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January 2014
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Our first newsletter in 2014 focuses on Chinese New Year.  January 31 marks the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year, the year of the horse.  Most businesses on the China mainland will close January 31 - February 6th  to celebrate, resuming normal business operations on Saturday, February 7th.   Hong Kong offices are closed January 31 – Feb 4th.    The holiday is not only celebrated in China but throughout East Asia and some offices in other Asian countries will close on January 31st.  
If you have not yet received 2014 Future Forwarding Company calendars and you would like some, please contact us!
Trans-Pacific Eastbound Containers:  Importers Should Expect Delays due to Chinese New Year
 
With Chinese New Year being early this year, significantly more containers have been booked than space to carry them. From what we are hearing, many carriers have booked 3-5 times more containers than available capacity.  Containers booked in weeks 4 and 5 are likely to roll  to sailings after the Chinese New Year holiday.  We will alert you of any rolled bookings as soon as we have available information.  
 
LCL (less than container load) container freight stations (CFS) in Hong Kong and Shanghai are so full, they are having issues receiving incoming shipments which is causing local delivery trucks to back up onto the local streets and highways. Last week, reported waiting time to deliver export cargo to some CFSs is more than 12 hours.  In some location, trucks were diverted, held in overflow paddocks, and staged for arrival.
 
Another backlog is expected at Long Beach – Los Angeles ports in March as containers booked pre-Chinese New Year all start to arrive at the port at the same time.  Vessels are arriving fully loaded, and Long Beach is already delayed due to January congestion caused by labor shortage over the Christmas holidays when masses of skilled longshoremen had holiday time off.

 
The good news:  Records from the Port of Los Angeles indicate container volumes have increased 11% over December 2012.   We hope this forecasts a lucky and healthy year of the horse for global shippers!
 
Hopefully, you have already finalized orders and wished your Asian counterparts a happy, prosperous new year.  If not, wish them “Gong xi fa cai!” in Mandarin or “Kung hei fat choi” in Cantonese.   Both mean “May you be prosperous.”   A fun way to respond to someone who greets you with “Gong Xi Fa Cai” is “Hong Bao Na Lai”, "Red envelope please!"  Traditionally, red envelopes containing money are given to children during the new year celebration.  The money inside a red envelope should always be new and crisp symbolizing the new beginning.  The red envelope symbolizes fire which, according to legend, drives away bad luck.
 
With temperatures dipping into the single digits more than once this month, we’d like to spotlight the warehouse staff that keep orders flowing hot despite frigid conditions.  Nick Bowlden, our Warehouse Wholesale Supervisor, has been doing just that for almost a decade at Future Forwarding Company.  A dedicated member of our team, Nick is responsible for picking and packing orders, shipping and receiving, and maintaining wholesale inventory.  Even though he has been at Future Forwarding for over 9 years, he says he is continuously learning something new as supply chains continue to grow increasingly complicated.  Nick is also an avid bow hunter, as well as a turkey and duck hunter.  He has an amazing turkey call!  It’s a good thing there are not any duck ponds near the warehouse!
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