- Published on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 16:14
The first installment of this two-part series highlights the city’s strengths as a sourcing center.
An established support industry constituting a rich upstream network and efficient logistics system complements Wenzhou’s strong manpower resource, securing the area’s status as China’s major manufacturing hub for promotional bags. This city in Zhejiang province accounts for 60 and 50 percent of the country’s total output and exports in the line.
Wenzhou boasts an ample supply of skilled labor. The local industry has been thriving for almost two decades, resulting in a dense pool of experienced workers. These trained hands provide reliable quality and yield minimal wastage, thereby ensuring increased production efficiency at reduced costs.
Years of manufacture and familiarity with materials have strengthened makers’ R&D capability. Custom models dominate output. Besides executing buyers’ requirements, in-house designers can assist by suggesting style, construction, and paper or fabric options.
QC personnel carry out mostly ocular inspections but still conduct several tests, including holding capacity, print quality and weight of inputs. Local government agencies offer auditing services as well.
In addition to the rich manpower resource, key materials such as paper, plastic and fabrics are easily obtained in Wenzhou. Paper mills, for instance, abound in Zhejiang and the neighboring provinces of Jiangsu and Fujian. The majority of providers are five hours away by truck, and some have agents in Wenzhou to help facilitate material sourcing.
Makers also leverage easy access to service partners. To illustrate, printing is done in-house more than 80 percent of the time, but companies can subcontract to meet rush orders and unique requirements. Wenzhou has hundreds of specialists capable of pad, offset and relief printing, embossing and silk-screening. Several are equipped with advanced machines such as Heidelberg, Manroland and Komori, particularly the Lithrone series. Cutting, folding and packaging may be farmed out as well.
Wenzhou’s strategic location in the southeastern coastal part of Zhejiang provides various delivery options for finished goods. Small and rush orders can be exported by air, while large-volume purchases are often shipped by sea. The sourcing center also enables quick access to high-traffic hubs such as Ningbo city in Zhejiang and Fujian’s Fuzhou. It takes about three hours to reach these places by bus or train. In addition to land transfer, a few airlines link the Wenzhou Yongqiang Airport to Guangzhou of Guangdong province, Beijing, Shanghai and other destinations in Asia.
Under such favorable conditions, Wenzhou’s supplier base has grown to become the largest in the country. But while this gives the hub an edge, it also promotes intense price competition. Such rivalry can push makers to turn to substandard materials, craftsmanship and service as a means of lowering quotes.
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Note: This article "Wenzhou still key hub for promotional bags" was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through e-magazines and trade shows
All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.
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