China: Covid Restrictions & Early CNY
China has reduced some of its Covid restrictions this week in a change to the government’s zero tolerance approach, which has been impacting its economy during recent times.
The new regulations include no PCR testing on public transport, although testing has not been removed completely. Truck drivers are still required to provide 24-hour Covid tests, which is continuing to slow down port throughput.
Coincidentally, China has witnessed a small upturn in demand recently, which is believed to be due to the early arrival of Chinese New Year on 22nd January 2023.
With the holiday fortnight coming so early in the year, Chinese exporters have been trying to get ahead of the shutdown period to avoid any potential delays.
As things stand, there are not as many blanked sailings currently planned for January as there have been this month. However, that could change quickly if demand drops off again in the next two to three weeks.
Our recommendation is that importers start considering the Chinese New Year period now and schedule any urgent ocean freight orders to depart by the first or second week of January.