Shipping during the Chinese Golden Week 2023: Challenges and Nuances of the Supply Chain

Sep 27, 2023 Sophia Shkuro Sophia Shkuro

China is a major economic and logistics player in the global supply chain. Global importers and exporters are eager to establish trade connections with Chinese shippers, manufacturers, and suppliers. Therefore, it is necessary to be prepared for periodic changes in cargo turnover within the country due to national holidays. How does this affect international freight shipping?

What is the Chinese Golden Week?

Golden Week in China is a national autumn holiday. Every year, people travel around the country and attend vivid festivals for a week, gaining strength before the next working week.

When is Golden Week in China according to the lunar calendar?

In 2023, Golden Week is celebrated from October 1 to October 7.

In keeping with the boom and bustle of China's national economy during this period, the global logistics community is experiencing a lack of economic connectivity with the country.

Why is it hard to get in touch with national service providers and manufacturers, and how much can it impact smooth trade with countries during the holiday season? We will analyze these and other issues using the example of China.

Chinese Golden Week: Impact on global freight shipping

  • The increase in freight costs is the first thing you'll face when planning for peak-season deliveries. Also, preparations are complicated by the lack of space on vessels and trucks; the empty containers that are ready to use but are not readily available or are sold at a high cost; congested sea lanes; and overworked freight forwarders and carriers.
  • Lack of labor at the docks and ports is also a significant constraint. This causes delays in ports and disruptions in vessel unloading and container handling.

Therefore, if you are still in the process of preparing deliveries, it may be a good idea to wait out the holiday week. Besides, you must fully provide yourself and your customers with real-time data on the location of containers to track the stages of reloading and adjust ETA, ATA, and subsequent cargo operations.

How to prepare for Golden Week?

  • When should I book shipments? Use the following timeframe to plan your departures for the upcoming peak seasons: sea freight should be booked 3-4 weeks in advance, and air freight should be booked a couple of weeks in advance.
  • Rationally define the transit time during peak season. In times of rush, logistics services and offers with the shortest transit time increase in price. Moreover, not only the cost is the reason to refuse it; such offers are in great demand, and the lanes are crowded, which does not guarantee timely delivery of your goods.
  • Actively communicate with your logistics provider. During the fast-paced holiday season, you absolutely need to have accurate shipping data on a regular basis. At SeaRates, we provide an opportunity for carriers, shippers, analytical companies, port authorities, and other parties to logistics processes to receive accurate real-time data on container shipments in a timely manner and find the best freight rate for the most convenient route and transit time. Moreover, let us know about your requirements for cargo transportation: the urgency of the delivery of goods, your budget, and the details of the chosen route. You can always get a quote for shipping from the most reliable shipping lines or freight forwarders. Such precise control is enough for successful deliveries.

Every year, the dates of holidays in China change according to the lunar calendar.

Supplement this list with the holidays of the countries to which you are planning the nearest shipments, selecting the best time and circumstances for transportation.


Timely delivery, especially during peak seasons, can only be guaranteed by a reliable logistics provider. This is an accurate description of working with the convenient SeaRates logistics marketplace. Our Customer Support team will find you the fastest and cheapest transportation option for your urgent cargo. All you need to do is specify your requirements.

Gathering all the tips mentioned above, you will get a strategy to avoid peak delivery congestion.

Contact us at to get assistance with any of your transportation needs.

Sophia Shkuro is a content manager from Dnipro, Ukraine. Believes that the more complex a thing is, the easier it should be to write about it. Dreams of a future vacation by the sea.