Have you utilized the purchase power of importing from China? If you have been a manufacturing supplier for long, you know that you can gain a tremendous edge by importing your parts or entire product lines from Asia. Controlling costs can always be a function of time. Once you find a good fit for a supplier you need to take the consideration of shipping time. Most times it takes about 3 weeks of ocean voyage to get your delivery, plus the time on the docks at both ends. There is another factor to consider and that factor is Chinese New Year.
This year Chinese New Year is on February 18th. Knowing when this holiday is in effect if very important for an importer. The New Year celebration is the most important holiday in Asia. It is also the longest and has a profound effect on shipping and delivery’s. Various people take weeks off of work to prepare for this holiday. This can slow things down immensely and getting your goods can be delayed if you are operating in this time frame. Companies try to get deliveries completed before the holiday so that they can close down for the festivities. If you are waiting on a delivery, this can be somewhat frustrating.
The celebration also has an effect here (USA) and in other countries as well. Some freight companies know the effects of the Chinese New Year and they know that things slow way down. These are powerful tools in regulating shipping prices. You could easily say that you will expect to pay more for freight and ocean charges during this time period. Why? Because, they can get away with it. If you have to have it, you will pay, and shippers know this. It’s not always the case, but it is common and a great thing to know.
So how do you get around this? Careful planning of deliveries and marketing schedules can reduce the cost of importing your goods. Try to time your marketing ads and inventory stock so that you have a high quantity of inventory during this period. Simply knowing this and planning around it can save you time and grief.
Good Form If I may waive my technique flag for one minute I would advise you learn a few things about the Chinese New Year if you regularly do business in Asia. I find the Chinese very endearing to work with and they are most polite in their email exchanges. Wishing those warm greetings and enjoyment of family and friends during the holiday shows them that you understand their culture and value their business. This can go a long way in your networking and business relationships.
Ken Schulte is a contributing editor for http://www.routertabledepot.com as well as a personal coaching expert for small business development.