How Asia’s Labor Day Can Affect Your Offshore Manufacturing

Most US companies who are involved in offshore manufacturing understand how shipment delays can happen.  And in most cases, these types of delays take place around Asian Holidays. For example, China’s Labor Day is every year on May 1st. However, most factories are not just closed on the observed day, they close for three to five days. How does this affect your product supply? Well, it entirely depends on how well your company has learned to navigate the ins and outs of offshore manufacturing.

American and Asian Work-Life Comparison

One thing is for certain when it comes to how the Chinese and other Asian nations celebrate holidays – it’s not just a day. Since China is still the most populated nation on earth, its labor force has to operate quite differently than how we operate in the US.

Work-Life in America

Here, most Americans try to live as close as possible to their work location. For those that do commute each day, they strive to ensure that it’s as short as possible. Most employees and employers in our country like to work eight hours/day, then go home to spend with family. Each day, for the most part, Americans go home at the end of the day and have weekends off.

Work-Life in China

In China, coming home each day is usually not the case for many skilled laborers. Various factory workers live too far from where they work to be able to go home each day and return to work the next morning. This especially depends on the time of industry in which they work and the type of work they do. Therefore, many tend to work throughout the day and remain on campus at work to rest and get up to return to their work station. Then, on the weekends they return home for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.

What to Expect During Asian Holidays

For the most part, if you’re involved with offshore manufacturing, you can expect Asian factories to close during their observed Holidays. Plant shutdowns can last for a few days to a few weeks, depending on the celebration. Therefore, you can expect delays and some silence for a while. At the same time, if your company has experience working with Asian factories, you already know what to do to work around closings. Yet, some companies that are new to offshore manufacturing, or experiencing challenges, still struggle. Read on to learn why.

Asian Labor Day, for example, is technically only on one day, May 1st. Yet, various manufacturers in China may close their doors for a few days, or work with a skeleton crew. This allows workers to truly enjoy the Holiday. After all, it is “Labor Day” and the purpose of the Holiday is for workers to return home and fully enjoy much-deserved rest.  Depending on the type of work, many will take a while to get home because of where they work in comparison to where they live. As such, factories need more than a day to allow everyone to celebrate.

Minimizing the Effects of Holidays on Offshore Manufacturing

When US companies learn to work with an experienced manufacturing liaison like ITI Manufacturing, they often can avoid delays. At ITI, we have learned how to navigate through the pitfalls and challenges that can arise with offshore manufacturing. We help companies plan and order well in advance of Asian holidays so they steer clear of product shipment delays and problems. On the other hand, some US companies are able to order in larger bulk to allow more time for their offshore factories to accommodate their off-time.

Not only will your factory close, but you can also expect customs offices and freight forwarding to close. This is why preparing ahead and making necessary adjustments in the production schedule is so very important. At ITI, we have workers on the grounds in various factories, and you can expect to stay in constant communication with them. We let you know ahead of time when to order and prepare for factory shutdowns.

Connect with ITI and Stay Prepared

Since 1974, ITI Manufacturing has been working with Asian manufacturers to ensure US-based company offshore manufacturing success. Our ultimate goal is to help your company avoid those small hiccups in production that can wreak havoc on logistics and shipment times.

If you’ve experienced issues with production due to Asian holidays, you can come out of the cycle. Contact ITI today to speak with one of our service experts at 281-242-7030. Learn how we can help your company succeed!

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