When should I order a shipment for Christmas?

Currently, there are many delays within the shipping industry. These delays are likely to affect Christmas this year as the delays, especially at ports, mean that items and goods and shipping containers are taking far longer to reach their destinations than they would usually. This could mean that some people may be in for a disappointing Christmas if the delays continue. This is why it is important to consider ordering shipping containers sooner rather than later so that you can receive your items in time for the holidays.

Delays from China

Many of your house-hold items may come from China, including most Christmas toys, many of which were probably delivered from Ningbo-Zhousan, China’s second-busiest port. Every year, the Ningbo-Zhousan port handles over 29 million 20-foot containers.

Typically, a container ship from China will take around six to eight weeks from door-to-door to arrive. There is around a 2-week delay time from China added to this.

Christmas delays

It is a well-known fact that there can be delays around Christmas time, due to an influx of orders from people trying to buy gifts. However, the Chinese also have their own holidays, which can also cause some delays around this time of year. There is a national holiday in China of one week, form October 1st to October 7th. There is also the well-known Chinese New Year holiday which typically lasts around 7 to 10 days. However, if ordering from China, it would be wise to place orders in 3 weeks before this, as the holiday can cause delays.

Price changes

The prices to ship goods from China to the United Kingdom has changed drastically since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, the average price to ship a 40-foot container from China to the UK was around 2,500 USD. This price has risen by a whopping 500% since the pandemic hit, and is now on average, around 12,500 USD. So, this is a significant increase. The prices of shipping will seemingly remain high for the foreseeable future.

What happens next?

Currently, the situation is entirely unpredictable, and nobody knows what is to come in the near future. It seems that prices will remain high, and the delays will continue.

Managing Director of Easyimix, Adam Gilbourne, has said, “The higher freight prices go, the more reluctant importers are to ship containers, and so they either don’t ship, or don’t order. This means that the demand that was or still is there for these goods has not been met, meaning as more containers become available, there is even more demand for them! – It becomes an extremely dangerous self-perpetuating cycle”

The fact that freight is going ‘up’ in what’s traditionally the time rates normally drop means there will be no time for rates to relax before we hit ‘peak season’ . Combine that with the fact that the fundamental reasons that caused the container shortages in the first place are not about to be fixed anytime soon – I genuinely don’t expect to see any substantial freight decrease until post Chinese New Year 2022.

The truth is, times are challenging but importers will need to make some tough decisions. In many cases, importers need to make the decision of ‘do I stop importing and have no stock to sell? – or do I take a risk and try to pass on large price increases to the consumer?

Many importers have been waiting in hope for freight prices to drop but this currently seems like an ill-advised strategy unless you have enough stock to last your business say 12 months.”

What to do if your shipment is delayed

To avoid delays, you should think about placing your order at least 2 weeks before you usually would. This should be enough time to ensure that your shipment arrives on time. However, if your shipment is delayed, then all you have to do is remain patient and ensure that communication between yourself and the supplier is kept regular.


If you have any concerns about a shipment, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Director and EU Clearance Manager

Expansion In Store for Supreme Freight

A combination of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the freight industry hard. At Supreme Freight, we’ve been fortunate enough to experience a period of growth and expand our operations. There has been a huge boom in demand for goods, such as food, games, toys and other items that people so desperately want and need during this pandemic, at Supreme we’ve risen to the challenge of meeting this demand by opening a new office and growing our team.

How did the lockdown help?

During last year’s scorching summer, Supreme Freight saw a rapid rise in the sales of garden furniture, which produced a lot more business as the volume of imports handled by Supreme Freight rose.

Managing Director of Supreme Freight, Chris Green, said “A lot of our clients went online to sell and many had their best year ever. We also handle a lot of PPE equipment. In 2020, for the first time we exclusively chartered two aircraft to fly urgent products to the UK from China,”

Many services were in dire need of personal protective equipment (PPE), especially hospitals, and many other industries that were required to remain open during the pandemic. This provided people with an urgent need to have goods delivered, and this is where business began booming for Supreme Freight.


In order to cope with the high demands that are being required of the freight industry, Supreme Freight has added around a dozen members of staff to its team of now over 50. Supreme Freight has also recently opened up a second office in Southampton to cope with the high demand.

No-one in the company expected business to boom quite so much, as “We had the first lockdown, and it was Chinese New Year, so things were quiet for us. We also had the prospect of congestion at UK ports if there were delays obtaining customs clearances,” said Chris.

While many expected Supreme to struggle with the aftermath of Brexit, it actually gave Supreme Freight an opportunity to thrive and showcase exactly what the company is made of.

Asia client base

Managing Director, Chris Green, has been keeping his eye on the clients based in Asia, as well as expanding operations in the US and EU. “Many of our Asian clients who export to the UK have contacted us for support dealing with the EU and the US,” he said. “As well as China, we are looking at Vietnam, which is a major trading partner with the US.”
Despite the challenge of not being able to meet clients face-to-face due to coronavirus, Chris Green cannot wait to get back to Asia and start handling business as usual.

A new American office

Supreme Freight will also be opening a new office based in Los Angeles, America. Chris Green has said that the location is ideal for two reasons.

“First, it’s ideal for handling shipments from China and Asia to the US. Second, an office in Los Angeles with the time difference enables us to offer 24/7 customs clearance support for clients moving goods to and from the EU to the UK” said Chris.


We look forward to continued growth in 2022, allowing us the opportunity to better serve the needs of our amazing clients and their customers.