(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). In March, BODY publisher Nick Monjo interviewed Dreamgirl owner Barry Revzen about his experience with rising intimate apparel prices at Chinese factories. In this installment, the producer explains how rising prices, and a host of other issues, are continuing to plague Chines production.
MONJO: In 2019 Trump imposed tariffs on China goods and created an atmosphere where wholesalers and large retailers moved to reduce production there. What has changed over the past several months now that Biden is in charge?
REVZEN: Prices continue to go up. Biden has not helped at all with the tariffs and continues to hammer China over human rights issues. Now, due to the pandemic worldwide, countries to which retailers moved, such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, are riddled with the virus, and factories are closed or working with minimum staff. Which has affected production and delivery, so everyone has moved back to China despite the tariff. China is one of the few countries delivering goods right now and even they are challenged. This has created major problems now that factories have more work than they can produce. As boats continue to arrive at Chinese ports, with little to no space, as they fill up so quickly, it has become increasingly more difficult to book a container. Containers are in huge demand but are not being returned to China fast enough, as countries such as America, cannot get the cargo processed quickly. That is due to the fact that only half the longshoreman are working, compared to before pandemic. In all only maybe 70% of the ships are sailing at this time. About 20% or more of the boat pilots and captains are from India and they are all quarantining and not working. All this has caused a huge problem as the shipping companies continue to sail fewer and fewer boats.
MONJO: Are factories asking for higher minimum orders? How has that affected Dreamgirl?
REVZEN: MOQ’s have most definitely been affected as has the lead time to make the goods. Due to the fact that China is so busy now, the factories cannot make goods in a timely fashion. Also, the factories have so much work they do not want to take on smaller quantities due to the higher CMT costs and the lack of sewers. We are finding that most factories are asking for up to 100% higher MOQ’s as they are so busy and small quantities take longer to make. Dreamgirl will figure it out and we have several factories that only work for us, so they are real partners and will continue to help in every way possible.
MONJO: What are your predictions as to shipping for the back half of the year?
REVZEN: As I have said, the shipping issues are causing huge problems worldwide. Not enough boats sailing, and boats arriving at port already full so that they are not taking containers. This has caused huge delays and backlogs. I do not see this changing for quite some time as COVID is still so bad in the world and not getting better fast enough. Because countries are closed, boat pilots and workers are staying home. China is one of the only countries in the world that tackled COVID quickly and rid the country of this horrible disease. When China gets an outbreak of even a few cases of COVID they close down entire cities or even whole provinces to get them over the virus. In America, we still have nearly half of the population refusing to get the vaccinations and therefore it may be impossible to end this thing and help get the world back to a normal place.
MONJO: How will all this evolve over the next several months?
REVZEN: We are all going to be experiencing delays both in production and in shipping. The factories are starting to ask for more time to make goods. I have factories now that want 120 days to make goods instead of the traditional 90 days. Fabrics, trims, and accessories are in such huge demand that what used to take seven to ten days to get for production are now taking up to 30 to 45 days. Mills have closed so there are fewer mills and now that everyone has moved their production back to China, the mills are overloaded and taking three times or more longer to make fabrics. It is the same with other suppliers in China. Dye houses were closed several years ago over environmental issues and have never reopened, so there are few dyers left in China. Dying which used to take several days, could now take months. The most important thing for us, the wholesalers, is to educate our customers about what is going on in China and ask them to help with extensions, as these issues are creating late deliveries which are out of our control.
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