Everyone has heard ancient tales about merchants bringing goods from distant countries. Spices from India, silk from China, and cloth from England traveled thousands of kilometers and fell into the hands of buyers only after several months. Today, in the era of high speeds and constant availability of goods, late delivery can quickly lead to a perfume falling out fashion. The efficiency of product transportation is a critical factor – especially for lines of goods that are regularly updated.
Head of Fashion and Beauty Products Logistics Fedor Pakush shares some lessons learned by AsstrA experts and describes what needs to be done to ensure that a new collection hits the shelves at the right time.
“The team at AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG ships goods for the biggest perfume and cosmetics chains. Transportation is carried out to Russia from Italy and the USA. Under the careful supervision of AsstrA specialists, cargo is delivered to customers in Russia with transshipment at a warehouse in Poland. Stickering, one of the most important stages of transportation and presale product preparation, is done in this warehouse.”
In accordance with Russian law, imported perfume and cosmetics must already have stickers with basic information in Russian. After comparing the cost of stickering in Italy vs. Poland, the customer chose to affix the stickers in the Polish warehouse so as to significantly optimize overall transport costs.
The stickering of perfume and cosmetics is a long and painstaking process carried out by warehouse employees under the supervision of AsstrA experts. Layouts come from producers or are made directly in the warehouse. The process of stickering takes from 3 to 5 days for one batch of 100,000 – 150,000 units.
"A unique characteristic of stickering in the perfume and cosmetics industry is that one commercial batch can contain from 150 to 250 different product names. For example, lipstick has different shades, and each needs its own sticker. As a result, small stickers should be affixed manually in a special location on the goods in accordance with the instructions of the client," continues Fedor Pakush.
A commercial batch is formed, i.e. packed into boxes and onto pallets, in the warehouse for shipment in the next stage. After the completion of all the stickering and packing, the company's specialists do the paperwork for shipment.
In providing a comprehensive range of services supporting transportation from the USA to Russia for a perfumery and cosmetics chain, the AsstrA Fashion and Beauty Products Logistics works closely with the AsstrA USA team. North America Trade Lane Manager Ekaterina Zlatoustovskaya emphasizes that the high-quality cosmetic transportation services are a result of high-quality planning and preparation.
"AsstrA specialists export top-branded cosmetic products from the USA. Transportation is carried out in two ways: by sea and by air. Most of the goods are shipped from the east or west coasts of the United States to the port in Riga. From there, the goods are delivered to the warehouse where they are prepared for onward transportation to the customer's warehouse in Moscow in a way similar to that of the Polish scheme," notes Ekaterina Zlatoustovskaya.
Air transportation is an ideal solution for express delivery. The AsstrA team can arrange airport pick-up from Chicago, Illinois, to the Frankfurt or Warsaw airports. In case of transport from Italy, the goods are transported by road to the customer's warehouse with transshipment at the warehouse in Poland.
"In a period of high demand, such as the upcoming holiday season, goods are sold much faster. A retailer, like a real Santa Claus, can not leave anyone without a gift. As Santa’s faithful assistants, the AsstrA team is ready to save the day by cutting delivery times from 4-5 weeks to 3-4 days," Ekaterina Zlatoustovskaya says.
Late model goods have a long way to go between the factory and end customers. Fast transportation can make a big difference and lead to greater sales from customers who want to buy only the newest products that are trending at any given time.