DHL opens apparel center in southern India
DHL on Tuesday opened its 'DHL Fashion and Apparel Center of Excellence' in the southern Indian city of Tirupur, with an aim of taking advantage of India's growing prominence in apparel exports to Europe.
DHL said it 'expects India to become increasingly important as an export country into Europe with growth driven largely by the apparels, engineering and manufacturing and manufactured goods sectors.'
The center is the first of its kind for DHL in the Asia Pacific region, and it intended to use industry experts to develop customized supply chain and consultancy ideas to customers.
Tirupur, in the state of a Tamil Nadu, is a nexus of fabric production in India. DHL Global Forwarding estimates the fashion and apparel logistics industry in South Asia to be worth $3.9 billion per year. The Subcontinental quartet of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka account for $2.4 billion of that total.
'South Asia is a key sourcing, manufacturing and distribution base for the global fashion industry,' said Amadou Diallo, chief executive officer (South Asia Pacific) of DHL Global Forwarding. 'The logistics sector forms a critical component in the global supply chains of the world's best known brands. In South Asia, finished apparel is the fastest growing segment and is expected to continue to grow rapidly. As manufacturing moves to lower cost countries, supply chains in the fashion industry have become extended and more complex, increasing trade and legal demands including import controls, quotas and tariffs.'
The apparel and footwear sectors constitute the largest air freight and ocean freight export commodity group from South Asia to Europe, accounting for more than 16 percent of air freight export volumes, and 13 percent of ocean freight export volumes.
According to DHL, India-Germany is the top air freight export trade lane for South Asia, and apparel and footwear accounted for 33 percent of air freight exports on that lane in 2008.