Whilst to the layman logistics and international fashion might not always go hand in hand, it is perhaps one of the most important unseen cogs in the wheel ensuring designers and retailers are able to manage their supply chain challenges without a hitch.

Indeed, without a reliable logistics partner, the season’s latest designs set to be showcased at the numerous fashion weeks around the world, would not be able to take the centre stage they justly deserve.

Specialising in supply chain solutions for some of the most celebrated fashion brands in the world, Aramex UK is at the forefront of the market, harnessing decades of experience and its extensive global network to ensure continuity of these lauded events and minimise any potential disruptions.

Providing insight on the logistics challenges that are often faced by the world’s fashion designers, Aramex UK’s Country Manager, David Taylor lays out the vital role global logistics providers play in the lead up to the most important series of events in the fashion industry’s packed calendar, and many of the challenges that are often encountered on the way.

“When handling high-end, high value fashion and retail products, transportation and logistics providers are faced with a unique set of challenges. These can vary from ensuring the security of garments, to supply chain disruptions due to weather or geopolitical crises. Regardless of the obstacle or challenge at hand, global logistics providers consistently have to keep their finger on the pulse to ensure that goods get to their final destination with minimal disruption and inventory is managed both efficiently and effectively”, David said.

“Due to the time sensitive nature of fashion weeks, seasonal collections and product launches, flexibility and reliable delivery timelines to meet the demanding schedules of fashion retailers and designers are paramount. Furthermore, irrespective of however robust a logistics solution is, the occurrence of ongoing geopolitical issues, natural disasters, labour strikes and economic uncertainties – which are becoming more commonplace on a global scale – can have a devastating impact.

“This is fundamentally where experienced global logistics providers are worth their weight in gold, as having an intrinsic and real-time understanding of current issues is crucial to ensuring flow of goods is maintained. To mitigate the fallout from such incidents, logistics companies would typically offer contingency planning, and look at alternative routing options to ensure continuity of operations and minimise disruptions to the flow of goods.
“With a rise in theft currently plaguing high-fashion brands, the need to increase security measures within the supply chain process has become of high priority during fashion months.”

Aramex UK says that recognising and providing solutions to combat key security concerns facing the fashion industry today, especially during such events where high value garments become prime targets for theft, is becoming increasingly essential.

David continued: “Last year during Paris Fashion Week, a delivery van that contained around 50 designs which were due to be included in the Balmain line-up, was unfortunately targeted by thieves, and stolen ten days prior to the show. Incidents such as this highlight the importance of employing advanced security measures, such as real-time tracking and monitoring systems, to safeguard shipments and prevent unauthorised access.

“In line with the increased security risk posed to high-end garments, fashion brands now demand real-time visibility into their supply chain to track inventory levels and monitor shipments and provide an extra layer to the security protocols already in place.

“Handling too also forms a big part of safeguarding garments. Traditionally, couture will require specialised handling and care during transportation that offers both customised packaging and handling solutions to ensure the integrity of their products.

“Indeed, in some cases, for example when transporting leather goods or cosmetics, a temperature or climate-controlled offering might have to be introduced to prevent damage or deterioration. The number of nuances to consider on behalf of the client in developing a bespoke solution is extensive in order to meet a customer’s specific requirements.”

And it doesn’t stop there. Fashion brands are fast becoming increasingly under the microscope with regards to sustainability. Indeed, Fashion Week events across the globe have taken strategic steps to promote sustainable practices and drive forward awareness around the impact fashion has on both society and the environment.

Choice of packaging and how their products are transported are factors which are increasingly becoming top of mind for fashion brands as they look to drive down their carbon footprint.

“With the climate crisis high on the global agenda, the fashion industry as a whole has recognised the importance of embracing sustainable practices and reducing its impact on the environment. This now translates across the entire breadth of the industry’s supply chain from how materials are sourced to its choice of logistics partner, David said.

“At Aramex, we have aimed to prioritise sustainability initiatives over recent years by implementing eco-friendly practices, optimising routes for fuel efficiency, and investing in green technologies to minimise its environmental footprint. With increasing consumer awareness and regulatory pressure on sustainability issues, transportation and logistics companies must tailor solutions to help the fashion sector address environmental concerns related to carbon emissions and improve their footprint.”