Time Is Tight – Get Your Factory Orders in Before the Lunar New Year Rush

Nov 21, 2023 | 0 comments

If you’re importing from China, or Asia then read on for 2 key tips and a story.

Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year is quickly approaching and your factories probably have their production schedules almost finalized.

In 2024, the Lunar New Year falls on February 10th, but if you’re experienced in dealing with Chinese manufacturers, you know the week before is normally a write-off as workers start traveling early to “beat the rush.”

Why the Early Rush?

Leading up to the Lunar New Year, an epic migration begins.

Factory workers, many of whom are from rural areas, start their journey home to celebrate with their families.

This exodus isn’t just a trickle; it’s a flood. The impact on production is immediate and significant.

I once tried to travel with my wife during Chinese New Year.

We got to the train station and squished our way into the enormous queue to try and buy a ticket. Then waited 3 hours. We hardly made any progress in line.

We glanced at each other, and in a look of silent agreement decided to ditch the plan. We ended up buying plane tickets at an eye watering markup…

The gist: Factories shut down entirely—doors even getting “papered shut”—leading to what’s commonly known as a “production blackout.”

The Entire Month of February: A Production Blackout

It’s not just the week before the Lunar New Year that’s impacted. The entire month of February will essentially become a production blackout period, depending on your factory.

This means if your orders aren’t completed and shipped out before this time, you’re looking at significant delays. Plan to get your orders out by January.

Tip #1: Avoid Splitting Orders Before and After

Some might consider splitting their order production, getting part done before the Lunar New Year and the rest after.

But, I highly recommend for you to avoid this if at all possible.

Post-Lunar New Year, many factory workers do not return to their previous jobs. This turnover can lead to new, often less experienced workers handling your orders.

The result? Uh-oh. Potential inconsistencies and quality issues—your business’s products becoming guinea pigs on the production line.

Tip #2: What To Do Now

A.Communicate with Your Factories ASAP:

Confirm their production schedules and ensure your orders are prioritized for completion before the rush.

B. Plan for Shipping in Advance.

With many businesses rushing to ship out products, logistics can become a nightmare and expensive. Book your shipments early to avoid delays and increased costs.

C. Consider Stocking Up

If needed, it might be wise to order a bit more than usual to cover any potential delays post-New Year.

D. Have a Back-up Plan

Always have a plan B. Whether it’s finding secondary suppliers or adjusting your inventory management, anticipate unforeseen delays.

If they happen, hey – you’re ready. And if they don’t, then revel for a moment and be happy you had your bases covered.

The Lunar New Year is a time of celebration and a much needed respite, but if you’re reliant on Chinese manufacturing, it’s also a time for strategic planning.

By acting now and communicating effectively with your suppliers, you can avoid the headaches of production delays and maintain the quality your customers expect.

So hit up your rep by email or on WeChat and start the conversation today! Oh and don’t forget to send them a holiday greeting during the New Year. 🌟🏭📅

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