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What Happens When Wholesale Used Clothing Is Shipped Overseas


container ship sails into harbor

The beauty of a circular economy lies in its ability to breathe new life into old things. This is especially true when it comes to wholesale used clothing, mixed rags, and credential clothing that is shipped overseas.

In their lifespan, the clothes usually end up journeying around the world – being manufactured in one country, sold someplace else, donated then shipped to yet another place. So, let’s take a closer look into the journey that these items take in their lifetime.

The First Steps: Gathering to Relaunch

Once the clothes are picked up from donors, charities, etc., they need to be sorted, graded, and baled. This is not an easy task and requires time and great effort.

Clothes are usually sorted into one of many categories, depending on their type and quality. So, you could encounter unsorted credential clothing, vintage clothing, mixed rags, and more.

workers assemble clothing in a factoryUnsorted credential clothing refers to clothes that remain in their original packaging, never having been opened since they’d been received from the donor. Credential clothing is usually of the highest quality and is often the most appreciated item.

Vintage clothing has the highest value and often ends up in specialty stores in countries where there’s a bigger demand for this type of clothing.

Clothing that’s been used but deemed not able to sell in thrift stores falls into the category of mixed rags.

After sorting the clothes, it’s time for grading. Depending on the quality of the items, they’re classified into different categories. The grading systems are different across the markets and countries, but usually goes from the highest quality Grade A to somewhat lower quality of Grade B, and so on.

Part 2 of The Journey: All Aboard

woman shopping at thrift storeAfter sorting and grading, the items need to be baled before they can be safely transported. Baled items are much more stable, and therefore safer for transportation, and the bales can go up to 40,000 pounds in weight.

These bales now have to be loaded onto trucks. Loading them takes careful consideration and extensive planning beforehand. What needs to be taken into account first and foremost is good space optimization, and respect for the minimum/maximum weight capacity.

It’s essential for the goods to be spread out evenly, covering the entire length and width of the container. Otherwise, the load can be extremely hazardous during transportation. Trucks could be overturned, goods could fall out and damage property or endanger road users.

The same principles need to be followed when wholesale used clothing is loaded onto boats and ships.

The Final Stages: Landing to a Second (or 3rd) Life

When the credential clothing makes it to the ships, it’s usually smooth sailing from here on out. Bales are safely secured and protected so that the wholesale used clothing wouldn’t be damaged in transportation.

The shipping time depends on the location itself. It takes just a couple of weeks for a freighter to reach Central America, about 4 weeks for a ship to get to Europe or South America, and about 6 weeks to Asia or Africa.

Retailers then pick up their goods, and whether it’s credential clothing, mixed rags, or others, they can start their new life overseas.

Get in touch with us today here at Bank & Vogue, to find out more about what we do or to place an order or arrange for logistics.

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