The following Q&A about Golden Week was provided by the freight forwarder Flexport.
When is Golden Week?
The National Day is held annually on October 1, to celebrate the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It kicks off a seven-day Golden Week festival, including parades, ceremonies, and other displays.
In 2017, Golden Week will be celebrated from October 1-8. Factories will close for the extended holiday week, with operations resuming on Monday, October 9.
How will Golden Week impact my supply chain?
As we approach October 1, importers are rushing to finish production and make pre-Golden Week sailings. This will further constrain space (which is already very tight during peak season) and drive up prices for both ocean and air freight. Carriers will be more overbooked than usual, which will likely result in cargo being rolled.
Trucking services will be in higher demand, so you may also see higher prices for trucking at origin.
We’ll also see blank sailings immediately after Golden Week—because factories will be closed during the holiday, carriers will announce these blank sailings in order to optimize vessel utilization.
How should I prepare for Golden Week?
If you’re shipping via ocean and want your cargo to arrive in time for the winter holidays, please note that you will need to book your shipments prior to Golden Week: for ocean shipments, book two to three weeks prior to Golden Week; for air shipments: book one week prior to Golden Week.
In general, our peak-season shipping tips apply: plan ahead and work closely with your Flexport team; share your forecast with us as soon as you can; book shipments ahead of time, as explained above; let us know which shipments are the most urgent.
Be flexible. Consider a service with a slightly longer transit time. These services are less likely to be overbooked, which means that your cargo is less likely to roll. If your cargo is moving inland, consider an alternate port of discharge—this will give you more options when choosing a sailing.
If you’re in a serious rush, there’s always air — but keep in mind that it’s been a pricey season for air freight, with high prices and tight capacity expected to continue.