

    We’d suggest you get your hands on containers while prices are still low. Luckily, you can browse and compare offers on the Container xChange platform right away. Connect with our wide network of container suppliers to find the units you need and avoid the last-minute rush. Click below to find the best deals for your budget today.

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    How does Chinese New Year impact global logistics and supply chain?

    As China is such an important player in the logistics industry, the period around Chinese New Year has a major impact on the supply chain and shipping sector as a whole. Here are some of the main challenges faced by the industry before, during and after this annual holiday: 

    • Increased demand for containers before holiday week: As everyone scrambles to get out their last orders before factories shut down, the demand for containers shoots up. This leads to drastically inflated container prices, as well as container shortages.
    • High port congestion: Along with an increase in demand for containers and a flurry to get shipments out in time, comes port congestion and bottlenecks at major ports. With this, you can expect major delays in the movement of cargo between factories, ports and distribution centers.
    • Factory closures lead to supply disruptions: With factory closures in China and other East-Asian countries, we see a decrease in the supply of a wide variety of products (including shipping containers) around this time. So if you need containers or other products, we suggest ordering them well in advance of CNY.
    • Decreased workforce: Between mid-Jan and the end of February, a large portion of the Chinese and East-Asian workforce heads home to spend time with family. This leads to a shortage of staff in factories and ports, meaning limited capacity. With a much smaller workforce, you can expect slower movement of goods through ports and terminals in this part of the world.
    • Customs delays: Due to the limited workforce, customs procedures may be delayed. Some customs offices may even close completely over this period. Keep this in mind and plan ahead to account for slower customs clearance processes.

    Chinese New Year 2024: Prepare and plan to avoid shipping delays

    Now that you know how Chinese New Year affects the supply chain, let’s look at how you can dodge high freight rates, skip surcharges and avoid shipping delays. 

    5 ways shippers can avoid shipping delays and financial losses

    • Buy and lease containers ahead of time to save money: When it comes to Chinese New Year, buying containers ahead of time, or organizing SOCs for one-way moves before rates shoot up is key. This way, you can secure budget-friendly deals with suppliers before prices become inflated.
    • Utilize a trusted network of suppliers: When it comes to holidays like Chinese New Year, connecting with a reliable network of suppliers that won’t let you down is crucial. Luckily, Container xChange has over 1,500+ vetted suppliers waiting to work with you. On our platform, you can also deal directly with partners to negotiate prices, terms and conditions.
    • Ship cargo in advance: To avoid the flurry before CNY, it’s best to send out your shipments early, to steer clear of the rush just before this holiday season altogether. Also, be sure to book vessel slots for your containers well in advance to avoid drastically hiked-up prices.
    • Use LCL rather than FCL: Another way to keep costs down and prevent delays is to opt for LCL (Less than Container Load) over FCL (Full Container Load) shipments. This gives you more flexibility, as you won’t have to wait for full container loads before sending your cargo off. 
    • Track your containers and keep stakeholders up to date: As a member of Container xChange, you’ll have access to xChange Tracking. With this tool, keep tabs on all of your containers, preempt delays, and communicate with stakeholders in real-time. Keeping up-to-date with container movements also allows you to make alternative arrangements quickly, thus avoid extra costs. 

    Streamline your logistics and save with Container xChange

    The best way to avoid delays and save money is with an all-in-one logistics platform like Container xChange. Here, you can manage the entire process from sourcing container offers, comparing prices, and negotiating deals to making safe payments and tracking your units in one place.

    Here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy as a member of Container xChange:

    • Access 50,000+ containers in 2,500+ locations worldwide
    • 100% transparency – Check container prices and availability in real-time
    • Negotiate prices and rates directly with suppliers – No middleman
    • Customize deals to suit your needs
    • Track your units in real time with xChange Tracking

    Remove the hassle; buy and lease containers worry-free on our platform today. Simply click on the banner below to set up your free demo with one of our experts now. You’ll get a tour of our marketplace, and a chance to see how xChange can simplify your container logistics. So what are you waiting for? Save both time and money this Chinese New Year with us.

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    Chinese New Year shipping: Common FAQs

    Can you ship cargo during Chinese New Year?

    You can ship cargo during Chinese New Year, however, it’s important to be aware that factories will be closed and operations limited between mid-January and the end of February. To avoid delays and extra costs, it’s best to plan ahead if you’re shipping around this holiday.

    Does Chinese New Year cause shipping delays?

    During Chinese New Year, factories shut down and operations are halted. This often leads to increased traffic and port congestion, as well as a backlog of orders once operations resume.

    How does Chinese New Year affect logistics?

    Due to factory closures and decreased operations, Chinese New Year causes an increase in shipping before the holiday, leading to bottlenecks and port congestion. This in turn leads to cargo delays. Freight prices also shoot up, and additional surcharges may apply.

    Is shipping during Chinese New Year possible?

    Yes, shipping during the Chinese New Year is possible, however, you will need to plan to avoid delays, increased freight rates and container shortages. Also be aware that due to factory closures, there will be a limited supply of containers and various other products over the holiday period.