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Fashion Show Logistics: Shanghai Winter Runway

Fashion show logistics


Our client, an American luxury design brand headquartered in New York, wanted to launch a magnificent live fashion show at the Shanghai Exhibition Center. 

This fashion brand aspired to bring out a winter sports theme to the show. Some signature dressing styles included retro snow trousers, colourful puffer jackets and fair isle-style knits, grasping the attention of the fashion industry.


Fashion shows require a lot of logistics support, arrangements and manpower. 1500 garments and 45 sets of customs all had to be transported to warehouses and the runway. Moreover, after the show all the garments had to be transported back to stores.

Although this was an extremely challenging task, our client trusted Royale International to move the season collections which included; outerwear, classic bags, jewellery and footwear. The three key challenges were as follows:

Firstly, the biggest obstacle for this mission was the handling process of garments. There were 571 pieces of clothing in 47 cartons in total, which required systematic procedures for unpacking and handovers. When it came to handling this massive amount of garments, all pieces had to be carefully labelled and placed at the assigned place to avoid losing or damaging them.

All items had to get unpacked and then delivered to the runway backstage for the show. After the show, the items had to be returned to the stores. The entire logistics process involved multiple handling procedures, which forms a huge challenge for many logistics operators.   

The second challenge was transporting all garments to the right place, at the right time. Since the garments had to reach the locations at a specific time, it was important to be able to track the goods from one end to the other. A good tracking system had to be put in place to monitor the exact location of products and prevent any missing items and delays. If any of the items was missing or didn’t arrive on time this would have a huge impact as the models needed to wear the clothes during the show.

Furthermore, sufficient manpower and delivery vehicles were needed to ensure a smooth process. The arranging and coordinating of staff was a big challenge as the show required many staff to label, unpack, move and track items. Without sufficient staff support, things wouldn’t run smoothly.

The last big challenge was obtaining an ATA Carnet. In order to move garments from one place to another in an easy and cost-effective way, our client had to obtain an ATA Carnet. An ATA Carnet refers to an international customs and temporary export-import document which is used for tax & duty-free international movement of garments. More importantly, this helps to simplify customs procedures and reduce all import and export clearance time.

However, an ATA carnet has strict requirements and complex procedures. All information must be completed with full and detailed descriptions in order to pass through the Customs Authority. The submission requires various documents such as application forms, declaration forms, authorization letters and other supporting documents. Despite the need for accurate paperwork, this application process had to be completed within a short period of time as the show date was approaching.


Royale International offered a tailored service and successfully helped our client to transport garments for the fashion show. We assisted with the entire logistics process, from obtaining the ATA Carnet to preparing commercial invoices, undergoing customs clearance, and arranging staff and delivery vehicles.

As soon as we received the garments from our client, we placed all 571 pieces of clothing at the assigned place in accordance with the packing list in our warehouse, after which we removed the original packaging and labelled all items.

With a well-established inventory management system, our staff was able to manage the inventory systematically by placing all garments in order. This not only formed an organised warehouse with efficient product fulfilment but also provided better future plans for our client.

Furthermore, we labelled all the items with scanning barcodes to track and store information of goods. During the labelling process, we first defined the SKUs and variants of products and then inputted the details into the inventory software system. Thereafter, the QR codes were generated, and we printed the barcodes and placed them on each item. This allowed our client to track their inventory and keep a close eye on item movements.

Later we arranged delivery vehicles to transport all garments from our warehouse to the Shanghai Exhibition Center for the show. During the delivery process, the products were sealed with security tags to reduce crime and property loss. After the show, all garments were carefully transported back to the stores.

Apart from that, despite a strict and complicated application process, we managed to obtain the ATA carnet, helping our client to refrain from paying duties and value-added taxes (VAT) and fasten the entire customs procedures.

Partially due to the logistics process, the fashion show was a huge success!

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