Chinese New Year – Blank Sailings

Chinese New Year – (Year of the Rat) is almost here, which brings factory closures across China for a week, accompanied by blank sailings during the same period.

A blank sailing is a sailing that has been canceled by the carrier. Why? When demand for space is low carriers will cancel sailings in order to ensure that vessels are full and rates stay up, since fewer sailings will be available.

We are currently seeing that this year’s lead up to Chinese New Year is a little different to the last few years. There has been no break between the end of the year push to have cargo exported and the push before Chinese New Year.  Chinese New Year falling in January would be the reason for this.

There is one huge way that you can minimise disruption during these peak periods and periods of blank sailings – early bookings.  If your supplier can arrange booking with our agents at least three weeks before the cargo ready date this gives you the best chance of cargo meeting your nominated sailing date / arrival date.

If your supplier leaves booking until the cargo is ready this can mean that your container will not depart until approx two / three weeks after.

Carriers blank sailings not only put pressure on containers departing from origin, they also put pressure through the transhipment ports. Delays of usually one to two weeks can be felt during this time.

If you require any further information regarding blank sailings and Chinese New Year please contact our Import Team.