- Published on Monday, 14 January 2013 12:23
Energy-saving flashlights lead output in line with the 'green' trend.
Backed by a strategic geographic location and comprehensive supply chain, Zhejiang province remains the main hub for camping and leisure products in China. About 70 to 80 percent of the country’s exports of tents, flashlights, lanterns, sleeping bags, chairs, cooler bags, travel mugs and outdoor mats come from the area.
There are more than 2,000 manufacturers of the line in Zhejiang, with the majority located in Ningbo and Hangzhou. These two cities contribute 26 and 16 percent to overall output, respectively. The bulk of companies are composed of SMEs, which are more flexible when it comes to MOQ and delivery time.
The province leverages the seaport in Ningbo to reach various overseas destinations and other cities within the country. This helps in sourcing raw materials and transporting finished products.
Further, Zhejiang has an established network of metal parts and plastic makers, several of which are based in Ningbo and Yuyao. This speeds up procurement of inputs and allows companies to source requirements at lower costs.
These core advantages enable suppliers of camping and leisure products in the area to offer prices that are relatively lower than those from other provinces.
Manufacturers, however, are faced with issues that dent profit margins. Foremost of these is the global economic slump of 2010 and the fairly recent EU debt crisis.
As countermeasures, suppliers are emphasizing efforts to retain old customers. To keep long-term clients and attract new ones, they are enhancing services via quicker response to inquiries, options for OEM and ODM versions, and assistance with product design work.
Many are accepting orders within their production capacity. Further, they are not aggressively hiring new workers because of higher manpower costs.
LED flashlights constitute the bulk of output with an 80 percent. The category is boosted by increasing demand for environment-friendly products.
R&D efforts in the line center on greater energy savings and improved efficiency. Many releases run on Li-ion batteries, and other variants utilize solar power. Some models can be charged by hand cranking or winding, the latter motion generating 10 minutes of power.
Basic units list from $0.50 to $5. These adopt three to seven diodes, employ alkaline batteries and support 0.06 or 0.2W.
Those in the middle of the price spectrum have at least eight 1W bulbs that can be powered by a polycrystalline solar panel. An alarm and compass are typical add-ons. Prices range from $5 to $10.
High-end models incorporate 5W LEDs. These can be charged using a monocrystalline module or via hand cranking. A few products in the line have a radio and can be utilized to recharge mobile phones, MP3 players and other electronic devices.
Prices will remain stable in coming months despite rising labor costs resulting from weaker international demand. Suppliers do not plan to implement markups in order to retain their customers.
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Note: This article "Zhejiang fortifies main hub status in camping industry" 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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