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How will Chinese Golden Week 2021 impact local forwarders?

Chinese Golden Week is well-known in logistics and supply chain for happening every year - precisely during the first week of October – and for affecting inevitably all local forwarders and their end customers’ shipments.

With its National Day being celebrated on October 1st and a week of festivities and events taking place all over China - factories, suppliers and almost all companies freeze their businesses until the 7th of October generating delays on most of the biggest and busiest routes.

What to expect from this year’s Chinese Golden Week
Despite a pandemic in the background, as far as we know, this year’s Golden Week is happening following standard procedures. In connection to the recent events happening in Asia-Pacific, this year’s Golden Week might as well increase the number of repercussions in ocean freight and inland transportation across multiple trades and regions.

While operations might remain active in most ports, terminals, and customs offices - ocean carriers might avoid sailing during this period. To avoid waiting for the typical pre-golden week rush, we strongly recommend you to book your containers as soon as possible..

How does Golden Week impact logistics and supply chain around the world
With the pre-golden week rush starting usually 3-4 weeks before the main event, and with importers speeding up their production processes to ship their products out of China on time, constrains in ocean freight and land transportation increase the chance for cargos to be rolled and for deliveries to be postponed.

If you’re looking to ship promptly and to make sure your cargo arrives at destination in time for the winter holidays this year, follow our suggestion and plan your strategy upfront.

Precisely, for ocean shipments consider booking your containers at least 3 to 4 weeks beforehand as well as to include all necessary value-added services upfront, when using Maersk Spot.

Forecasting this year’s Golden Week: the 3 most affected regions
Did you know that you could be affected by the Golden Week, even if you don’t usually ship to or from China? This specific event combined to the recent heavy disruptions within Asia-Pacific and the rest of the World, have led to global congestions and could significantly impact your upcoming shipments.

According to our local experts and our Regional Sales Managers, the 3 most affected regions pre and post Chinese Golden Week, this year, will be:

North America
The challenge: strong and sustained demand impacts Asia-North America trade.

As the global demand on vessels hits unprecedented levels creating congestion on all big trades, NAM is facing significant shortages of vessels available for charter, therefore impacting carriers’ capacity. Unfortunately, it seems that global and local forwarders are experiencing a situation similar to what happened in the previous months at Greater China’s Yantian port.

With a current global idling rate around 1.0 – 1 .5%, we see a significant drop from the 10.6% we saw back in Q2, 2020.

To contrast this trend and support freight forwarders, at Maersk, we have launched a new Transpacific Express Service covering Yantian-Ningbo to Los Angeles.

While this event is not strictly related to the pre-Golden Week rush, it will most certainly affect your upcoming bookings. Read more about the situation in NAM and Asia-Pacific here.

Asia-Pacific
The challenge: local challenges increase due to extreme weather conditions - a heavy typhoon season threatens supply chain in China and countries nearby.

While the overstretched shipping industry tries to survive a pandemic, local forwarders have yet another obstacle to face. As experts forecast about 16 to 18 typhoons to hit the Northwest Pacific and South China Sea, from August to December, Yantian port drop-off has been paused.

While Typhoon In-Fa hits the coast, Yantian, Ningbo and Shanghai ports are congested with a wait time of 3 days.

Here’s another friendly reminder of forecasting your future shipments and preparing your business accordingly. To best support your end customers and to avoid any potential miscommunication, make sure to share with them this information timely.

Northern Europe
The challenge: congestions in the APAC region are impacting European ports as well.

On the destination side, specifically in Antwerp, there are already wait times up to 10 days. The latest congestions within the Asia-Pacific and North America regions are inevitably also impacting Europe’s main ports.

As the golden week affect begins to impact EUR, ROM have mentioned that the main hub ports are likely to become congested, predominantly Algeciras which is often the first hub port in EUR for Asia – EUR cargo. Thanks to recent updates to the Middle East network (see here) Golden week shouldn’t impact capacity from this region to EUR as it may have previously as the ME network no longer loads cargo on the AE vessels.

Source: Maersk


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