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Chinese Golden Week approaches so book shipping now

Chinese Golden WeekAs Chinese Golden Week approaches (1st -7th October) we advise customers who are shipping in time for winter holidays to book now.

For sea freight we recommend booking 3-4 weeks ahead of Golden Week and for air freight a week prior to Golden Week.

China National Day, officially the National Day of the People’s Republic of China, is annually celebrated on October 1st to commemorate the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Chinese people enjoy a 7-day holiday from Oct. 1st to 7th, which is known as Golden Week. Factories close creating a surge of demand and less shipping capacity.

We are already seeing indications that the recent sea freight rate reductions and a slower peak season are leading to blank sailings – this is where carriers reduce capacity to boost rates. Meaning we are expecting less shipping capacity on the Asia to Europe trade lanes over the next 12 weeks.

Contact us to discuss options, rates and routes. Contact your account manager or call us on + 44 (0)1622 237 979 or email

Golden Week is similar to Chinese New Year (CNY), Chinese people take the 7 days off work to travel, see family or take trips. So there is a rush from importers to speed up their productions and have products shipped out of China before factories shut down or reduce their manufacturing capacity significantly. This usually creates a sudden surge of demand and sea freight capacity becomes constrained with carriers looking for Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) on Named Accounts and implementing General Rate Increase (GRI) on FAK/Spot rates.

How to prepare for Golden Week?

If you’re shipping via sea freight and want your goods to arrive in time for the winter holidays, we recommend you book your shipments prior to Golden Week:

  • For sea freight: Book 3-4 weeks prior to Golden Week.
  • For air freight: Book 1 week prior to Golden Week.
  • As with peak-season and Chinese New Year we recommend planning ahead, work closely with your TPS account manager, let us know which shipments are the most urgent.
  • Consider a service with a slightly longer transit time. These services are less likely to be overbooked, which means that your cargo is less likely to roll.
  • If your cargo is moving inland, consider an alternate port of discharge–this will give you more options when choosing a sailing.
  • If you’re in a serious rush, there’s always airfreight—but keep in mind this is a pricier option.
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