The hustle and bustle of the holidays have arrived and it’s not just last-minute shoppers that are under pressure. Chinese New Year is right around the corner and factories, manufacturers and publishers alike are all feeling the crunch. Everyone is working around the clock to ensure all product is on the water and sailing before February 1. Let’s dive a little deeper into CNY prep and the state of freight.
There are still container shortages, Covid restrictions, and transportation issues between borders, but despite all that, the ports in China and Hong Kong are moving shipments right along. You may still encounter rolling schedules, blank sailings, and maybe a port closure but things are still getting shipped out. The big topic this month is Vessel Space. It’s in high demand and not just for the month of December. Vessel space is already tight well into January schedules now, so submit your ship plans and book your vessel space as soon as possible lest you be left behind come February.
Chinese New Year is a big deal. So big, in fact, that almost all of China shuts down to celebrate, including factories, usually before CNY begins. Check with your GPI Account Manager and plan accordingly. If your factory shuts down mid-January, you won’t be able to ship anything after that date. Secure sailings now to ensure your factory can get it out the door on time.
We’re still looking at the same congestion issues we’ve been dealing with all year. Truckers and chassis are still in high demand and backups at the East & West coasts continue. Despite all of this, GPI has been seeing a slight improvement in the supply chain. Moored vessels off port are seeing shorter wait times, the train yards are releasing containers faster than previously and if planned appropriately, even trucker & chassis shortages are improving. Moving freight in a timely fashion is still a struggle and we’re by NO means seeing anything like normal, but we’re celebrating small wins at this stage and if there’s even a little bit of improvement, we’re happy about that.
Lastly, GPI’s freight department would like to wish all of you and your families a very happy holiday. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas or a Festivus for the Rest of Us, I wish you and your families the best of days. You have all been very supportive of the freight department this year, despite the high prices and slow transit times and for that I’m truly thankful.
Enjoy your holidays and I can’t wait to see what I can ship for you next year! Erin Gagne, GPI Logistics Coordinator