Chinese New Year Looms Large – Expect USB Flash Drive Shortages In The UK

Given that Chinese New Year happens every year you’d think by now that people would anticipate the shortages in the market that this prolonged holiday creates. To be fair many companies buying USB flash drives for shows, conferences and other marketing events for the first time might not appreciate that around the Chinese New Year Holiday typical leads times for branded USB flash drives can increase from around 10 days to 4-6 weeks!

The reason for the delay is simply because China takes its New Year celebrations very seriously with most employees travelling thousands of miles to be with their families for the duration of the holiday. The collective celebrations mean that pretty much everything stops for around 2 weeks. During this period very little manufacturing takes place and even things that are manufactured typically cannot be moved because the haulage and courier systems close for the holidays as well!

The Chinese New Year holidays have a direct impact on the availability of promotional and branded USB flash drives in the UK because that’s where they are all manufactured. Amazing as it might seem the “normal” lead times of around 10 days are for the production of the drives in China and the international freight of the drives to the UK. When the factories close backlogs build up and these coupled transport backlogs mean that it takes a week or so for lead times to get back to anything like normal.

In 2011 the holiday officially starts on the 3rd February but in practice many factories and businesses will close on the 26th January and won’t re-open until the 14th February. So, if you need to order promotional flash drives for delivery in later January or February then you need to get your orders placed by the 19th January at the latest. If you order later than this then there’s no guarantee they will arrive in time or you might have to find a supplier that carries blank (unprinted) stock in the UK and go with whatever options they have.

Very few companies carry blank stock of flash drives in the UK and when they do the stock tends to be limited to a couple of standard models and memory sizes and your choice of colour will be limited.

USB2U, having been supplying branded USB flash drives since 2002 and are well versed in the challenges of supply during Chinese New Year. If do need USB flash drives printed with your logo on from a UK supplier during Chinese New Year (or any other time for that matter) then give the team at USB2U a call.

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