Celebrate the Year of the Ox, in a BIG way
The upcoming holiday celebration goes by many names: Spring Festival, Lunar New Year, and Chinese New Year are the most common but no matter which, we in the logistics community often find that the largest human migration on the planet is a catch-up period after the holiday season shipping bonanza. Billions of people normally travel to spend time during Chunyun, the travel period leading up to Spring Festival. During times such as these when the world is fighting a global pandemic and travel restrictions are still a deterrent, fewer travelers will embark, but the disruption won’t be mitigated.
In typical years carriers blank sailings to avoid the Asian ports and local customs authorities that are closed for the holidays, but this year there will be far fewer blanked sailings even though the US ports could use the break as record imports continue to flood in from Asia. Equipment is scarce and more than forty containerships are at anchor in San Pedro Bay waiting for a place to berth at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
A break in the vessel schedules would give ports a few calmer days that could help them process the backlog, but because that very backlog has created disruption in the schedules that carriers are planning to make up for by not blanking sailings. Put simply, the mess isn’t getting cleaned up anytime soon.
Lunar New Year begins on February 12th and lasts until the Lantern Festival on the 26th. This year is the Year of the Ox, the second year in a twelve year Eastern Zodiac cycle. Red is the color of luck and celebration during the two weeks and children and unmarried young people are given red envelopes filled with money for the coming year. Parades, lion and dragon dances, large displays of fireworks, and personal use of firecrackers are everywhere as communities come together.
An interesting tidbit about the traditions of the holiday is that domestic chores, including cleaning, sewing, organizing, and grooming are considered inauspicious. The reason these jobs and tasks are specifically included is so people who work in domestic service, hair and nail salons, and housewives are given equal time off since their jobs are particularly unlucky during the week. This protected workers who were typically passed over for time off and gave everyone a two-week break.
While this is a big event, we’re working hard to keep cargo moving no matter what time of year it is. This Lunar New Year, advance planning, flexibility in the schedule, and strategic partnerships are the key ways to avoid delays and equipment issues.
We wish our Asia partners in the traditional way: “Gong hei fat choy” & “Gong xi fa cai.” When you have BIG Logistics in your corner, every day is a celebration!