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Chinese Public Holidays – Expect the Usual USB Memory Stick Mayhem

Posted by USB2U on 10th September 2013 | Permalink

If the challenges thrown up last week by the fire at the Hynix factory were not enough we’re about to enter even more choppy waters with the start of the Chinese Holiday Season.

For the uninitiated it won’t come as any surprise that 99% of all USB memory sticks in the world are manufactured in China. So when “China” goes on holiday and stops production it has a huge knock on effect on the price and availability of promotional USB memory sticks.

USB Memory Sticks - Chinese National Holidays 2013

USB Memory Sticks - Chinese National Holidays 2013

The problem is exacerbated with promotional USB memory sticks because these are typically manufactured to order and flown in from the China within a few days of their production. Outside of the holiday period this works well with lead times from order to delivery being an impressive 7-10 days. But, during the holidays a back-log of orders builds up, prices rocket on the back of limited supply and even when the factories return from their holiday it can take weeks to get production (and prices) back to normal.

This year (2013) the Mid-Autumn Festival takes place on the 19th September so the factories will only close for one day. The big holiday is the Chinese National Day holiday and this will run from 1st Oct to 6th Oct. Some factories and courier firms will operate as usual during the few days between these two holidays but many won’t. Some businesses are predicted to close on the 18th September and won’t open again until the 10th October!

Whilst it seems extreme you have to appreciate that many employees combine these two national holidays to travel thousands of miles to be with their families in the provinces. These can involve journeys of several thousand miles often endured on clogged roads and overcrowded trains.

So, if you need some promotional USB Memory sticks any time during the next 4-5 weeks you are strongly advised to get your order in early. This way you should be able to get delivery before the factories close and before prices start to climb even higher.

If you simply can’t commit to an order now and find yourself trying to source USB sticks in the middle of the holidays then your best bet is to find a UK based supplier that holds blank stock and can print (or engrave) the USB sticks in-house.

At USB2U we always hold tens of thousands of USB sticks in stock across a range of 20 different models so typically we’ll have something that will meet your needs. We also print, engrave and data-load in house and we can turn orders around in as little as 24hrs! If you do find yourself caught up in these holiday delays don’t panic. Give us a call we’ll talk you through the options.


Consistent and Reliable USB2U Customer Service

Posted by USB2U on 14th September 2011 | Permalink

The holiday season is coming to a close and most of the USB2U employees have used their days of holiday to take a relaxing trip and to go abroad. Employees have gone to Greece, Sicily, France etc.  The most recently returned employee came back from a self-catering camping holiday in France.  Being a self-catering holiday it meant that they were heavily dependant on local shops, supermarkets and restaurants for food and amenities, which lead to some problems.

Staying in a fairly remote area on the southwest border of France meant that shops closed at lunchtime for around two hours – weirdly even some bakeries and sandwich shops, which in England would benefit most at lunchtime. Most supermarkets also closed at eight o’clock every day and would almost throw you out of the shop at closing time. The most surprising thing about the experience in France was the lack of customer service in most shops.

promotional USB wearing a beret and a string of onions

French USB Twister Flash Drive

Shop opening times always seemed so uncertain and never seemed convenient or made much sense, whether shops were open or not depended on the weather, when wrong change was given in shops you were made to feel like it was your fault for not giving the right amount and custom was even denied at one point because the shop wanted to do a stock take. We are aware that this is one experience of the customer service in France and does not apply to every shop or business and cultural differences could have played a big part in the how things were perceived. However, this experience got us thinking about our customer service.

At USB2U we aim to make ordering your branded USB flash drives as easy, consistent and helpful as possible. We assign an experienced and dedicated account manager to every new enquiry to help you choose the best custom USB memory sticks for the purpose. We are consistently available to contact via telephone between normal working hours of 9 and 5, and we can be emailed or contacted through our website any time of the day and we will respond as soon as we can during work hours. We offer free mock-ups and samples meaning that customers can see their virtual logo USB flash drive and feel the quality of our products in their hands before they place an order.

We deliver all of these services so that ordering custom USB memory sticks from USB2U will not be anywhere near the experience of our employee in France.


Promotional USB Flash Drives – Normal Service Resumes

Posted by USB2U on 22nd February 2011 | Permalink

Phew! We all know it’s coming but irrespective of how much forward planning goes into managing the extended closure of the flash drive factories in China every year the Chinese New Year holiday throws up its own challenges and leaves many customers frustrated and disappointed.

Chinese New Year is a national holiday and technically whilst it only lasts around 10 days lots of people take an extended break to give them time to travel home to see their families – bearing in mind “home” can be several thousands of miles away the extended break is perhaps no surprise.

During the Chinese New Year holiday pretty much everything comes to a standstill; the factories that produce flash memory modules, the factories that produce the flash controller chips, the factories that assemble the finished flash drives and lots of the freight haulage companies close. It’s a bit like letting a steam train that’s been clattering along at 80mph come to a stop and then extinguishing the boiler fires.

Restarting the train takes time, you need to re-light the fires, build up the steam pressure again and then gradually start to gain momentum.

