In this blog, Red Oak’s logistics experts explain how COVID-19 has dramatically impacted air freight costs – and what you need to do to avoid getting stung.
- At the peak of the pandemic, air freight prices surged by a whopping 200%.
- As of 12 June 2020, air freight prices were still 67% higher^ compared to pre-COVID.
- With new air freight surcharges, air freight for 500 custom sublimated polos adds $1,625 to your order.
- Revert to sea shipment prices and you’ll avoid the surcharge and access the best unit prices.
- The trade-off for cheaper freight via sea is longer lead times – so don’t delay ordering next season’s gear or your event merch.
^Based on rates at 12 June 2020.
While the immediate health threat of COVID-19 is starting to subside in Australia, there are some big changes afoot in the teamwear and merchandise industry that every sporting club, event organiser and corporate team should know about.
The single biggest mistake you can make right now is to leave it too late to start designing next season’s teamwear or uniforms – and expect to access cheap air freight.
Thanks to COVID-19 grounding 50% of aircraft globally and passenger numbers down 95%, air freight prices have soared up to 200% and are no longer cost-effective.
We know that times are tough and many families, individuals and businesses may be under financial strain, so to help you access the very best possible pricing and value for money garments – you need to place your order early so it can arrive by sea.
Air freight costs are expensive following COVID-19
With extremely limited air freight capacity as a result of COVID-19 – and next to no international flights for the foreseeable future – you’ll pay a hefty premium trying to get your custom teamwear to Australia by plane.
During the peak of the pandemic, air freight costs surged by an eyewatering 200% on average.
And as we start to emerge on the other side of COVID, according to data on five of our best-selling Red Oak garments, you’ll pay an extra 67% surcharge on air freight compared to pre-COVID rates.
Financially, sea freight is the obvious choice. However, you need to work with a switched-on supplier like Red Oak who will expertly manage your production and delivery timeframes to ensure you still receive on time via sea.
Table 1: Unit pricing comparison by air and sea for two products – polos and singlets.
EXAMPLE: If you were to order 500 sublimated polo shirts, you would save $1,625 in freight alone by opting for sea shipment over air freight.
*Based on freight costs at 12 June 2020.
What does this mean for you?
Pre-COVID you had the choice of air freight or sea freight.
Post-COVID if you want to access the same value for money pricing and avoid the air freight surcharge, you need to be organised and place your order early to take advantage of sea freight.
The trade-off for cheaper freight is longer lead times.
While air freight is typically 7 – 10 days, sea freight can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. Plus, you also need to factor in briefing designs, approvals and production.
We cannot stress how important it is to be organised and get in early to plan your designs and finalise your order.
Red Oak is here to help – and we’d much prefer you to contact our custom teamwear specialists earlier than leaving it too late.
Why work with Red Oak?
Here at Red Oak our business is built around three pillars – design, logistics and quality.
One of our biggest points of difference is that we don’t just make teamwear and merchandise that make you look good (and last!), we are O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D with logistics.
This includes implementing fool proof systems with all of our specialist factory partners that give you peace of mind that you’re getting the very best quality, colour perfect and value for money teamwear solutions.
We even created a 1-page production planner you can download here that visually shows timeframes.
Red Oak has always worked backwards from your desired delivery date and mapped out key deadlines for design, ordering and production, even before COVID. We NEVER missed a delivery deadline. We’re proud of our track record and intend to uphold it post-COVID.
Fortunately, the global pandemic hasn’t affected Red Oak’s business model or supply chains.
We’ve been working around the clock to diversify our business and can now offer even more shipping options. Even for smaller orders, we can batch orders from different customers to fill a shipping container and deliver on our promise of our value for money teamwear solutions.
Changes to Teamwear Freight Options following COVID-19
If you’ve been thinking about next season’s uniforms, teamwear or merchandise – contact us today!
Remember, the biggest mistake you can make with your teamwear and uniforms is leaving it too late to place your order.
With airlines grounded indefinitely, air freight is no longer cost effective. Sea freight can save you big dollars, but you need to be organised.
Contact the Red Oak team to start planning and designing your uniforms, training gear or supporter merchandise. We’re problem solvers who are passionate about logistics and delivery quality gear, on time, every time. Call 1300 734 708 or enquire online here.
Red Oak Teamwear is Australia’s leading supplier of custom sportswear and accessories. We offer a personalised service and take the time to listen to and understand your needs. We use premium materials and only partner with the world’s best suppliers.