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How to Adjust to China Manufacturing Holidays
Chinese holidays have a huge impact on American business; and companies that use China manufacturing services should be especially aware of these holidays and the circumstances surrounding them. During Chinese holidays, factories suspend operations, workers travel across China to visit relatives, China ports close, and even FedEx suspends deliveries.US companies must allow for Chinese Holidays and learn to negotiate and adjust production and shipping needs far in advance of each Holiday. Seeking the assistance of professional China manufacturing services is one way to avoiding late shipments and disappointed customers.
Below is a list of 2017 Chinese holidays. Just as important as the dates, are the unofficial shutdown dates surrounding the holidays that are not listed… the shutdown days before and after the official dates. These unofficial dates are what allow factory workers to travel across China to visit relatives they may not have seen since the previous year’s holiday.
The two holidays that have the most unofficial days are the Chinese New Year (CNY), and National Day. Both are officially celebrated for a full week. China manufacturing services producing high-tech items such as, smart phones, computers, and electronics, and located in metropolitan areas, tend to follow these official dates more closely as family and relatives are close by. However, many more factories close a week or two prior to the beginning of the holiday, and may not open or work with a skeleton crew for up to two weeks after the end of the holiday.
To put this even more into perspective, many non-high-tech factories are closed for a full month during the Chinese New Year. Every year there are US companies that fail to remember the China holidays, and how much of an impact China manufacturing services has on delivery dates. If a factory closes two weeks before CNY, and workers don’t fully return until two weeks after, that factory will not only have no production during that time, but it will also take a few days after the employees return to get things back up to speed. That factory’s material suppliers will also be in a similar situation, which can further delay post-holiday production. Add to that, the trucking companies have been closed, as well as the ports. Moreover, there’s the huge number of containers that didn’t make it on to ships, and are sitting at the port waiting to be loaded when the port reopens. Ultimately, each entity must have time to get back up to speed.
Seek the China Manufacturing Service Experts
How can a US-based company know what to expect during these Chinese holidays? What can they do to minimize the impact of multiple week factory closings? Get help with planning ahead!
The answer may be in placing an additional order for product that can be shipped prior to CNY. Be fully aware of China holidays and when specifically the factory manufacturing your product will be closed. Know the status of the materials needed to produce your product. Will they be in-factory, so that when the factory workers return they can begin production immediately? Or will those materials be ordered after the workers return, because the supplier has already closed for the holiday? If so, this means materials won’t be delivered for 2-3 weeks after the factory workers have returned. Has the container and ship already been booked? Will the goods be ready in time to make the deadline? There is always a huge rush to book shipping space and deliver the containers to the port in the days just prior to a major holiday. This in and of itself causes lengthy delays and, in some cases, containers fail to make it onto the ship. Last minute arrangements translate into shipping after the holiday.
ITI Manufacturing has been helping US-based companies navigate the details and pitfalls of Asian manufacturing since 1974. Dealing with the complexities of China holidays is just one of the hundreds of issues that can potentially present themselves. If you’re struggling to keep up with the relentless complexities of doing China manufacturing services alone, call us and let us smooth the path for you.
2017 Chinese Holiday Calendar
January 1 (Sunday)
New Year’s Day
January 2 (Monday)
New Year’s Day Extension
January 27 (Friday)
Chinese New Year Eve
January 28 (Saturday)
Chinese New Year Day (Spring Festival)
January 29 (Sunday)- February 2 (Thursday)
CNY Golden Week Holiday
April 3 (Monday)
Qingming Festival Extension
April 4 (Tuesday)
Tomb Sweeping Day (Qing Ming Festival)
April 5 (Wednesday)
Qingming Festival Extension
May 1 (Monday)
May 29 (Monday)
Dragon Boat Festival Extension
May 30 (Tuesday)
Dragon Boat Festival
October 1 (Sunday)
October 2 & 3 (Monday & Tuesday)
National Day Golden Week Holiday
October 4 (Wednesday)
Mid-Autumn (Moon Cake) Festival
October 5, 6, 7 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)
National Day Golden Week Holiday (Cont.)