Dean Cargo gives brands a checklist before they head offshore. 

In a recent discussion about Australian fashion and lifestyle labels/brands and the seeming rise in their attempts to sell offshore it occurred to us, that it is a rather transactional based approach. Which is probably varied, inconsistent and expensive.

To help emerging brands, we are looking at working in conjunction with Industry and Government. To put some structure behind their efforts for overall gains by interested parties. By bundling logistic services at product source (Australia or China, if product is made there) and achieving delivery harmonisation at destination. Would this get a better result than going it alone on a transactional basis?

Achieving a smoother flow of goods to overseas customers, many of whom may be common, in the same cities, malls etc. would reduce cost and increase service levels.

Australian Fashion brands are now being recognised Internationally and it seems the time is right to take advantage of the originality and quality of the design talent in this country.

In discussion with Australian Fashion Council they recognise the need for a co-ordinated approach to Exporting and providing an end to end solution for Fashion and Lifestyle Exporters particularly in the small to medium sector.

It seems for many reasons that a move from a Transactional base to Collaborative approach will be beneficial to EXPORT success. Working with Industry peers, Industry Groups and the right choice of logistic partner could see the brand make significant gains across the exporting spectrum.

It's very exciting to obtain an overseas order and can start down the journey above but it's equally important to check the rationale of why you are doing it to give yourself the best chance of success. We have developed a check list of things to look out for and it begins way before you make any shipment.



Have you allowed enough for overheads such as administration, travel, promotion etc. to give you a total primary cost prior to what may happen in point 2.


Before you set your selling price/prices have you considered the various trading terms customers might require (EXW, FOB, FIS, CFR). Without considering the selling term you can easily under cost and lose money.


Will usually depend on buyer's choice.

Air or Sea FCL/LCL


This is often overlooked as the appearance of your goods at store level is vital in making a good retail impression in store.


Will your goods require any additional preparation prior to delivery such as price tags and security tags.


You may need to use the services of a 3PL at destination to achieve some of the above including returns.


You will need to provide documentation in line with your trading terms. This is usually a commercial invoice in the agreed currency, a packing list and a certificate of origin.


There are various options such as Letter of Credit and cash against documents, Open Account.


So, assuming it is full steam ahead. Your next step is to find a logistics partner who understands the industry and the supply chain required. Breaking it down the criteria for consideration falls into the following categories.

1. It is an advantage that a provider has common goals, common markets and common Clients to Leverage From and provide EASE OF END TO END LOGISTICS.

Ø BUNDLING logistic Services at origin, e.g. Australia, China for greater efficiency

Ø OPTIMISING the logistics chain for export procedures, packing and shipping

Ø INCREASING efficiency with of all export /import documents/VAT, Duty and local customs.

Ø DELIVERY Harmonisation via central distribution Hubs.

Meet Delivery windows/Promotions

Ensure quality standards on packaging and presentation to clients including garment on hanger

Handle returns and claims

Ø TOTAL VISIBILITY for increased efficiency and reduction of costs.

2. A STRONG LOGISTIC BASE of Distribution hubs in KEY Consumer Locations

Ø London, Paris, Germany, Netherlands, HK, Dubai, NY, China.

Ensure all 3 PL facilities can hold stock for fulfilment, cross-dock, labelling, garment on hanger and provide Customs and duty advice in each market.

3. A STRONG LOGISTICAL NETWORK is essential such as the one listed

Air Connectivity

  • North America 23 locations
  • Europe 194 locations
  • Middle East 14 locations
  • Asia 31 locations

Sea Connectivity

Direct connections to all major ports for full containers (FCL) or smaller shipments (LCL)

4. EASE OF DOING BUSINESS. Look for a provider who has these qualities and skills.

World class fiscal and business environment
Experienced in handling Government regulations, duty and taxes
Invoicing and payment options governing FOB, CIF, FIS and FCA terms.
We take care of all language difficulties.


  • Strong Connectivity to all Continents in Key locations for FASHION and Apparel.
  • All Sales channels can be fulfilled efficiently
  • US hubs for easy access to all States
  • Netherlands Hub for access to all integrator hubs and National Postal networks including Germany and France
  • London Hub for all UK deliveries B2B and B2C connectivity to European cities.
  • Hong Kong fashion centre for global distribution and cross border China B2C.
  • Join our Tigers E STORE in China with direct connections to the China e commerce market via WeChat.

6. CONTROL TOWER MANAGEMENT. You need to know where your orders are always.

Control the entire process from order placement to ultimate delivery and all steps in between. All you need to do is give us your orders and we take care of the rest. Our systems can interface with all parties giving full visibility to shipment and stock status always.

For 35 years, DEANTigers have been providing logistic solutions for leading Australian Fashion Retailers and Wholesalers and fully understand the challenges of this “fast paced” industry.

We would enjoy the opportunity to work with your brand and talk to you developing an end to end logistics plan which will benefit you.

Please contact us:

Bruce Haines

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