Holidays Impacting Foreign Trade: Chinese New Year


Most people have already heard about Chinese New Year, a holiday based on the Chinese calendar. According to Travel China Guide, the Chinese New Year will fall on February 5th of 2019, and lasts until February 19th, about 15 days total. As an official public holiday, Chinese people usually get seven days off from work, from February 4th to 10th, and it may be extended by the employers. This is a traditional festival, usually people travel to their hometowns to reunite and celebrate the new year with family.

This holiday deserves high attention to exporters and importers since all the business operations and production is shut down in the country. Things will remain stagnant during the holidays, meaning that it may take double the time to get the product to any destination. A cargo that is poorly planned before the holidays will probably need to wait until afterwards when the country is back to its regular operations.

One of the main consequences to consider is the reservation of space with transportation carriers. Both ocean or air freight will be very limited in space as everyone tries to rush their products before and after the holidays. The increased demand during these weeks affect not only space, but the freight rates. Transportation carriers take advantage of the holiday using strategies to increase the rates. It can happen by canceling vessels or flights and with the high demand rates go up as well.

To succeed around the Chinese Calendar, it is necessary to do some planning. Perhaps it is better to have more inventory with products in stock than to be chasing space with carriers and pay premium rates to get the products to the many destinations, not counting the consequences caused by not supplying product on time. Hopefully, this tip may help and save unnecessary efforts so that 2019 can be a positive year for all traders around the world.


Central Intelligence Agency, “Field Listing: Exports”. Accessed on January 15, 2019.

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