The Chinese New Year of 2020 is approaching. The public holiday in China for Chinese New Year (CNY) is from 24 January to 30 January 2020.

The official date for celebration is Saturday 25 January 2019; however many factories close earlier so it’s best to confirm with your individual suppliers. In order to avoid any delays receiving documentation over this period please ensure that your supplier provides all documentation including any applicable original bills of lading, fumigation certificates and packing declarations before their leave begins.

Our offices in China & Hong Kong will be closed during the holiday as below.

  • Hong Kong Office closed from 25 – 28 January (returning Wednesday 29 January)
  • China Offices closed from 24 – 30 January (returning Friday 31 January)


Due to most factories shutting down during this period and beyond, the factories/exporter will try and accommodate as many shipments as possible before the holiday. Space is therefore expected to be very tight from early January. We suggest making bookings and confirming them at least 14 days in advance to avoid delays. As we have seen in previous years congestion at the ports and the capacity for shipping lines to accept too many bookings per vessel can cause rolled containers. It is wise to have an additional week for your ETA in case of shipment rolling.


China Customs generally arrange skeleton staff on duty or half-day during CNY at most bigger seaports. There will be reduced efficiency because of fewer working staff and hours. Moreover, customs brokers, trucking companies and LCL warehouse operations stop working. Therefore, we would suggest the following points:

  • All shipments must be handled/completed and customs cleared before CNY
  • For PRD ports, the customs office will be closed during CNY, clearance must be arranged prior
  • For emergency or special cases during the holiday, advance notice (including full and correct customs clearance documents must be provided) to determine feasibility.


Most truckers will stop providing service one week before the CNY. Like the ports, the trucking companies will be at capacity 2 weeks or more before CNY. Booking at least 10-14 days (FCL) & 7-10 days (LCL) in advance is required. Increased costs for trucking are expected.

If you have any queries regarding this or any other freight topic, please contact our Client Services team on 1300 651 888.


  • 2020 is the Year of the Metal Rat
  • Lucky numbers: 2 and 3
  • Lucky Colours: gold, blue and green
  • One of the Chinese zodiac’s most auspicious signs
  • According to the Chinese astrology, 2020 will be particularly good for businesses and entrepreneurs, developing skills and moving toward things, bringing hopeful ideas into practice
  • Obstacles will not be a hindrance and challenges will pull the best out of everyone
  • Rats are optimistic, energetic and likable by all. They are sensitive to other’s emotions but are stubborn with their opinions
  • Their personality is kind, but due to weak communication skills, their words may seem impolite and rude
  • They make great friends but can be too trusting and naïve at times
  • Famous people born in the Year of the Rat include George Washington, John F. Kennedy, Wolfgang Mozart, William Shakespeare, Prince Harry, Prince Charles, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Eminem, Katy Perry and Scarlett Johansson
  • Years of the Rat include: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008