Happy New Year! It’s pretty late to be saying that, unless you’re in China, in which case it’s right on time. We are on the cusp of the Chinese New Year period for 2019, the Year of the Pig.

You’ve probably heard about CNY already, and that it’s a big problem for the Logistics industry. But what does that really mean?

For Chinese New Year, China basically hits the pause button. For a month. While the holiday itself will only run from February 5th to the 19th  this year, businesses close for about 10 days before the holiday period, and then about 10 days after it’s over, to allow for the approximately 80 to 100 million workers to leave their coastal-urban work areas  ̶  in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, among other cities – and travel inland, back to their home towns, for their New Year’s celebrations.

New Year’s festivities in China result in the largest annual migration of people on earth.

80 to 100 million people just go, pencils down.  As a comparison that would be like:

  • The metropolitan areas of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Jose, Boston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and Philadelphia all going on vacation at once.
  • All the people who bought tickets to Black Panther (the top grossing movie of 2018) disappearing simultaneously.
  • Every viewer of the televised 2018 Super Bowl switching the channel in unison.
  • Every single iPhone owner in the U.S stepping out to send a month-long text.
  • As many people as there are Amazon Prime Subscribers taking a break to finally catch up on Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. (Though less than half as many Netflix subscribers [137 million])
  • 4 times as many people as have ever bought a Ford F-150 truck (the best-selling vehicle of any kind for the past 35 years) taking a joint road trip.
  • 5 times more people than visit Disneyland per year choosing not to wish upon a star.
  • Almost twice as many tourists visiting New York City annually (they welcome 59 million per year) touristing elsewhere.
  • 3 times as many people as have purchased Michael Jackson’s Thriller album putting down their headphones.
  • And twice as many people as visit the Mall of America yearly opting to shop online instead. (It’s the #1 tourist destination in the Midwest!)

The Chinese New Year hasn’t beat every record. Their mass migration is still less than a third of the total number of people who have purchased a Rubik’s Cube (at 350 million units, the best-selling toy of all time).  But it does mean shippers will be facing challenges over the next couple months.

Nothing will get into or out of China for the month-long window surrounding CNY. But with Navegate, you have an opportunity to succeed within the limitations of CNY. Our advice?

  • Stay in contact with your brokers. We’ll coordinate with you to determine the optimal shipping time frame for your orders. Do you need to have it out before CNY, or will you have to wait until after CNY is over? Our experts have the answers.
  • Stay in contact with your vendors. Navegate’s vendor portal will facilitate quick, easy communication with your vendors to ensure everything gets where it needs to be in time.
  • Don’t rush! Without the correct documentation, your shipments could get delayed in port.
  • Stay in the know. Navegate’s software provides you the optimal visibility on shipping routes and delays.
  • Be flexible. If your shipping targets can’t be met, we will let you know immediately so we can work together toward your new goal.

Even in midst of an epic migration, our supply chain expertise and the constant eye on your shipments available to you via the Navegate platform – so you know exactly when a delay or even a full New Year’s halt occurs – will be the key to your success in the Year of the Pig. Chinese New Year is kind of a big deal, but it’s nothing we can’t handle.