Impact of Chinese holidays on transport from China

If you trade with China, you must consider the holidays celebrated in this country. We often do not realize the impact of Chinese holidays on the transport of goods from China, as well as China’s production in general. China is considered a “factory of the world”, and this factory is closed for a month during the Chinese New Year. It affects importers from around the world. We have prepared a list of Chinese holidays that must be taken into account when planning business contacts with Chinese and deadlines for placing orders.

It is always a good idea to prepare for it in advance so as not to be unpleasantly surprised by the delay in delivering the goods. We should regularly check the dates of holidays in China because according to the lunar calendar each year they have different dates. Below is a schedule for the coming years and the impact of Chinese holidays on transport from China.

Impact of Chinese holidays on Chinese transport and business contacts with China

The calendar of Chinese holidays should be kept up to date, because every year the Chinese holidays have a different date, according to the Chinese lunar calendar. The national holidays are presented below. Mostly they are short holidays, on the occasion of which there are three days off work (extended weekend). However, they should not be underestimated. During Holidays, contact with Chinese partners is problematic. We also do not recommend business trips these days. Inhabitants of China rest and go on mass trips, making traveling difficult. When planning orders and transport from China, it is necessary to include the two longest holidays: Chinese New Year and National Holiday. These are holidays that have the most significant impact on imports from China.

Chinese New Year

Dates: 25.02.2020 (24-29.02.2020) / 12.02.2021 (11-17.02.2021)


Dates:  4.04.2020 / 4.04.2021

Labour Day

Dates: 1.05.2019 / 1.05.2020 / 1.05.2021

Dragon Boat Festival

Dates: 7.06.2019 / 25.06.2020 / 14.06.2021

Mid-Autumn Festival

Dates: 13.09.2019 / 1.10.2020 / 21.09.2021

National Holiday

Dates: 1.10.2019 (1-7.10.2019) / 1.10.2020 (1-7.10.2020) / 1.10.2021 (1-7.2021)

Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most important and most feasted festival in China. It takes place each year at a different time around January and February and lasts for a week. To understand the impact of Chinese New Year on imports from China, it should first be understood that the majority of workers in Chinese industrial regions are internal migrants who came there in search of work from very distant rural regions. The period of the Spring Festival is the only opportunity for them during the year to return home and meet their relatives. This time is called the annual largest mass migration of people in the world.

More about Chinese New Year

China is a country with a large area. For this reason, many Chinese people must travel more than five thousand kilometers to meet their families. In this case, the trip may take up to 4-5 days one way. You must also take into account that it is difficult to get tickets for the ride before the Spring Festival, and the stations are overcrowded. To make it easier for employees to travel to family homes, factories and companies are closed even ten days before the Chinese New Year. Then you have to count on the return journey the same amount of time. This means that the holiday, which in theory lasts a week, in practice contributes to a month’s work stoppage.

Also, it often happens that workers decide to quit working during the break and do not even go back to factories. Factories often cannot achieve a typical level of performance immediately after the Chinese New Year, because they first have to find and train new employees.

How does the Chinese New Year affect production in China and transport from China?

There is always a tense time before Chinese New Year. Importers are placing larger orders to survive a long break, and the Chinese are in a hurry to send goods. Pressure causes that factories attach more importance to the implementation of a large number of orders, and less to technical specifications and quality control.


Before the holiday break, terminals are overloaded, and everyone wants to load their goods on the ship, which is why freight prices increase significantly. We should also take into account the longer transport time due to delays in the port. Only those who can pay the highest prices will receive their goods on time. Some loads will not leave the port at all and will wait until the end of the holiday season.

Impact on transport

Therefore, how significant is the impact of Chinese holidays on transport, it is recommended to plan orders and transport goods from China well in advance. To avoid problems with the quality of products or delay in delivery, it is worth placing an order by November at the latest. The size of the order should be carefully considered, taking into account that downtime in the factory’s normal operation may take up to March. It is necessary to take into account not only the period before the Chinese New Year but also after.

The goods must be in the port at least ten days before the Spring Day, and the cargo should be booked two weeks in advance. In this way, we will make sure that the goods will leave the terminal before the Chinese New Year.


We do not recommend placing orders just before the Chinese New Year. Even if the sales department accepts the order and ensures that the goods reach us, this may not reflect the actual situation. During this period, large orders and regular customers become a priority. Even if the products reach us (which is not sure), it may not be under the established quality requirements.

Some factories may inform about the deadline for placing orders before the Chinese New Year. Generally, however, we should keep an eye on the calendar of Chinese holidays and prepare for the period of Christmas downtime in China.

How does the National Holiday affect transport from China?

The National Holiday, every year takes place on the same day, making it easier to prepare for it. The holiday takes place on October 1; however, the Chinese enjoy a week off. The so-called Golden Week lasts from October 1 to October 7. During this time the factories are closed, and the number of transports is halved.

As in the case of the Chinese New Year, around the time of the National Day prices of freight are increasing significantly. Large quantities of cargo accumulate in the ports, as importers are preparing for the upcoming Holidays. We should keep in mind the impact of Chinese holidays on transport and plan ordering goods in advance.

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