No one likes it when a shipment is going to arrive later than expected. It can damage your relationship with a customer, cause you inconvenience, and cost you money. On rare occasions, natural disasters or other anomalies will occur which no one can control but those aside, there are ways to ensure you have a reliable supply chain.
Understand the Market You are Working In
One of the most common sources of China supply chain interruption occurs because of National Holidays or “National Observances.” These go on quite a few times throughout the year and some of them are major holidays where factories shut down for several days at a time, if not longer. These holidays often cause disruption during what western customers may consider normal work weeks. Even when American business people take the holiday into account it is essential to coordinate with your factory and find out what dates the factory will close to celebrate it. When the factories close really varies on a case by case basis, some factories close days before the holiday starts and won’t reopen until several days after and others will hardly close at all. Some important days to keep in mind are New Year’s Day, the Chinese New Year, Qingming, May Day, and Memorial Day.
It is A Lot to Manage – Get Help
Rad Sourcing specializes in managing everything related to your products production. Rad Sourcing helps companies outside of China understand their holiday production schedule and makes sure to place order requests far enough in advance to prevent any significant delays because of them. We make sure you don’t have to worry about your manufacturer’s holiday schedule and ensure that it doesn’t inconvenience you. During the holiday’s it is important to understand that most production facilities are located near China’s Coastal provinces because of their close proximity to warehouses and major shipping ports, Shenzhen for example. These cities are more costly and so many of China’s factory workers families live inland often times many hours away. This means that when major manufacturers shut down the downtime lasts longers on both sides of the holiday, so workers can travel home and back.
Rad Sourcing stays in constant communication with our team and manufacturers abroad so you don’t have to. This ensures that our clients shipments do not, quite literally, “miss the boat.” Knowing when your manufacturing partner will close is only part of the equation. You also have to take into account your shippers schedule. Container loading deadlines often change when it is close to a holiday, as their workers face the same reality as many factory workers. The time between when your product arrives at the port and when they set sail is often much longer. Plan in advance with your shipper so your product doesn’t just arrive to the port on time but arrives on time at its final destination.
Tips to Prevent Shipping Delays
First of all, you are going to want to order early. This should be obviously, you will always want to place orders before you need them, so you don’t run out of stock and lose customers while your manufacturer makes more products for you to sell. This is especially important around the holidays as you have to also take those extra days into account. Second, make sure you verify your payment schedule especially around the Chinese New Year. A number of shippers and factories raise their rates during that time period for “rush” orders. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by communicating in advance with your production partners. Many Western business people assume that small orders will be easy for manufacturers to produce quickly, even during the holidays. Unfortunately that is often not the case. Always ask or consult with your sourcing agent to confirm if your manufacturing partner is even taking small orders close to the holidays. Remember that your partner has other customers, some of which may want their large quantity orders rushed so they can ship before the holiday. To put it simply, confirm early! Another thing to take note of is; You probably are not available during the holiday’s to your clients, or at most you are much less available, so do not be surprised if your manufacturing partner is during theirs as well.