Preparing for 2022 Lunar New Year
As 2020 drew to a close, the concern surrounding Lunar New Year was centered around the blanked sailings that we typically need to prepare for, but the challenges of this year make the mess even bigger than before. The blanked sailings could be the best and worst thing to hit us in over twenty-four months. With the New Year falling on February 1, 2022, the public holiday in China will take place from January 31st – February 6th, coinciding with the Beijing Winter Olympic Games that run from February 4 – 20th.
Complicated by pandemic issues hitting the supply chain hard, the logistics industry is staring at a difficult first quarter as these issues combine to either further destabilize the supply chain or give ports and carriers a much-needed break to catch up on backlogs – possibly kicking off a more painful equipment imbalance than we are currently experiencing.
In a typical year, the blanked sailings that happen during Lunar New Year see containers piled high with cargo earlier in the month to mitigate the delays that naturally happen when ports are skipped – retailers in areas where the nation doesn’t close for a week-long holiday must plan for inventory needs around those dates.
When combined with the pandemic, record-setting import levels for the United States, and shoppers who are still spending money at a record pace, those blanked sailings represent orders unfulfilled, a domino effect of delays causing more complications in the toughest times we’ve faced.
None of the solutions that would offer a fast fix to the logistics market are healthy economic trends. Short of a recession brought on by shoppers stopping to take a breath, we expect the Year of the Tiger to start with the same struggles we saw in 2021. In the legend surrounding the Chinese Zodiac, the Tiger is the third of a twelve-year cycle and predictions lead to a strong year where successes flow like rivers and stability reasserts itself. One may be reticent to look into the legends but we did have a global pandemic in the Year of the Rat so perhaps there can be comfort in the coincidence.
Now is the time to start making plans to mitigate the issues already arising when sailings are blanked this Lunar New Year. The sooner we plan the easier it is to determine how best to manage the logistical challenges facing us in 2022. Patience, flexibility and organization from your forwarder are the keys to flourishing in the new year and we can help you find your Bestway through it all.