The Year of the Rooster: Early Freight Pricing
About that annual cycle.
The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is one of the most important. It is celebrated on mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore and other countries with significant ethnic Chinese populations. Chinese exports effectively shut down for a full week, beginning the night before the New Year. Since the Chinese calendar is a lunar calendar, the Chinese New year may fall out anytime between late January and late February.
What does this have to do with price of freight in China?
The buildup to the Chinese New Year is nearly always the freight holiday shipping season’s last hurrah. The cycle starts in June or July with a slow climb, peaks in November and then drops off after Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. This trough generally lasts until right after the Christmas/New Year break. After the Turkey & Tree break, procurement professionals are faced with the task of replenishing stock before the looming Chinese New Year shutdown. As a result, last year, Greater China-US freight prices shot up by nearly 25% in the first week of 2016.