As much of the World celebrates the Lunar New Year we thought it timely in our February blog to mention a little of the impacts on global trade and specifically the supply chain. Prior to this celebration, it was very evident in the media about ships being full, cargo being delayed and liners omitting ports of call because of congestion at some Far East ports, especially those in China.
The start of a new year herald’s great excitement, and with The Year of the Rooster that is no exception. The Rooster is almost the epitome of fidelity and punctuality under the Chinese zodiac. For ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the crowing was significant, as it could awaken people to get up and start their working day. Whilst the Far East enjoys some fantastic celebrations and pageants as we saw in Hong Kong, where it coincided with its 20th anniversary as a Special Administrative Region this year; we should all be ready to get up early and kick start 2017 with vigour.
Much money is spent celebrating these events and making it special. For example, in Hong Kong the Lunar New Year pyrotechnics display was one of the most anticipated events during the whole holiday. Almost 24,000 shells being fired from three barges in the harbour to mark The Year of the Rooster. The 23-minute display cost about HK$8 million, paid for by sponsors “Unique Timepieces by Halewinner”, according to the Home Affairs Bureau of Hong Kong.
Many suppliers and manufacturers in the Far East will be enjoying the celebrations back at home with their families. However, all this time of celebration does pose difficulties for global trade, as does any national holiday period the World over. Supply Chains are now built to cope with these annual events but that does not stop it causing challenges. Early February is already showing signs of vessels being full. The knock-on effect to this will be the airlines are full too, so planning in advance to avoid any costly and avoidable headaches is key to minimising the effects on your logistics.
Origin factories will come back to work within a few days, then the rush will be back on to move freight and so the annual cycle begins again. It is hugely exciting and with many changes around the World, being the first to seize on new opportunities is paramount. Exploring every option is the key to the success of any business. In the logistics sector, we have solutions for sea, air, plus air/sea services via the Middle East and now the new rail services through the Old Silk Route to import goods specifically from China to the UK.
Recently the first freight direct train service from China to the UK arrived in London on Wednesday 17.1.2017 completing its 18-day trip. Some 34 containers packed with mainly clothes and other high street goods completed the 7,456-mile (11,999km) journey. After setting out from the Chinese industrial city of Yiwu on 1.1.2017, the East Wind train crossed Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before passing under the Channel and arriving at the London Euro rail freight hub, close to the River Thames.
With the myriad of options available to the supply chain and the challenges of 2017 which will no doubt bring some real success for many, it is a good time to celebrate The Year of the Rooster with great vigour. Be ready to rise to the opportunities of 2017 and don’t forget you can reach out to Atlas Logistics UK Ltd for bespoke solutions on any of the items discussed in this blog.
And as they say in China for this new lunar year, 祝来年好运，并取得更大的成就。 — “Good luck and great success in the coming new year.”