Ramadan signifies the beginning of one of the most important months in the Islamic calendar. It is a time of fasting, prayer, introspection, and charitable acts for Muslims across the globe. This period also leads to alterations in buying habits and routines of people who celebrate the occasion. Hence, it can inevitably impact your business’s supply chain and logistics operations. 

Our guide below will help you overcome the challenges brought by this season, so read on. 

When is Ramadan Taking Place This Year?

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is considered a holy month. It commences and concludes with the sighting of the crescent moon, and the dates vary each year. It is projected that Ramadan will commence on Sunday, March 10, and the 30-day fasting will culminate in the celebration of Eid al Fitr.

Consumer Behaviours During Ramadan 

Throughout this time, customer purchasing patterns shift. As individuals gather with friends, family, and loved ones to break their fast at sunset, socialization becomes more frequent. This leads to a heightened demand for particular consumer goods, such as food supplies for those who are fasting. These cultural and social factors contribute to an increase in consumer spending, with people buying more and placing a greater demand for products. Moreover, business activity slows down during the holiday, and working hours are typically shorter in countries and regions that celebrate Ramadan.

Logistics Challenges to Prepare for This Season 

  • Customs clearance delays – Customs clearance officers may have shorter working hours in countries where Ramadan is celebrated. This usually results in clearance process delays at ports. Hence, advance planning is imperative if you intend to ship goods before, during, or after this season.
  • Reduced port capacity – Port congestion may also be prevalent during this time due to decreased activity and a shortage of staff at ports. Additionally, some countries observe three to six days of Eid-Al-Fitr holidays, during which almost all business activities may come to a halt.
  • Shorter working hours – If you have deadlines to meet or orders to fill, it is crucial to plan accordingly with your logistics partner. With shorter working hours at warehouses during the season, doing this is particularly necessary when transporting goods to and from regions celebrating Ramadan.
  • Increased product demand – People tend to shop more during the holy month. Hence,  advanced logistics and supply chain management planning is crucial, especially when transporting goods internationally. This helps prevent shortage of products in the market and loss of revenue to competitors.

Guide to Navigating the Ramadan Peak Season

  • Plan ahead – It is advisable to plan your shipments in advance to ensure a seamless business operation during the month-long Ramadan season. It is recommended to make your ocean transportation bookings well ahead of time. It is not advisable to wait until the beginning of the Ramadan month or even the month before, particularly if you are using ocean freight services.
  • Organise your shipments to get around shortages and delays – To meet the surge in demand for goods during the festive season, it is essential to plan your shipments and send them out early to ensure they are available for sale at the start of Ramadan. During this period, the retail sector in regions observing Ramadan experiences a boost in sales, particularly for clothing, textiles, and food products. With increased purchasing activity in these countries, it is vital to prioritize meeting your customers’ needs to maintain their satisfaction.
  • Avoid last-minute shipments – When using ocean freight to transport goods to countries that celebrate Ramadan, it is crucial to plan ahead and ensure your goods reach their destination country at least one week before the start of Ramadan. This will provide sufficient time for customs clearance and avoid potential delays that could affect the timely delivery of your goods.
  • Partner with a reliable and reputable logistics and supply chain management provider – It is highly recommended to partner with a reliable logistics provider who possesses the required knowledge and resources to navigate any challenges that may arise during the Ramadan season. By doing so, you can alleviate the stress associated with seasonal shipping and guarantee that your products reach customers on schedule. Such a logistics partner must be able to handle customs clearance documents across different regions that may be impacted by the extended holiday period, ensuring that your shipments are not delayed or stuck in transit.

Ease Your Logistics Woes This Ramadan with TFI

By partnering with TFI, you will have access to a single platform that simplifies your logistics management process. We combine the strength of our capabilities, such as global freight forwarding, supply chain management, warehousing & distribution, customs clearance, and importer/exporter of record.

Whatever logistics and supply chain management solution you need, we’ve got you covered. Speak to our specialists today!