Blog: Shipping box raises sourcing questions

Joe Ayling | 11 November 2008

An ongoing investigation into the shipping of goods around the world by the BBC has caught just-style's eye, as the BBC's container box is currently full of clothes.

Starting out in September, the sponsored box carried Scotch whisky to Shanghai, where it picked up clothing and is on its way to the US laden with fashion goods made in China.

The project is designed to show the realities of globalisation and how shipping might develop in the future.

The BBC has found out that larger container ships are on the horizon, with a capacity of 8,000 40 foot boxes. However, it points out that with many ports and harbours currently too small for these larger ships to dock, and loading times to subsequently rise, there is a fine balance between quantity and quality of service.

The environmental costs of shipping to meet the needs of globalisation will also increase in the future.

All in all, the truths about sourcing are coming into the mainstream and as questions continue to be asked, costs continue to rise for companies sourcing from halfway across the world.

It is whether they rise enough to look elsewhere that will concern retailers, brands and manufacturers alike.

Joe Ayling, news editor.

Track the BBC project here


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