Chinese New Year – If You Need USB Flash Drive Plan Ahead

It’s seems rather bizarre to be worrying about Chinese New Year in November particularly because Chinese New Year doesn’t even happen on the 1st January but towards the end of January and that’s some 7 weeks away.

But, if you are looking to buy promotional or branded products in the near future (including branded USB memory sticks) then you need to understand that these are typically manufactured to order in China and flown into the UK within a matter of days. Despite the distances involved the usual lead-time from order to delivery is usually as little as 7-10 days but this assume the factories are working – during Chinese New Year not only do the factories close but pretty much everything closes!

Chinese New Year is the most important of all of the festivals in China and it typically lasts for around 15 days but, in 2012 the Chinese will celebrate the Year of the Dragon which is arguably the most important of 12 animals that mark the coming of each new year.

2011 year has been the Year of the Rabbit – an animal (and year) that is typified by calm and reflection. By comparison the Year of the Dragon is will be marked by excitement, unpredictability, exhilaration and intensity.

Chinese New Year 2012

During the Chinese New Year holiday many factory workers travel hundreds and in some cases thousands of miles to be reunited with their families in the provinces. The resulting “factory shutdown” will last for around 3 weeks in 2012 and is usually preceded by panic buying, which in turn forces the factories to stop taking orders early so they can be fulfilled before the holidays start. The expected closure dates in 2012 are from 6th January to 4th February!!

So, if you need or think you might need promotional or printed USB memory sticks early in 2012 then ideally you need to place your order in December. Leave it until January and you’ll find the prices start to rocket up and lead times stretch from days to weeks.

Some of the more established suppliers will hold stock locally so that they can continue to supply during the factory closures but don’t expect the same wide choice of models of memory sizes. You’ll also have to brace yourself for higher prices simply because labour and print costs in the UK are higher than in China coupled with the fact that you’ll be fighting over the limited supply of sticks that are available.

The best advice is to plan ahead now and get your order(s) in early. Understandably this is not always possible but at least armed with an understanding of the issues/challenges you can hopefully find a way to work with the situation.

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