GARMENTS/APPAREL/FOOTWARE - 2008—For fashion brand “Morgan,” quality is a ‘must have’ service

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): International Trade  Logistics  

By Karen E. Thuermer, AJOTThink Paris, think fashion. But when it comes to clothing distribution, the North of France is the place to be. That’s because the region is the historic center of France’s garment sector.
Although today much production has moved offshore to lower cost countries like China, garment buyers remain in the North of France. This means most shipments of garments in France come from warehouses in the region. For Morgan, the situation is no different.
Created in 1968, the Morgan brand, which targets women ages 18 to 35, is a success story. In 40 years, the small Parisian family venture has become world-known. Its exclusive, trendy collections and wide range of accessories are present in 57 countries at 575 Morgan stores and more than 1,000 multi-brand retail, including mail order and third- party Internet.
To handle it logistics, Morgan employs DHL Fashion, a subdivision of DHL Exel Supply Chain. It’s a relationship the two have shared for over four years.
DHL Fashion, created in 1968 to address specific needs for the transport of garments on hangers (GOHs), is now a specialist in distribution and transportation solutions dedicated exclusively to fashion products. As a result, DHL Fashion has developed specific logistics solutions to meet the demanding needs of the fashion industry and its complex supply chains.
Consequently, this spring, DHL opened an exclusive International Distribution Center (DC) for Morgan in the Actipol Business Park near Cambrai. Since the North of France is the heart of the textile industry for Europe, DHL decided to create a dedicated 11,000 square meter logistics platform here to do everything for its customer to keep costs down.
If necessary, the site can expanded to 20,000 square meters. “The planned logistics capacity for 2008 is the distribution of seven million products (collections and accessories such as watches, bags, scents, jewelry, and shoes),” says François Grall, site director, DHL Exel Supply Chain. “In the summer, Morgan offers four different collections; in the Winter, four collections.”
Today 60% of the clothing handled by DHL Fashion for Morgan comes from Asia.
“Most is transported by steamship line,” Grall says.
Grall reveals, however, that a significant amount of clothing for this year’s Winter Collection, is sourced from manufacturers in Romania and Morocco, booming areas for textiles and clothing. On the particular day this AJOT reporter visited the Morgan DC site, DHL Logistics was receiving shipments from Tunisia, another booming area for garment manufacturing.
“It takes one week for the garments from Tunisia to be trucked, then shipped via the Port of Algeciars, Spain, then trucked to this location,” Grall explains. “Companies like Morgan are now sourcing from these locations because they want suppliers who are closer to market. It keeps transportation costs down.”
Products from Romania are trucked to Morgan’s DC within two days. Grall remarks, however, that recently more garments are being sourced from Morocco than Romania to save on logistics costs. France, also, has political and historical ties with Morocco, once a French territory. More critical, the company has had problems with the quality of the garments from Romania.
“The same line of garments must be the same color and quality of workmanship,” he says.
Ten percent of the product comes from France.
The most important benefit DHL Fashion performs for Morgan at the DC is its value added services. Among those are the ironing, hanging, stain removal, sewing, automatic covering, and folding of garments.
Everyday DHL employees check to see if color, size and garment measurements are correct. It’s critical work.
“Sometimes when you have a big company, like French retailer Printemps, there are many people which control the warehouse and do not pay as close attention to quality and color,” Grall explains.
On this particular site visit, G

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American Journal of Transportation