An eminent 10-day Chinese holiday, the Chinese New Year is a precious time for people to spend with their family—bonding, setting off fireworks, decorating the house with red, and most importantly, receiving red packets! And now, the much-anticipated Chinese New Year 2024 is finally here. However, with it also comes the iconic Chinese New Year Shutdown in 2024, which significantly impacts your e-commerce business.
Read on as we explore all about when the Chinese New Year is, what the Chinese New Year Shutdown 2024 will be, its impacts on your business, and what measures you should take to safeguard it from CNY 2024.
Chinese New Year Shutdown 2024
If you have observed the Chinese New Year before, you will know that while the Chinese New Year itself is only one day, the China shutdown is a lot longer. Why is this so? The answer is quite simple: the celebrations last for two weeks, from New Year’s Eve onwards, ending with the Lantern Festival.
For factories, however, the preparations for CNY 2024 will begin as early as three weeks before the actual holiday. During this time, thousands will go home, and factories will shut down. After the holiday, it will take another two weeks for manufacturing operations to return to normal.
Therefore, your pre-preparations before the factory shuts and the post-work after the holiday ends are immense. After all, you have to make sure that your business does not incur severe losses during this period.
Chinese New Year 2024 Dates
The following depicts the complete timeline of the Chinese New Year 2024:
- Early to mid-January: At this time of the year, factories’ fast-paced manufacturing processes will start observing a gradual decline in their work rate.
- 18th – 25th January: During these dates, the Chinese factory will stop its operational processes.
- 26th January – 9th February: Employees in all factories will begin leaving for holidays; by the 9th of February, all employees will have left.
- 9th February: On the 9th of February, Chinese New Year’s Eve will take place.
- 10th February: With the clock striking midnight on the night of the 9th of February, the Chinese New Year will have officially begun.
- 10th – 17th February: These dates will mark the first seven days of the official public holidays of CNY 2024.
- 18th-20th February: During these dates, workers will return to their workstations, and operations will begin resuming.
- 24th February: There will be a Lantern Festival held on the 24th of February, which is marked as the official last day of the Chinese holiday.
Impacts of CNY 2024 on My Business
If your e-commerce business receives supplies from Chinese factories, you will no doubt be affected by the Chinese New Year Shutdown in 2024.
1. A Disruption in the Supply Chain
As we have seen above, the Chinese holiday lasts two weeks, with production in factories slowing down three weeks earlier. Thus, with the shutdown work beginning much earlier, you, too, will start getting affected by it during this time.
After all, during this time, two things will happen. Firstly, all the workers will begin their preparation to leave factories for the Chinese New Year 2024. Secondly, with workers going on Chinese holidays, there will be fewer hands to fulfill supply orders, thereby affecting your supply chain as a result.
2. Manufacturing Operations Will Cease
The manufacturing processes in the Chinese factory will only slow down in January; yet, during the 15 days of the Chinese New Year Shutdown in 2024, all operations will completely stop. During this time, no employees are at the factories or ports.
If you will only be slightly affected in January, be prepared to deal with a complete lack of supplies during these two weeks.
3. Increase in Shipping Orders
As we explained, operations in the Chinese factory will completely stop during the two weeks following the Chinese New Year 2024 dates. Further, even after the Chinese holiday, it will take time for manufacturing to return to normal.
Therefore, e-commerce businesses will increase their shipping orders right before the Chinese New Year. It’s not just one business that will do it; all will do it. This substantial increase in supply orders ultimately will lead to even greater issues because the Chinese factory will also become short of staff at that time.
4. High Port Congestion
Now, with a sudden surge in supply orders, what will happen next? Of course, there will be a high rate of congestion at the ports. In addition, ports will already have fewer workers available. With this increase in work and fewer hands, if you have also placed an order, it will be delayed by quite a large margin of time.
With a small staff, the loading and unloading process will be slowed down, thereby leading to a longer transit time for your supply of goods. Your business will ultimately suffer from this delay.
5. Escalating Shipping Costs
An inevitable consequence of a larger supply order is an inflation in shipping costs. If you intend to place a high-supply order right before the Chinese New Year Shutdown in 2024, you will have to pay a price much greater than what you normally pay.
6. Unavailability of Containers
Again, there will be a ripple effect on your Chinese New Year sales. The supply demands will already be high. There will be delays in the procedures. The ports will observe severe unavailability of large containers, which are used to contain a high amount of supply orders.
Since there will already be so many big orders, it will be difficult to find an available container for your goods.
How Do I Prepare for the Chinese New Year Shutdown 2024?
Chinese New Year comes and goes every year. You cannot just allow your business to suffer because of it every time. Therefore, you need to take certain measures to ensure that you pass the China shutdown without it severely affecting your business.
To do that, you need to, first of all, be very clear about two things: when is the Chinese New Year, and how long is Chinese New Year? Keeping these dates in mind, you can then prepare for it accordingly.
1. Strengthen Your Supply Chain
As mentioned, the Chinese New Year happens every year, so you must have some experience with the shutdown work. Accordingly, you need to first evaluate the reliability and efficiency of your suppliers. Have they managed to cope with the workload of the China shutdown in the past years and provided you with the supplies on time?
If you are satisfied with their performance, you can continue the partnership. If not, it’s time to explore other alternatives that boast a better shutdown work performance. You can also negotiate for better shipping rates and prioritized shipping.
2. Secure a Smooth Flow
Another thing you need to do is plan while keeping the Chinese New Year 2024 dates in mind. After having confirmed which supplier you will partner with, communicate with them properly. You need to make sure that they understand your requirements and will follow them.
Other than that, make sure to understand their workflow and how they cope with the large supply orders before China shuts down. If you feel satisfied with their functioning and have ensured that they will follow your demands, it is good to go.
3. Lock in Your Containers
As they say, the early bird gets the worm. Don’t wait until the last minute to secure your containers. After all, you must have already suffered through the process several times. At the time of the Chinese New Year Shutdown 2024, the suppliers will supply containers on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Therefore, pre-book your containers way before the hectic time of the China shutdown comes. This way, you will have ensured that no matter how many orders they receive afterward, there will be containers available for your goods.
4. Harness the Power of Data
Another thing you can do is forecast your future inventory demand. You can do this by looking at past customer data and their order behaviors. By having a fair idea of your selling point during the time of China shut down, you can then stock up on your inventory accordingly.
This will ensure that even if there are delays in your shipping, your business will remain unaffected. Cool, isn’t it?
Speaking of customer data, learn how to grow your brand with powerful customer reviews.
Also, learn about the top 10 best Shopify product recommendation apps in 2024 (manually tested).
5. Deliver Faster, Not Bigger
If other options are not viable, you can go with smaller but multiple shipments as well. While this may seem tedious compared to one big delivery, it will help you out when the suppliers are busy with other bigger and urgent orders.
Instead of placing one big supply order like others, you can instead divide your order into multiple shipments. With this, you will save yourself from the additional charges of faster delivery or the loss of running out of stock.
As an e-commerce businessman/woman, you can also check out Channelwill as a specialized e-commerce solution provider.
In conclusion, the Chinese New Year Shutdown 2024 will start on the 10th of February and last until the 24th of February. During this time, the China factory will remain closed and will not provide your e-commerce business with any stock.
Your e-commerce business will be affected by a disruption in the supply chain, the stopping of manufacturing operations, an increase in shipping orders, high port congestion, escalating shipping costs, and the unavailability of containers.
Of course, you can save your e-commerce business by strengthening your supply chain, locking in your containers early, harnessing the power of data, and focusing on faster delivery, not bigger.