USB Steam TrainA week after the return from the Chinese New Year holidays we’re now full steam ahead again and we’re turning around customer orders for promotional USB flash drives within 10-days of order – sometimes quicker!

We always carry lots of stock in the UK that we can print and deliver within 48hrs if you’re in a hurry but you will inevitably be limited in terms of design, colour and memory size and you’ll also pay a premium for the UK print charges. If you have the time you’re always better off letting us manufacture and print your USB flash drives at one of our factories in China, this way you get exactly what you want and it’ll be cheaper!


USB Drives In A Flash – 48Hrs No Less

Posted by USB2U on 21st September 2010 | Permalink

It’s a notoriously difficult time of the year for anyone wanting to order USB flash drives printed with a logo on to get them delivered quickly. The simple reason is that most USB flash drives are manufactured and printed for customers in China and then air freighted into the UK for onward delivery. Surprisingly this is not normally a problem because this whole process takes just a matter of days from time of order but at the moment China is effectively “closed” because of the convergence of two National Holidays.

This year the Mid-Autumn Festival will run from 22nd Sept to 24th Sept shortly followed by Chinese National Day holidays that run from 1st Oct to 7th Oct. Some factories and courier firms will be operating during the few days between these two holidays but many won’t. Some businesses are expected to remain closed from the 18th September to the 10th October!

Urgent USB Flash Drives

Chinese Holidays - USB Flash Drives in 48Hrs

The consequence of these holidays is that the lead-time for USB flash drives manufactured and printed in China will extend to several weeks rather than days. So, if you have not placed your order by today and been given a confirmed delivery date then you may be looking at mid-October as a realistic delivery date.

At USB2U we plan for these holidays every year and we stock up with blank USB flash drives that we print in the UK and turnaround in 48hrs or less. We don’t carry our full portfolio of USB flash drives but we do have a reasonable selection of both USB sticks and memory sizes.

If you find yourself needing USB flash drives printed with your logo on anytime during the next couple of weeks just give us a call and we’ll talk you through the options. Don’t leave it too late though because it seems that no matter how much stock we buy in we always struggle to fulfil all the orders we have.


Chinese Public Holidays – Plan Ahead For Branded USB Orders

Posted by USB2U on 31st August 2010 | Permalink

If you’re looking to buy branded memory sticks for any event in October then its worth bearing in mind that at this time of the year Public Holidays in China play havoc with availability and lead times. Although many suppliers (USB2U included) will hold local stock and will continue to be able to offer branded USB memory stick solutions these are typically limited in terms of product choice and memory size.

Chinese Holiday

Chinese Holiday

Pretty much every USB flash drive available anywhere in the world will have been manufactured in China and because branded (versions printed with a company logo) are made to order Public holidays not only cause challenges during the holiday period itself but there are in the aftermath there are always delays as the factories and courier firms try to play “catch-up”.

This year the Mid-Autumn Festival will run from 22nd Sept to 24th Sept shortly followed by Chinese National Day holidays that run from 1st Oct to 7th Oct. Some factories and courier firms will be operating during the few days between these two holidays but many won’t. Some businesses are predicted to close on the 18th September and resume again on the 10th October!

Many employees combine these two national holidays to travel back to their families in the provinces and given the distances involved its understandable why the holiday periods are so long.

So, if you are planning to use USB Flash Drives with your logo printed on them for any event, campaign or show in the near future then its worth buying them now to avoid disappointment.

If you do find yourself caught up in these holiday delays don’t panic. Give us a call at USB2U and we’ll talk you through the options.


Chinese Labour Day Holiday – Order Your Flash Drives Now

Posted by USB2U on 26th April 2010 | Permalink

It only seems like a couple of weeks ago that we had Chinese New Year when the factories in China that manufacture branded flash drives closed down for a couple of weeks but it was in Early February. The next holiday to have an impact of lead times of branded flash drives in Chinese Labour Day.

branded flash drives

Branded Flash Drives

Originally this holiday was just 1 day but in 1999 it was extended by the Chinese Government to 3 days and as such gives the workers across China sufficient time to go home and spend time with their families. Given the sheer size of the country and the increasing disperate nature of its workforce a 1 day holiday really does not offer much of a break.

The holiday this year starts on the 1st May and continues until the 3rd May (whilst this is a week-end many couriers will not collect orders on Friday 30th April).

Whilst this break is welcome in China the knock on effects can lead to delays in the delivery of orders for branded flash drives. Our advice is to get your order in as soon as you can to allow the factory to produce then and get them shipped out before the holidays start or at least get them scheduled for their return.

We know lots of customers work to incredibly tight deadlines when ordering branded memory sticks so even a delay of a few days can have a real effect. We do of course carry stock in the UK that can be supplied in as little as 48hrs using our RUSH service but because this entails the use of UK printers the overall price can be quite a bit higher.

With all of the pent up demand following the recent Volcano related issues the timing of the Labour Day holiday could not really come at a worse time but we’ll do our best to work with our customers and the factories to minimise any delays.