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10 Questions to Ask before Importing Clothing by GOH Method

Garments imported from Asia and elsewhere around the world represent a large percentage of clothing sold in Australia. While most opt to transport their garments by flat pack method, many choose to send their clothing as Garments on Hangers (GOH). The GOH method can offer real time and cost efficiencies. This guide addresses the questions you need to ask when importing your clothing items by GOH.

Whether or not the GOH method is cost-effective depends on the type of garments and the presentation required at store level. For example, most t-shirts and pyjamas are imported in flat packs. However, ladies fashions and mens suits are generally more expensive and sent on hangers for direct handling into store.

The main benefits of arranging garments as GOH include:

  • Nominal creasing during transportation.
  • Minimal, or in some cases, no processing at the store.
  • Preparation of garments ready for retail can be completed at the overseas factory.
  • Garments arrive store-ready with no need for ironing or pressing.
  • Reduced processing time and costs at the final destination.

Before choosing the GOH method, there are two crucial questions you need to answer:

  • Is my supplier’s factory at origin set up to handle shipments on a GOH basis?The GOH method requires ample factory floor space so that the garments can be hung immediately. Smaller factories often rely on stacking cartons high to the ceiling. It is vital that you confirm that your supplier’s factory has the room to accommodate the number of trolleys necessary to store your hanging garments prior to container loading.
  • Does my warehouse have the facilities to unload GOH container?Just as your supplier will need the space to accommodate multiple trolleys, so too will your warehouse. If your warehouse storage is minimal, consider using a third-party storage facility.

There are two types of GOH systems, the bar system and the string system and both are suitable for either sea or airfreight.

  • Bar system – As the name suggests garments are hung straight on bars set up in the container. In fact, this system transforms the container into a huge walk-in wardrobe. To fully utilise the space available, there is usually one bar at the top of the container and another mid-height. However, these can be altered to meet individual requirements. Generally there are 22 bars per 20’ and 44 bars per 40’.
  • String system – In the string system, pieces of knotted ‘string’ run from the top of the container. Bundles of garments are inserted into each knot of the string.

The up-front cost for both systems is the same. However, more garments can be shipped using the string system, effectively reducing the per-unit price.

The double bar system is the premium method for GOH. While this system can carry fewer garments than the string system, there is less potential for creasing. The string system is ideal for clothing that doesn’t need to be displayed in pristine condition or for non-crushable clothing.

In deciding which system is best for your needs, consider the following:

  • What types of garments are in the shipment; e.g. skirts, shirts, suits, jackets?
  • What are the dimensions of the garments; e.g. shoulder thickness?
  • Are the fabrics used susceptible to creasing?
  • How many garments are in the shipment?
  • How will the garments be displayed in-store?

Magellan offers importers the options of full or partial containers using either the bar or string system or a combination of the two.

  • A Full Container Load (FCL) of garments sent GOH – a container is used exclusively for your garments.
  • Less than Container Load (LCL) sent GOH – your garments share a container with LCL shipments from other importers.

Magellan can arrange to consolidate shipments from various suppliers into one container. This means all your shipments are loaded into a container exclusive to your garments. You can elect to send all garments GOH or have a combination of GOH and flat pack.

When you air freight your garments GOH, you can choose between an exclusive bar or string system or a combination of the two.

Using the Magellan website (www.magellanlogistics.com.au), you can easily track your garments by your order number via the MagTrack Portal. You’ll clearly see the shipping, arrival and actual delivery dates, and you can export this information in an Excel format for your inhouse reports. When you engage Magellan, you’ll receive notifications at the time of booking, time of shipment and prior to your garments arriving.

To ensure your cargo is released and cleared through Customs, you’ll require a:

  1. Bill of Lading that details the precise contents of the shipment and is issued by the Freight Forwarder to the shipper at the port of export.
  2. Commercial Invoice that details the items contained in your shipment.
  3. Packing Declaration – this is a requirement on all FCL and LCL shipments. Please contact Magellan Logistics for templates.
  4. Fumigation Certificate – this is required if any packaging that may require fumigation eg. wood not treated to international standard IPSM 15, has been used.

For more detail on customs and documentation requirements, please call Magellan for a copy of our guide: How to Avoid Delays with Australian Border Force.

To ensure safety and expedite cargo deliveries, ensure you stipulate the correct equipment for delivery. Sending the wrong vehicle can result in additional and unexpected charges. Know how your cargo is arriving and what type of vehicle is required.

There are three main ways to get your cargoes delivered:

Standard Delivery: Truck with container on a trailer that waits whilst you unpack.

Drop Trailer: Truck leaves trailer with container on at your premises for unpacking.

Sideloader: Truck with specialised trailer that has its own lifting equipment will drop the container on the ground at your premises.

Certain time and weight restrictions apply to each method of delivery. Please check our free guide: How to Avoid Delays with Australian Border Force.

LCL shipments are delivered by van, utility vehicle or truck depending on the size/cubic metres.

No one likes unexpected expenses, yet unclear information, insufficient documentation, inappropriate packaging or importation of goods that require permits can result in extra wharf or airline depot charges.

Additional charges may apply in the following circumstances:

FCL Detention – Cartage companies allocate a set amount of time for pick up from the wharf, delivery to your premises, unpack of the container and offhire of the empty container. If the delivery exceeds the allocated amount of time, detention is charged for additional time the truck is on the job.

LCL Detention – Similar to FCL detention, if the pick up/delivery time exceeds the allocated time allowed by the cartage company, detention is charged.

Via Depot – If the importer is unable to take delivery of the container and it has to be taken back to the cartage depot, a charge applies.

Tailgate – A quarantine inspection ordered for cargo traveling outside the metropolitan zone.

Steamclean – If quarantine identifies dirt on a container before it leaves the wharf, they will order it for steam clean prior to delivery.

Fumigation – Wooden products or packing was not fumigated at the port of origin.

Missed Timeslot – The timeslot at the wharf wasn’t used due to a Customs Hold; i.e. missing or incorrect paperwork.

Wharf or Depot Storage: Goods are not Customs Cleared and picked up within the free time allowed.

Container Demurrage: Empty containers are not returned within the free time allowed for import delivery.

A thorough understanding of the purpose, processes and requirements of the Australian Border Force is vital to the smooth importation of any goods into Australia. For more information visit their website, www.abf.gov.au or engage Magellan Logistics to co-ordinate seamless transportation of your goods.

For information on commerce markings, duties and cut, make and trim shipments please refer to our guide: Ten questions to ask before importing garments.

Get in touch today.


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