Easter shipping: Why it pays to book early

01 March 2018

The impact of the Chinese New Year and how to avoid it

Public holidays can disrupt logistics at the best of times, and Easter is no different. In fact, when it comes to shipping, this period can cause chaos for companies that don’t plan ahead, as a result of the slowdown in Asia after Chinese New Year.

To ensure you don’t get caught out with higher rates or delays to your schedule, it’s vital to get your bookings in early for Easter shipments. Here’s why:

The impact of Chinese New Year

Shipping activity experiences a surge in Asia around Chinese New Year, which leads to a traditional slowdown in its wake. To protect rates, carriers respond to reduced demand by adjusting their capacity; ‘blank sailings’ are implemented to remove excess supply from the market.

‘Blank sailings’ are essentially cancelled sailings in a schedule – if an Asian carrier normally ran five sailings to Europe in a week, they might reduce this to two following Chinese New Year.

Starting westbound, blank sailings have a knock-on effect for any cargo travelling eastbound on the return journey four or five weeks later. This reduced export capacity coincides with the run-up to Easter in Europe, where there is a similar rush to complete shipments ahead of the holidays.

As a result, space is limited and often comes at a premium. Add to this the fact that Easter reduces the working week from five days to four (reducing haulage availability to just three), and this can cause huge problems for shippers who don’t plan ahead.

Beat the Easter rush – book early

If you’re planning to export mid- to late March, act fast to secure space and haulage windows. By getting ahead of the Easter rush, you’ll not only avoid delays to your shipping schedules – you’ll also lock in the best rates before the inevitable premiums as demand begins to outweigh capacity.

The Allseas Global team are on hand to help you broker the best deals for Easter shipping, and we strongly advise booking at least two weeks before the holidays if you want to avoid disappointment. Beyond this point, it’s worth monitoring import deliveries and export collections closely to manage expectations around schedules.

To request a quote for your shipment(s), get a quote online or call us on +44 (0)330 555 5555 or email info@allseasglobal.com.

We can assist with any bookings or deliveries you have in the pipeline, to ensure your logistics continue to run smoothly throughout the Easter period.

Price Promise Guarantee

Our vast experience in Project Logistics means we’re able to secure the very best rates for our customers. We now offer a Price Promise Guarantee to beat any like-for-like formal quotation. Let us quote your next cargo project in the peace of mind you’re receiving the best rate available in the market.

Get a quote
Price Promise Guarantee