Supply chain review from importing by air from China

Air Freight From China Challenge

The Challenge was to simplify a customers’ supply chain that had grown without any focus on the planning of how orders are sent from China.

We find this often happens with companies that set up and then have rapidly expanded.

The company’s initial emphasis is quite rightly on sales and growing the business. It’s only when the growth curve settles a little and the business matures do minds turn to procedures and processes needed to make a business more efficient to facilitate the next phase of growth.

Business Growth

Our customer had grown rapidly, supplying gift items and electrical goods from various suppliers across the Pearl Delta area in South China to customers and on-line retailers in the UK.

UK Freight Locations

There was no plan in place, which lead to problems with suppliers arranging themselves and the result was airfreight arriving into London, Leeds and Birmingham without a plan.

This left our customer losing control of what was being sent and when it was being received.

In addition there were delays in some products leaving China as each individual product type needed an export licence.

Import Efficiency

This way of importing freight was not efficient. It increased costs in the supply chain and created delays for urgent products.

Being in a fast moving sector where speed to market is vital in generating more sales at full price, these delays and extra costs were making this impossible to achieve.

Not only were products arriving late and missing sales windows, being behind the curve in this way meant discounted selling.

Supply Chain Managment

K&L Freight with their years of experience in South China & Hong Kong, including many trips to the area were invited to re-think and re-engineer the supply chain.

The first objective was to get all suppliers to deliver to a master supplier in China, meaning they only had to be responsible for a domestic delivery in China and so could concentrate on their core business – manufacturing.

The master supplier was then tasked with making ready all orders available for a once per week despatch to be sent by truck over the border to Hong Kong. From Hong Kong this collation of orders is now sent on the direct Cathay Pacific flight to Manchester.

Efficient Supply Chain Process

This new, improved process speeded up the whole operation with orders taken during the week being trucked to Hong Kong overnight and flown straight out to the UK in bulk as one large shipment.

This new process meant that delivery could be made to customers across the UK as early as Tuesday of the following week.

The result was from chaos order was restored. In addition, our customer could see all orders booked each week using K&L Freight’s on line tracking & reporting systems that operate in real time.

In an industry where first to market wins and new products are introduced all the time, with old ones withdrawn just as quickly, our customer has gained a market leading position.

This has enabled them to grow by beating their competitors to market whilst passing the responsibility of the supply chain to K&L Freight.

See more about our Importing From China services and get in touch with our friendly team with any questions.