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In a previous blog, we addressed what fast fashion means for the air freight industry [insert link].  As a follow-up to the previous blog, this blog will talk about how fast fashion has changed the air freight industry.

As described before, fast fashion brands heavily rely on the air freight industry to ship their goods in a quick and efficient manner. Although it’s been a challenge, the air freight industry has adapted new business practices, services, ideals, and models to accommodate this new business trend.

Increased Shipments and Warehouses 

Because there are more clothing shipments than ever before, warehouses can’t keep up with demand. The only way to keep up with the demand was to build — or rent — more warehouses.

All over the world, warehouses have been popping up to keep up with shipping demands to quickly and efficiently ship goods from the production lines to the consumer. Not only that, but it’s also created the opportunity for warehouse networks, which is a connection of various warehouses all for the same retailer, to efficiently move goods. Some warehouses in these networks are owned, but others consist of short-term warehousing, which is a “pay-as-you-go” model so retailers can move their supply chain quickly to accommodate fast-fashion trends. With more warehouses, this has created more opportunities for clothing to be shipped from place to place.

Opportunity for New Services

Since fast-fashion companies have been demanding quicker services to get the product to the consumer, it’s opened up the avenue for air freight industries to create those services to satisfy the fast-fashion companies. Although it comes at an additional cost for brands, air freight industries can place garments on hangers and rods, label clothing, and bag goods. It’s also created the opportunity for “flat packed” goods, which allows manufacturers and distributors to ship more clothing in a cost-effective manner.

In addition, air freight companies have made room in their logistics for multiple deliveries, and even door-to-door services, for retailers. Since deliveries have gotten quicker overall, it’s created the avenue for more frequent deliveries to a retailer in just one week.

More Research for Fuel Efficiency

Fast fashion has stirred up a lot of controversy about the negative environmental impacts it can create. From pollution to textile waste, fast fashion retailers have gotten a lot of heat about how the industry is negatively impacting the environment.

To combat the controversy, retailers and air freight companies are researching ways to improve fuel-efficiency and carrying capacity on airplanes. From ditching kerosene to using lighter materials to build the planes, everyone is on board to maximize the fuel economy of today’s airplanes to minimize its environmental impact.

With supply chain experts predicting air freight will become a more popular method of shipping for fast fashion brands, air freight industries are doing what they can to prepare for and adapt to changes fast fashion has created. With increased warehouses, the creation of new services, and more research about fuel economy, the air freight industry is making smart accommodations to fast fashion retailers.