The December holiday season is a big one for the fulfillment industry, but it’s not the only holiday to have an effect on logistics. There’s a “start of Spring” holiday coming up in January and it’s a big one. Celebrated by more than a billion people in China, and millions of others across the globe, Chinese New Year affects the industry in a slightly different way.
In 2020 Chinese New Year will fall on Saturday, January 25. It’s the Year of the Rat, which is the first animal in the Chinese zodiac. The holiday is based on the traditional Chinese calendar in which days begin and end at midnight, months begin on the full moon and years begin on the second new moon after the winter solstice.
In the US there is at most a holiday week, where quite a few have time off from work. But in China, the holiday shutdown is much longer, and there is much more travel. Workers in manufacturing companies travel back to their villages to celebrate, sometimes for as long as two months, and the same goes for the shipping ports. As the workers, managers and production overseers will be celebrating and traveling, everything slows down and businesses close. Due to the extensive travel, Chinese New Year is considered the largest human migration of the year – known as “chunyun” or “spring migration”.
Across the world, businesses that rely on China’s shipping and manufacturing industries are affected by the holiday, and they prepare. Most have been through the shutdown before so they are wise enough to order early, prior to the shutdown. For example, AMS’ clients who are importers will have ordered heavily to make sure they have adequate inventory to get through.
As mentioned before, 2020 is the year of the rat and so the year will reflect the attributes of the rat – the first in the calendar (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.) The yearly names make up the zodiac, and the origin is a fable about animals racing and the order in which they finish. When the fables were created, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus.
If you were born in 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, your animal will be the rat. It is said you are optimistic, energetic, likeable by all and sensitive to others but stubborn. There are many beautiful, fun special events during this celebration, and we hope you are able to enjoy the fun, food and fireworks.