Chinese Lunar New Year: Year of the Snake

Doing business in other countries means working within the cultural context. Chinese New Year (CNY), also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, is fast approaching! It is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays.

Manufacturing plants across China typically shut down and tens of millions of workers make long trips back to their home towns from the industrial cities where their jobs are. It has a huge impact on global supply chains originating in China and it’s not always back to business as usual, before and after the 15 day celebration.  The celebrations are also expected to affect port operations in terms of loading, barging schedule and possibly product availability.

Container shipping lines servicing the Asia-Europe trade lanes are moving to cut back on capacity, maybe even skipping a series of sailings during these two weeks, in preparation of volume lulls following the start of the holiday on February 10th

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February is traditionally the slowest month of the year for imports; this is the time of the year when the U.S. can narrow the trade deficit with China, fewer goods and services are imported. In 2009 and 2012, the CNY fell in January affording 2 plus weeks of celebration with many Asian factories closed during the duration.

According to PIERS data, the volume waterborne imports from China during of the first quarter of every year is significantly lower than any other quarter of the year. In 2009, 12.9% less TEUs were imported compared to the previous quarter; 26.3% less in 2010; 8.1% in 2010; 8.4% less in 2011; and 8.7% less in 2012. Want to learn more about the details behind these container imports? PIERS solutions provide the support needed to accurately track vital trade intelligence around the world. Contact us today to have a PIERS solutions expert show you more.

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