The Year of the Horse is Galloping Towards us at Breakneck Speed

If you’re looking to source branded or promotional USB sticks for use any time in the next few weeks then you need to familiarise yourself with the Chinese Zodiac Calendar Why? Well, 99% of all of USB memory sticks in the world are manufactured in China and most of them are made to order with a turn-around time of 1-2 weeks.

Very few suppliers of USB sticks hold stock locally and even fewer have any capability to print, engrave and data-load USB sticks in-house. So, the lead times that you see quoted are almost always based on a rapid turnaround from a “partner” factory in China. This is usually fine but when China closes production and shipping stops.

In a couple of weeks China will “close down” as the country takes an extended holiday to celebrate the start of a new year. The year 2014, according to the Chinese Zodiac Calendar is the Year of the Horse and it officially starts on the 31st January but it’s a big deal in China so offices and factories close en-masse.

New Year (also known as Spring Festival) is a huge event for Chinese communities around the world so expect the usual fireworks and extravagant displays that have become a familiar sight at the start of any New Year.

To allow families to gather together (often across huge distances) most offices and factories close for at least two weeks. As a result production of pretty much everything in China stops during the New Year festivities. The impact of this is a mad clamour to get things like promotional USB sticks produced before the holidays start followed by a period when nothing gets produced because of factory closures. This is then typically followed by a crazy week or two when the factories return and everyone is desperately playing catch-up!

In the weeks just before Chinese New Year (Now) it will come as no surprise that the price of USB sticks start to increase (classic supply and demand)  and these higher prices tend to linger for several weeks after the holiday finishes before gradually falling over the following months.

Lead times also take a battering around Chinese New Year with typical lead times of 7 – 10 days often being extended to anything up to 6 weeks!

Our advice (and we say this every year) is to plan ahead. If you need or think you might need promotional USB memory sticks during February then don’t wait – please get your orders in now! Not only will you get a better price but you’ll be able to choose the model/design you want and you’ll be assured of getting your USB sticks when you need them.

If you do leave it late then don’t panic. Having lived through (and survived) many a Chinese New Year we now plan ahead and invest heavily in holding UK stock – this allows us to continue to offer a wide range of different USB sticks all of which can be printed, engraved and data-loaded and delivered in as little as 24hrs!

USB2U Year of the Horse

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