by Asia Quality Focus team
Time and again the Chinese national day in October seems to surprise manufacturers and buyers alike. The factories in China start to feel the effects of the Chinese National Holiday as early as September. In an instant, it becomes difficult to reach factory representatives, products are ready early (or not), and the ratio of passed vs. failed pre-shipment inspections drops quickly.
The Chinese receive three public and paid holidays in October of each year to commemorate the founding of the country. The Chinese national holiday 2014 is from October 1st to 3rd. However, most managers receive additional time off to spend with their families.
Workers often work non-stop during the month of September in order to accumulate enough days to travel home to their families. Roads are congested, trains are crowded, and flights are completely booked, as hundreds of millions of Chinese clog the private and public transport systems. While bigger cities are now connected by high-speed trains, some lesser developed regions require several days of train travel.
Warning: many factories are closed for about two weeks!
The production at Chinese factories is accelerated to accommodate the impending holiday right before the start of the Chinese national holiday. Suppliers will make an effort to finish production before the holiday starts. Many workers are tired and under pressure. Internal quality control standards are lowered to maximize output quantity. Moreover, the shipment dates change frequently. There is higher number of fail pre-shipment inspection results but many buyers proceed to allow shipment anyway.
Before the Chinese national holiday, there is a higher risk of quality issues. Buyers should try to plan their production in advance to limit the risk.
The production is stopped and containers remain in the harbour. For a period of roughly two weeks, all machines are stopped. The air pollution level in Beijing becomes comparable to the Swiss alps!
The production resumes, but slowly: many workers and managers are still on holiday, or have switched jobs therefore factories have to recruit new staff and train them (it takes a while to train new employees).
And you: what do you know about the China factory production before Chinese national holiday 2014?