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Factors to consider when ordering PCB before Christmas and Chinese New Year
This year has been far from normal, with the Chinese New Year coming up, along with other seasonal holidays, airfreight still running on lower capacity, COVID-19 increasing in Europe and PCB materials harder to get hold of – providing a PCB forecast and plan ahead has never been more vital.
Please see a list of coming Seasonal Holidays and factors to consider in regard of achieving the best lead time for your articles.
Christmas Vacation – The China office is open during Christmas.
HQ closes Dec 24th – 27th and 31st, plus Jan 1st.
The Chinese New Year (CNY) 2021 falls on February the 11th to February the 17th.
Since the Chinese New Year is a nationwide celebration, it will affect production. Factories in China will be shut down for at least a week. There will also be lower capacity the weeks before and after CNY as the workers are traveling back to their hometown.
Please contact your local Country Manager at Elmatica, and start planning ahead already.
We will do our very best to support you and reduce the impact of this external factor. We are taking precautions together with our trusted manufacturers in China.
However, there are some proactive factors we encourage all our customers to look into:
- Volume Production lead time ranges from 8-12 weeks.
- QTA, Samples and Prototypes require additional 1 week lead time.
- Providing a forecast of the year will increase your chances of normal lead times
- Talk to your Elmatica contact, and plan your production before/after CNY.
- For urgent or smaller volume orders, Elmatica can support you with suppliers outside China during the CNY period.
Our manufacturing partners are currently not affected by the COVID-19. The production lead time for Chinese and Asian manufacturers have increased due to increased orders since July. The production lead time for European manufacturers are back to normal with its routines and regular follow ups. We continue to be in close dialogue with all our manufacturing partners globally, getting first hand information of any changes and updates.
The worldwide air freight industry is still facing challenges due to low capacity from limited international flights. The transit time is also increased due to a longer queue for custom clearance before boarding. The Emergency Surcharge is temporarily charged by all logistical providers on all air freights due to the Global COVID19 situation. General air freight prices are poised to continue increasing between Q4’20 to Q1’21.
Rail freight from China to Europe is dealing with backlogs, damaged rail hubs and shortages of wagons. Flooding in central China in July and August had accumulated huge backlogs and damages which are progressively being restored. There has been a shortage of wagons to deal with the high backlogs. All these are increasing the total transit time of rail freight, on top of the borders restrictions still being implemented between countries.
For sea freight, although overall volume has increased, it has a smaller impact on transit time. However sea freight prices are much higher compared to before Corona times.
PCB Material situation
With increased demand of Dupont materials for the US Defence Market, a strained production capacity due to Covid-19 and the impact from the Hurricane Laura at the end of August, this has now put Dupont materials, such as the Pyralux AP on a worldwide shortage with lead time going as far as over 3 months.
A few of the Asian FR4 manufacturers had increased prices. Supply lead time for FR4 laminate had been stable so far, however special thickness and higher Tg would require additional lead time.
As gold prices continued to go up, this had put stress on PCB manufacturers, we are anticipating a possible price increase if the situation continues, coupled with increased laminate prices and labour cost.
With this said, it is therefore important to plan for your PCB demand more than normal. Providing a forecast for the year, would allow us to reserve the materials and capacity needed, avoiding a longer lead time. When planning ahead, it would also allow us to propose and qualify alternative materials in those cases where this is an option.
Daily routines at HQ
Due to the recent development of COVID-19 in Europe, all staff are working from home until further notice.
The Elmatica Officer Group and Management Team monitor the situation day to day and will act to secure our colleagues’ safety, and prevent further infections. This is our main priority.
Elmatica follows the guidelines of the respective countries’ health institutions.
- We strongly recommend all our colleagues to avoid public transportation as far as possible and travel by foot or bike.
- All colleagues are offered masks shipped to home locations.
- The Seasonal Flu Shot is offered to all employees for free.
- It’s mandatory to take the COVID19 test after traveling to another country, also one in the safe zone. (Elmatica will cover the cost if your local government does not cover it).
Should any of the above be unclear, do not hesitate to reach out to us for further information.