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  November 19th, 2015 | Written by

Delivering in Style: Logistics Needs for the Fashion Industry

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  • The fashion industry generates $2.5 trillion in annual revenue, a number projected to double in 10 years.
  • Fashion houses to keep their supply chains speedy by shortening production lead times.
  • With fast fashion, designers are producing only what is in demand and stop when demand ends.

The fashion industry is a massive sector that will only continue to grow in the upcoming years. According to the World Economic Forum, the industry generates up to $2.5 trillion in annual revenue, a staggering number actually projected to double in the next 10 years. With such incredibly rapid growth expected for the industry, it is important its main players keep the following logistics considerations in mind to stay competitive in this market.

First, it is important for fashion designers and fashion houses to keep their supply chains speedy by shortening production lead times. Sourcing from new and lower-cost countries and balancing transportation modes is one way to do it. By keeping supply chains more dynamic, fashion houses and designers can maintain a high tolerance for sudden changes, such as natural disasters or political unrest, to ensure they get their product to the consumer on-schedule regardless of any challenges.

Second, localizing production and leveraging faster modes of transportation establishes the idea of fast fashion, a term used to describe designers quickly moving fashion into stores after its debut on the catwalk at designer shows to better capture current fashion trends. With fast fashion, designers are only producing what is in demand and stop when demand ends. Using this model, there is less waste product, meaning less of a need for warehousing and fewer items being sold at discounted rates.

Third, staying on the cutting edge of technology is key. With tech-savvy consumers able to purchase items at their fingertips, purchases can be made anytime, anywhere. Therefore, fashion brands need to partner with reliable logistics companies that offer software solutions to help manage flexibility and tackle the increasingly complex fashion environment by avoiding delays and providing precise tracking.

Lastly, fashion companies need to globalize with their demand. Different regions of the world have different seasons, so placing the appropriate product in the correct market at the right time is imperative to driving growth. Any delays could mean missing a trend or season. Both can cause big reductions in gross profit and revenue.

Essentially, staying on top of the supply chain is crucial for the ultimate success of any fashion house. As the fashion industry can be fast and unexpected, having a trustworthy logistics company by your side to make sure all of your supply chain needs are met can relieve a lot of stress. With the industry only growing, the sector will only become more competitive than ever, so the need to deliver trending products quickly and efficiently will be a game-changer going forward.


Bill Heaney, the head of the retail sector for DHL Global Forwarding, Americas, is responsible for driving DHL Global Forwarding’s commercial growth agenda and strategy for the Americas retail industry and has more than 10 years in the logistics business.