Wednesday, August 31, 2005

made in asia...

... since i worked in supply chain for a bit, i wanted to share a little with you all about the logisitics involved in shipping products from overseas here...i have had an interesting look at a phenom in the scrapbooking industry - why is it that 90% of rub-ons are made in the US as well as papers and stickers but the majority of embellishments overseas? it is very interesting to me. i don' t know the complete answer to this. the thing i can think of is that paper probably wouldn't fare well in a big old ocean going container from asia and the price to ship 80 lb weight paper isn't cheap.

... shipments that come in boxes are typically made in 40' or 20' containers. and the weight limit for containers is about 38,000-42,000 lbs (this includes everything including the pallets, boxes, stretch wrap - everything) . and if you ship a container from overseas, it doesn't matter if you have 1 roll or ribbon in it or 10,000 rolls of ribbon in it - the cost is almost the same. the cost is per container, not per weight.

so for manufacturers like us, we try to help keep costs down by making sure we optimize what is in our container. so if the plant only has 1 box of ribbons ready, we don't order a container to ship things - we wait til we have a shippable amount to make sure we can keep our prices reasonable. air freight costs are crazy - it is here fast but not at a cost we can bear, the retailers can bear nor the end consumer.

beyond that, on a boat, there are hundreds of containers. we could be the first container on the boat or the last. luck of the draw. and then the boat sails - sailing times are about 3-4 weeks from asia to a port somewhere on the west coast. again, our container could be the first or the last one on (assuming it has survived 1000s of miles on a journey). and it still needs to clear customs and duties need to be levied. after that, we have to have arrangements to have it shipped to our W/H before it is counted, sorted and sent onto you.

people often get excited after a show and want things right then. but if you look at the time it takes to go from concept to actually getting a product in our hands, it is over 12-16 weeks (including time to produce, pack, sail, truck, unpack, repack).

i hope this gives everyone an idea of how this process works and why it takes so long.


At 8/31/2005 01:29:00 PM, Blogger Jessica S. said...

Thanks for sharing!!


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