Major Challenges of Ready-Made Garment/Fashion Shipping and Dealing with Them!
Ready-made garment manufacturing and shipping have both benefits and shortcomings. On the one hand, it let you expand your retail clientele more rapidly. You can also cut down the role of the middle player to maximize your own profits if you make and sell ready-made garments. On the other hand, expanding large-scale ready-made garment business to overseas markets is one hell of a task.
Getting your ready-made garment products to an overseas market is not just about taking care of basic apparel shipping measures. There is a list of things that you need to consider and several measures you have to take to keep the ball rolling and establishing a successful ready-made garment supply-chain to any overseas market. In this piece, we are going to discuss those challenges in more detail so aspirant ready-made garment exporters can easily find their feet in new, untapped worldwide markets.
Tight Deadlines Is a Regularity in Ready-Made Garment Shipping
Every business often finds itself in a situation where it has to work around tight deadlines to fulfill the client’s requirements. Deadlines are also part of the process if you are running a venture centered on garment shipping. Many times garment manufacturers also get a really short lead time to fulfill the shipment.
However, ready-made garment shipping is a different ballgame in this regard. You tread a tight rope of deadline with every order of a ready-made apparel consignment. It is important to understand that clients are not responsible for making the procurement of ready-made garments such a time-sensitive business. The fashion trends and the collective behavior of end consumers is the reason why retailers and wholesalers don’t have any other option except to demand the fast turnaround time from the manufacturers.
In short, you have to take tight deadlines and short lead time as the prerequisite of a ready-made garment shipping business. There are multiple ways in which you can adjust and modify your business to fulfill quick turnarounds on ready-made fashion shipments.
Increase Your Manufacturing Capacity
If you want to make a sustainable worldwide clientele of your ready-made clothing items, then you have to increase your manufacturing capacity. Let’s try to understand it with the help of an example.
A Jordanian company gets an order from a US-based wholesaler to deliver them 10,000 pieces of floral shirts aimed to be sold at Black Friday. The garment company receives this order by the end of October with the turnaround/lead time of three weeks.
In other words, the Jordanian manufacture has 21 days in total to make 10,000 pieces and then has to ship them as well within the same timeframe. If the manufacturer has the capacity to make, say, 500 of those shirts in a single working day, then there is no way it can get them made and delivered in the prescribed time even air freight is used to deliver the consignment.
So, you have to increase your manufacturing capacity in line with the potential overseas clientele you are aiming to serve. In the above example, the manufacturer can’t get even a single extra day from the wholesaler who himself has to meet the deadlines he has promised its retail base.
Keep All Shipping Options Always Ready
You also need to factor in your shipping options and respective transit times to ensure your ready-made consignments can reach their destinations on the dot. Sea freight is the best option to ship large garment consignments to overseas markets. It is reliable and cost-effective. However, its longer transit time can become a snag for ready-made fashion shipping in some cases.
For that matter, you don’t have to confine your shipping operations to ocean freight only. Businesses dealing in regular garment shipping can manage their orders through sea freight. However, a business that primarily deals in ready-made orders must always have air freight at its disposal to ensure no deadline is missed.
Product Recalls and Cost of Reverse Logistics for Ready-Made Garment
When you sign a contract as a manufacturer with an overseas garment retailer, many times, you have to give them the right to ask you for product recall if it doesn’t meet the prescribed standards. Unfortunately, this frequently happens with ready-made garment shipments. A difference in the color gradient, or changing the floral pattern from the template given by the retailer— all such and many other flaws become a basis of the product recall.
If you want to reap the lucrative prospect of ready-made garment shipping, then you have to put up with this residual risk. You have to be mentally and operationally prepared for product recalls. You also need to take into account the expenses that reverse logistics of the recalled consignment would consume. Similarly, you need to find an alternative market for the recalled apparel items for mitigating the fiscal losses.
Packing Items in the Right Packaging
When you ship fabrics and general apparel items, you don’t think much about their packaging. But that’s not the case if you are dealing with ready-made garment shipping. If you are supplying to Europe and the US from the Middle Eastern ports, then you have to make sure certain ready-made clothing items are packed in a certain way.
It is worth mentioning that many ready-made garment manufacturers fail to retain customers because they put little thought into the packaging of the consignment.
Garment Boxes and Garment on Hanger
These are the two major packaging methods you can use to ship your ready-made garments. However, you must know when to use which type of packaging. If your fashion shipping entails satin jackets, then it would be better if you book a GOH (Garment on Hanger) container for it. Satin is a delicate material and extremely prone to wrinkles. Folding and packing it in boxes for two-three weeks will mess up its creases and will increase the chores for the retailer.
On the other hand, shipping them in a hanging position means retailers can directly put them for sale without dealing with their wrinkles first. But it is also important to understand that GOH packaging is not always the answer to your fashion shipping. For instance, ready-made items made of jersey, knitwear, or any stretchy fabric must be folded and packed in garment boxes. By shipping them in a GOH container, you can distort their original measurements forever.
Keeping the Garment Collection Ready and Effectively Utilizing It
When ready-made garment manufacturing and shipping doesn’t start immediately after an order has been received, you won’t be able to serve multiple clients all at once. To run successful ready-made garment shipping machinery, you need to build and store garment stocks that can ensure no lag occurs in your supply chain.
However, having stocks of ready-made garments is a tricky prospect. Without due groundwork, you will fail to utilize the stocked garment items and eventually end up with outdated apparel. To successfully build garment collections to sell them later, you will have to be in sync with the fashion and trends of your overseas target market.
Your stock must contain items that never go out of fashion in your target market if you want to run the supply-chain of apparel shipping effectively. The other way to secure your ready-made garment collection is to make items that are considered “undying” in the fashion world and never go out of style anywhere (e.g., button-up shirts, slim fit pairs of jeans, etc.)
Finding the Right Importing and Garment Shipping Partner for Ready-Made Garment
Last but not least, you have to find the right people to work with if you want to take on the challenge of the ready-made garment shipping. For instance, you must have a seasoned Importer of Record in your working team that can take care of your apparel shipments for destinations spanned across the globe.
While working as an overseas garment manufacturer and serving clientele in different parts of the world, it is not virtually possible to register your business in every destination country and hire people to represent you there. The services of a seasoned Importer of Record will come in very useful there. It will procure your ready-made apparel shipments to every port of destination while taking care of the respective customs laws and importing tariffs. You won’t need a single person from your in-house team to deal with shipments on the ground as long as you are working with a thoroughly professional IOR.
Moreover, you also need to bring in the expertise of garment shipping services because they will be able to adjust and accommodate your ready-made consignment as per the given instructions (garment boxes, GOH shipping, etc.) You can make your shipping operations easier and less hectic by finding a single contractor that works in the capacities of both IOR and garment shipping service.