Trends & Markets 01/20

Well dressed

Logistics for fashion designers

“You are what you wear”: the world of fashion is constantly reinventing itself. Many stars and celebrities set new trends or introduce new cuts and collections. Exclusivity, quality and sustainability are the key elements nowadays and they are a priority at the long-standing German company, HUGO BOSS, too. The employees at Rodair support the clothing producer on a daily basis to ensure that the premium manufacturer’s clothes can be presented on the shelves of stores in Canada during the right season.


The world of “prêt-à-porter” has developed from the traditional four seasons in the year into fast-paced seasonal trends, fashion styles and exclusivity. Because of this, the leading fashion houses recognise the importance of speed in the market place in order to take their demanding and volatile customers by storm and surprise them again and again. As the market has developed, luxury brands have constantly demanded more and more from their supply chains and logistics specialists.

When Rodair was founded in 1996, the company founder and CEO, Jeff Cullen, recognised what was needed for luxury brands and established fashion logistics operations in Canada to match the changes in the supply chain requirements. Rodair developed a complete supply chain solution from the production site to the store, with the support of its pioneer customer, HUGO BOSS. Everything starts with coordinating the international transport operations for the collection items that arrive in Toronto by air or sea freight, as well as handling the customs clearance.

Top-quality premium collections
HUGO BOSS, which has its headquarters in Metzingen
in Germany, is one of the world’s leading premiumsegment
companies in the clothing market. The
women’s and men’s collections from BOSS and HUGO
are sold in more than 127 countries. The company
employs about 14,700 people around the world.


Active across borders

“Customs is an issue in its own right in Canada; that’s why we have our own licenced and qualified customs team with direct electronic links to the Canadian customs service,” Cullen reports. “We ensure that we comply with all the import regulations and also achieve the greatest possible relief for HUGO BOSS in terms of customs duty and taxes.” Import permits are prescribed for some textile goods and clothing and it is necessary to apply for them early so that they are available for the customs office when the goods are imported. This is another element in the range of services that Rodair offers.

The fashion logistics specialist has also set up a Canadian bonded warehouse for all high-quality HUGO BOSS consignments to protect them from loss or damage and make the processes more efficient until the Canadian customs service provides clearance for them. Following this, the international import consignments are transported to Rodair’s fashion warehouse.

Vertical logistics solutions

The Canadian logistics specialist, Rodair, offers solutions with a major focus on the fashion and retail sectors as well as the automobile and mining industries. Rodair has been part of the Rhenus Group since 2019. Its services include international transport operations, project logistics, courier, warehouse and distribution logistics as well as customs clearance and 3PL services.

Storing flat and hanging items

Trained Rodair warehouse experts carefully examine the consignments that arrive in the incoming goods section. The items are then entered in the company’s own merchandise management system. The Rodair fashion warehouse was specifically constructed for the Canadian luxury retail sector and is fully equipped to handle both flat and hanging goods. Once the outgoing orders have been processed, packaged and made ready, deliveries are transported to the HUGO BOSS retailers and brand stores all over Canada.

The Rodair couture bag – crease-free throughout Canada

Rodair has also developed an innovative and cost-effective transport packaging solution for domestic consignments, the so-called “couture tote”. This eco-friendly bag is a patented solution and enables the company to combine flat or hanging goods. It can be used to ship goods by air freight, truck or rail.

“This unique, reusable packaging solution is a milestone for the sector,” Jeff Cullen declares. “It offers huge flexibility when combining the packaging for flat and hanging goods and when selecting the various means of transport. Customers select the option that best suits them, depending on what is required, the delivery time and budget.” The couture bags arrive at the HUGO BOSS stores and brand shops with the items that are ready for sale. The collection parts can then be unpacked and directly placed on the sales shelves.

Safely packed in couture bags
Rodair has specially developed this innovative and
cost-effective packaging and handling system for
the fashion sector. The foldable and environmentallyfriendly
couture bags make it possible to handle
clothing items and accessories with care along the
complete supply chain. They can be used to transport
both hanging and flat goods.


Transparent information

Transparency, availability and access to all the supply chain information as well as very close communications with all those involved are essential for the fashion team. “HUGO BOSS is the ideal partner for developing these verticals. Our cooperative approach has helped both brands to be successful,” says Jeff Cullen. “HUGO BOSS always demands the highest levels of service from us,” says Jeff Cullen, summarising the cooperation arrangement that has now lasted 23 years. “We’ve accepted this challenge, have provided high-quality supply chain solutions and will continue to do so for many years to come.”


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