Buying Branded USB Flash Drives – Beware Chinese New Year Delays

The biggest and most important holiday in China is the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) and in 2011 it will be the Year of the Rabbit. The festival to celebrate the New Year begins on the first day of the first lunar month and ends with a Lantern Festival 15 days later.

In 2011, The Year of the Rabbit the New Year festivities will officially start on the 3rd February but for many the holidays will start before this date to allow them time to travel home to be with their families.

The factories that manufacture USB flash drives will close on 26th January and re-open on the 14th February. During this time nothing gets manufactured. It’s not just the USB factories that close, pretty much the whole country closes for business including the freight networks and carriers (UPS, TNT, DHL, etc.) that move the shipments of the flash drives out of the country.

Even when the factories return to work there is usually a delay of around 2-3 days before production gets back to normal but even then there is normally a backlog of orders to deal with. As a consequence the lead-time for branded USB flash drives can increase during the period around Chinese New Year from 10 days to 28 days!

Chinese New Year - Flash Drives Chinese New Year - Flash Drives

The last day for orders for USB drives that are to be produced and printed at the factories in China is 18th January. Order placed after this date are unlikely to be delivered until late February!

Our advice is to plan ahead and get your order(s) in early to avoid disappointment.

Some UK suppliers of flash drives do hold blank (unprinted) stock of the more popular models and memory sizes in the UK. These can then be printed or finished with a dome sticker and turned around in a few days. But if past years are anything to go by this stock goes quickly and prices are increased to reflect demand and to reflect the higher costs of printing and handling in the UK.

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