With the trade war in China making headlines as of late — and the Chinese New Year in the not-so-distant future — there are some important implications for the transportation industry that can’t be ignored:  delays and more delays.

In fact, here is a sample of some of the hassles you can expect with the Chinese New Year:

  • Production delays (keep in touch with your vendors often to stay on top of production schedules)
  • Vessel space and equipment issues (allow additional 2 weeks for rolled bookings)
  • Port delays (anticipate additional 3-4 days for port congestion)
  • Rail delays (plan for additional 5-15 days for rail congestion when moving inland)

With a tariff increase set for January 1st now on hold, shippers now have an additional 90 days to accelerate imports into the US in an effort to avoid a 25% price hike.  What should you do?  Plan ahead and expect delays and price increases.

Typically, China (your producers, suppliers, agents and partners) takes a break for about 15 days to celebrate the new year, so preparing now will be crucial to maintain stable pricing and minimize delivery delays.   Here are our top tips to accomplishing both:

Tip #1:  Start planning now:  the Chinese New Year is February 16-March 2.

Tip #2:   Coordinate your international shipments and manufacturing around the Chinese New Year.

Tip #3:   Leverage shipment volume and carrier relationships for better prices and delivery times.

Tip #4:  Call AFS at 877-242-3383 or visit www.afs.net/international.

Our AFS international experts can help lower your shipping costs and maintain profit margins.  Our team has the expertise and experience necessary when you need to ship across the world.

The other good news? This Chinese New Year is the “Year of the Pig”, which represents wealth and prosperity.  And it gets better —this year’s predictions are for a very good year, full of achievements and exceptional opportunity.  Partnering with AFS to plan for the Chinese New Year’s potential impact on your business can go a long way in mitigating the anticipated hiccups that can wreak havoc on your transportation logistics program — and ensure that it is, truly, a Happy New Year.