Lunar New Year is one of those topics we post about every year and through that, we can look back over the years and watch how times change and logistics cycle through boom and bust times. With the pandemic headed into its second year, it’s unlikely that those circumstances will disperse before at least another twelve months pass. It’s in light of the pandemic and the upcoming celebration of Lunar New Year and the Beijing Olympics that a perfect storm of disruption is unfolding on the trans-Pacific.
The Lunar New Year public holiday runs from January 31st through February 6th while the holiday runs until the Lantern Festival on the 15th of February coinciding with the Beijing Olympics starting on February 4th until the 20th. These events typically lead to massive human migration, travel, and coordination in the years when they aren’t falling in the same period, so the sheer number of people expected is almost incalculable.
The level of coordination it will take to move seamlessly from one continent-sized celebration to another will likely be the stuff of either logistical legend or cautionary tale. To further complicate matters, the cargo bound for the Olympics will be traveling at the same time as the people moving around to visit family and friends for the New Year. With capacity issues already problematic and workers pulling double duty on scaled-back crews, the footwork will have to be nimble indeed throughout February.
As we’ve been advocating, patience, flexibility, and planning ahead will be the critical factors in navigating the cargo craze coming in the next month. It is a time when shippers need a seasoned professional with decades of experience and exceptional quality standards to guide their supply chain in such a complex market. Fortunately, the extreme disruption of the situation is likely going to be very temporary, though the ramifications of congestion and resulting bottlenecks could take weeks to sort out.
CFI is on hand to advise on the best way to plan ahead to ensure your perishable shipments are protected and kept on time throughout the year, come what may. If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that we trained for this level of disruption and we were ready to serve our clients throughout the commotion. When you need a steady hand and a cool chain carrier, call your CFI representative.