Nowadays online retailers are tightly linked to manufacturers to create final products. Particularly for the apparel industry, manufacturers send samples to retailers within the shortest possible time to receive retailers’ approvals, while carriers speed up the delivery process by offering logistics solutions.
There are various factors that fashion retailers and apparel manufacturers should consider when selecting a logistics provider to assist with these processes, but these are the three key elements:
Pricing varies depending on the weight and dimensions of packages, the destination, and the shipment pickup and delivery requirements.
Additionally, in the pre-production process cost-saving is important for retailers and manufacturers to maintain strict control on monthly expenditure. The goods that they deliver are predominantly fabrics, trims and clothes, which have an initial low value. As a result, retailers and manufacturers are very cost-conscious in the pre-production process.
Package weight and size limits – The metric used to measure shipment weight is usually Kilograms (KG). Most carriers have their specific weight and sizes for packages such as standard samples, boxes for larger fabrics, and clothing or pallets. Referring to the diagram below, the package size is calculated in girth (the total distance around the package) and length (the longest side of the package).
* Oversized packages can subject to an additional fee.
Dimensional weight – Dimensional weight is the package density, indicating the amount of space a package occupies with regards to its actual weight. When the package’s dimensional weight exceeds its actual weight, the dimensional weight is considered billable weight. Billable weight refers to the weight used to calculate the rates for all domestic and international services.
Shipping destination – Whether manufacturers or retailers want to ship materials locally or internationally affects shipping costs. The greater the distance, the higher the price.
The required delivery time – Depending on within what timeframe retailers need to receive their products, carriers can provide different delivery times. For instance, time-specific delivery is the fastest option within express courier and overnight deliveries.
To meet deadlines during the pre-production process, cut-off times are crucial purchasing factors. Cut-off times represent the latest time that logistics providers collect shipments for overnight deliveries. The later the cut-off times the better as it offers manufacturers more time to produce their samples.
On the flipside, if manufacturers do not have enough preparation time for deliveries, they have to wait till the next day to send shipments out. As a result, the pre-production process slows down.
Apparel manufacturers and retailers should also consider the shipping routing. Most logistics providers provide either direct flights or transit flights. Direct flights reach the final destination directly in a short period of time, while transit flights use two or more flights to reach the destination.
For this reason, most companies in the apparel sector prefer direct flights to meet retail deadlines. However, a small number of companies will select transit flights to save cost. In conclusion, retailers have to consider their time requirements for shipments before deciding which routing works best for them.
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