Business owners considering, or already conducting, manufacturing services in China may often wonder if it’s even possible these days to get uninterrupted product supply from China manufacturers.
The genuine concern lies in the fact that Chinese festivals and holidays can create problems for companies that rely on an uninterrupted supply from these manufacturers.
Just as in the USA, there are several Chinese holidays that are considered major public holidays which cause some disruption to the manufacturing and shipping process: New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year, Oingming (Tomb Sweeping Day), May Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, and National Day. Chinese New Year is the most important festival on the Chinese calendar. Official 2017 dates are January 27th to February 2nd. The Mid-Autumn Festival is a close second in importance, the official day this year (2016) being Thursday, September 15th, 2016.
China’s Mid-Autumn Festival Can Impact Your Orders
In China, most of the manufacturing centers are located in the eastern coastal provinces, but the majority of the factory workers are from the middle or western provinces. Some workers who wish to go home and spend the holiday with their families face a significant journey.
China manufacturers close their factories depending upon location and industry type. Therefore, it’s always best to verify dates and timeframes, and submit purchase orders accordingly so your shipment will not be delayed due to the holiday shutdown.
Tips on Preventing Production and Shipping Delays Caused by the Mid-Autumn Festival
All Chinese manufacturers are expecting these annual festivals, but some companies prepare better than others. Knowledge of the holiday’s impact on a manufacturer’s production schedules in prior years is the best way to know what to expect.
- Placing large orders early enough to ship before the holiday is recommended.
- In placing the order early, the deposit will need to be paid early. The price shouldn’t change after the holiday.
- Do not think that if your shipment is small there is no need to be concerned. It’s always advisable to ask. Factories’ production capacity tends to get “jammed up” prior to holidays as many of their customers will want to have shipments on the water before the holiday shutdown.
- Be acutely aware of container loading deadlines before the holiday. It is important to take all factors into consideration when planning a shipment before a holiday. What you want to avoid is your product “ships” from the factory on time but does “sail” because it did not make the ship due to overbooking or traffic at the port or customs. Yes, there is such a thing as overbooking a container ship.
- Shipping fees may increase during this period.
- Expect to be unable to contact many suppliers during these holidays. It is normal to hear many “out of office” messages but that does not mean the supplier is unreliable. Many factories work with reduced manpower on the days leading up to and just after holidays. It is possible this could temporarily interfere with communication as well as reduces the factory’s throughput.
- Factories may not reopen on the day following the holiday. The factory may be short-staffed. Companies often find it necessary to recruit new workers as some will decide to remain in their distant homes. Depending on the factory, its physical location, and the industry, the percentage of workers returning from holidays can vary.
- The factory will be extremely busy in the days and weeks following holidays as will the ports. This is because of the work in progress that stopped due to the holiday as well as the many containers that did not physically make it onto ships prior to the holiday causing a backlog at the port.
ITI Manufacturing – the Smart Way to Manufacture in China
The expert team at ITI Manufacturing understands both the benefits and potential pitfalls associated with China manufacturing services. For more than 40 years ITI has been helping American companies to smoothly negotiate the unique nature of Chinese holiday slow-downs to ensure products ship on time.
Outsourcing manufacturing to any foreign country can be challenging. Attempting to do so without knowledgeable, or experienced assistance can prove to be both time-consuming and expensive. Over the years ITI’s professional China staff has established deep relationships not only with manufacturers but also with business entities up and down the manufacturing chain. They natively speak the language, understand the traditions, and keep a knowledgeable eye on the production process.
The professionals at ITI are well-versed in helping companies with coordinating and managing the complete process. This saves US companies both time and money. ITI Manufacturing knows the ins and outs of China outsourcing. Visit our website or contact us directly to discuss your unique situation today.