What Fast Fashion Means for the Air Freight Industry

This article was originally posted on the Trinity Logistics USA Inc website. Check back for updates on fashion, cargo, shipping, and technology.  

In today’s society, consumers have come into the habit of instant gratification. Whether it’s by watching a movie, playing a videogame or purchasing clothing, consumers want their goods instantly with the push of a button — and don’t like waiting around.

The fashion industry has been affected by the culture of instant gratification as well. Called fast fashion, the recent phenomenon gets new trends from the runways to the consumer as quickly as possible by speeding up the production process of clothing. From the designer’s drawing board to its distribution, fast fashion has changed the way everyone from fashion designers to workers in the air freight industry handle their business.

How so? Many fast fashion brands heavily rely on the air cargo industry to ship their products around the world in a quick and efficient manner — especially brands that are the most cutting-edge and time-sensitive, says Leigh Sparks, a professor of retail studies at the University of Stirling in Scotland.

Although it’s been a challenge to adapt to the new business model, the air freight industry has adapted new business practices and models to accommodate the fast fashion industry.

More Warehouses and Shipments Around the World

The fast fashion boom created a ripple effect in the shipment industry. As a result, more air cargo warehouses and services are being added and enhanced around the world. Cambodia, which is a major garment-producing country in Southeast Asia, saw a 14 percent increase in air freight shipments in 2015. Fast fashion, in partnership with online shopping, has prompted more warehouses to pop up around the world to quickly and efficiently ship goods from the production lines to the consumer.  

The Creation of Tailored Services

The cultivation of fast fashion has created additional services air freight industries can provide to make the shipping process as smooth as possible. Some air freight companies place garments on hangers, label and even bag goods. Other air freight companies have direct contact with major airline carriers to secure coveted space, and they have consistent special pricing for that space throughout the year.

The Need to Be On Time

The main problem with fast fashion is making sure all shipments come in one time. In fact, many supply chain management firms cite this as an issue for retail companies because it means missed sales opportunities for a certain product. To avoid this problem, air freight companies speed up delivery by partnering with trustworthy carriers, create tailored services to minimize miscommunication, and provide tracking of goods from supplier to retailer.

Supply chain experts are expecting air freight will become a more popular method of shipping for fast fashion brands in the near future. Not only does it make the production process easier, but air shipping has the potential to boost sales and create business in locations around the world where there hasn’t been business before.

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