What to expect during Chinese New Year

For a large percentage of Americans, Chinese New Year may mean eating a special dinner, reading up on your birth year or zodiac, or watching a parade.  But when you’re in the purchasing or international logistics world, it means something entirely different.

In 2018, Chinese New Year officially begins on Friday, February 16 and ends on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 but the majority of Chinese factories will shut down and vacations will start prior to the Chinese New Year and will end well after.  Some factories will close their doors one to two weeks before Chinese New Years Eve, which is Thursday, February 15, 2018 and won’t open them again until March 2, 2018.  It’s fairly common for a factory to be closed the entire month of February.

What does this mean for a buyer importing from China? 

It’s a great time to get caught up on other things!  Chinese factories typically won’t accept any new orders.  Mass production and sample development is halted during this time and suppliers will slow down their productions weeks before the Chinese New Year even starts.  So, basically from a U.S. buyer’s standpoint, the entire manufacturing industry of China shuts down.

This also means that it’s a great time for air and ocean carriers to increase their rates as buyers are trying to get their goods into the U.S. before Chinese New Year starts, and quickly after factories reopen. General Rate Increases will typically stick and capacity is normally fairly tight.

ChinaImportal released a handy infographic on how Chinese New Year impacts import businesses including some tips on how to avoid the effects.


It is also known as the biggest traveling time of the year.  If you aren’t into crowds, this is the time to avoid visiting China.  Scarbrough has had a vast amount of experience dealing with the Chinese New Year, and believe me, we have seen it all.

If you have a need during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts.  You can email us now.