Quality Products International

Is your Asian supply chain CNY ready? Not sure? Ask QPI Ltd.

by on Oct.19, 2016, under China Manufacturing Blog

Saturday 28th of January 2017 marks the coming Lunar Calendar New Year and the Chinese Horoscopes year of the Rooster.

More commonly known as Chinese New Year, often abbreviated to CNY.

Now is the time to ensure your Asian supply chain will be producing and shipping your product on time and to specification.

If you are not sure, please feel free to contact Quality Products International (QPIQPI Ltd) for more details.

Background about CNY
For most people around the world, Chinese New Year will go almost unnoticed.

If you live near a “China Town” in a “bigger international city”, or in area with a high South East Asian population, you may even hear some fireworks and other events relating the Lunar New Year celebrations.

As with the western (Gregorian calendar) new year, celebrations are focused around the New Years Eve (which for 2017 will be Friday 27th January 2017 ) and New Years Day (Saturday 28th January 2017) is more a relaxed holiday.

In Asia, and especially China, CNY is “THE” holiday. There is no way to over emphasize this and especially the effects it can have on your Asian supply chain, in China for more than 2 months around CNY.

To compare to USA, if you were to think of Thanks Giving, Christmas, New Years Eve and your Great Aunt Mable’s 100th Birthday party / family reunion falling on the same weekend, you would be getting close to CNY!

In a culture where “family obligations” prevail over nearly everything else, this holiday compels people to come together for a celebration.

Since many people will work and study away from their hometown, it instigates virtually a complete shutdown of all business’ (other than small corner store style retailers) for about 1week – 2 months, to facilitate the CNY family reunion.

…and when a factory says they are “open”, they mean a scant few staff, who live “locally”, will only take a single week off. However rest assured production will be significantly effected for much longer.

The business shutdown then rolls into the worlds largest human migration, as a predominantly migrant work force, returns to their home town.

Given the immense pressure on the transport system many factory workers will try to leave earlier if they can.

Bear in mind, that entire trains will “sell out” online within 20 seconds, as more than 15million tickets are sold per hour, even for “standing only” tickets on 3 day train journeys.

About 800 million people will buy over 3.5 BILLION tickets, mostly on buses and trains (across several legs of the journey to and from).

While air travel accounts for the smallest amount of overall travel, there are normally well over 35 million air tickets purchased.

To put that in perspective, the CNY holiday period will account for about 10% of the annual passenger volume at large airports such as Shanghai’s Pudong Airport.

Official public holiday is from Friday 27th January till Thursday 2nd February.

In real practical terms however, the holiday period is from about 15 days before CNY for about 40 days.

So many, factories will be closed about Friday 13th January 2017 till about Wednesday 22nd February 2017.

With that 40 day period just being the minimum expected factory closure dates, effective production will be significantly affected, with backlog and knock on effects well before and long after CNY.

For anyone less familiar with Chinese practices, a note about weekends. Often the Saturday and Sunday around a holiday will be declared a normal business day, so banks, offices, and so on will be open as normal.

Effects between now and CNY
Production will back log in the weeks, even months leading up to CNY that, will potentially impact shipping dates and of course leads to more chance of quality issues arising from rushing and or “cutting corners”.

Test labs will start to backlog.

Shipping and land transport will backlog.

Shippers warehouses will backlog.

For example, truck drivers moving your containers from the factory to the shippers warehouse, may drive one hour from the factory to the shipping yard and have to queue for several days to get into the shipping company yard for unloading.

So, in the lead up to CNY, extra care should be taken for planning everything, especially booking QC, shipping, planning local transport from factory to shippers warehouse and follow up.

Effects after CNY
Once home, many people get comfortable and contemplate the coming year.

After a long time of working extended hours in factories and living in factory dormitories, many are no rush to get back to work once enjoying the comforts of home life.

Factories are typically often chronically under staffed after CNY.

Many people take the opportunity to try for a better job in the new year, so “turnover rates” for factory staff over the Chinese New Year period are massive.

Low staff levels mean that production rates will be slower.

A very high percentage of new staff means that extra care is needed for Quality Control, even in factories who have previously produced your product reliably.

…..and the shipping yards may still be back logged immediately after CNY.


Plan ahead for future CNY holidays, with a list of Chinese New Year Dates from QPILtd up until 2030.

CNY Days and Dates 2018 – 2030


For other articles relating to CNY, including future CNY Dates, please see:

China almost back to normal after CNY ~ will your production be OK?

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