In 2019, Chinese New Year-also known as lunar New Year-will take place from February 3rd through 9th.
Carriers generally announce blank sailings (also known as void sailings) after Chinese New Year, which will affect shipments from the Trans-Pacific Eastbound and Far East Westbound routes. In a nutshell, a blank or void sailing means a sailing that has been cancelled by the ocean carrier, or one where the vessel is skipping one port.
Through blank or void sailings can happen for any reason, low demand is the main reason for cancelling shipments.
During the Chinese New Year season, since factories are closed, it is very common that carriers cancel sailings or skip ports due to low demand. If your cargo is booked on a sailing has been canceled, the cargo will be rescheduled on the next available vessel.
Blank sailings also lead to tighter space on vessels.
Logistic companies suggest that importers and exporters plan their shipments in advance, and make bookings a few weeks before the cargo ready date, to secure your space.
Being flexible and reconsidering your cargo’s routing also helps with shipment planning during peak seasons or tight space.
Blank sailings may affect your route. Shipping with a longer transit time also would be a great strategy since the fastest vessels are more likely to be overbooked and it is harder to find space. Lastly, having clear communication between your suppliers, buyers, and freight forwarder leads to the best shipping solution.