Where Is the Best Place to Manufacture Cheap T-Shirts in Asia?

T-shirt imports from Asia are a cost-effective way to create new revenue lines or try an idea. Brands can express themselves creatively while providing high-quality products for customers to wear.

The goal of Asian t-shirt manufacturing is to find a cheap product to import that still meets your quality requirements.

When you start looking for locations that can deliver this outcome, two countries stand above the rest for most businesses: China and Vietnam.

Each has certain advantages to consider when you want affordable, high-quality t-shirts as part of your product lineup.

China vs. Vietnam: What Are the Benefits?

When comparing the benefits of t-shirt manufacturing in China and Vietnam, a few key points that could be important to your business stand out. Here’s a closer look.

1. Labor Costs

Production prices are typically lower in Vietnam than they are in China. The hourly wages are less than $3 per hour, creating a better cost of production metric for businesses today. This benefit, combined with a favorable exchange rate to the Vietnamese Dong, creates significant savings opportunities.

Although the hourly wages can be cheaper in some regions, China’s workers can also make a little more in others. Strategic choices about what factories to use can make it cost-competitive, if not better, to produce t-shirts in China instead of Vietnam.

2. Craftsmanship

China and Vietnam can tap into a significant labor force that can produce t-shirts quickly and efficiently. Both countries use modern manufacturing processes that can offer consistent outcomes that fit within budgetary expectations.

Vietnam’s labor force tends to be younger. Although over 50 million people over the age of 15 are employed, only 20% are in the manufacturing sector. China provides more skilled workers with the experience a brand needs to express itself with a cheap, high-quality t-shirt.

3. Free-Trade Agreements

Vietnam has several international free trade agreements, making it easier to acquire apparel with zero or reduced tariffs. The regulation easement is also part of this relationship. Europe, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the UK, and the United States all have import advantages to review.

China has numerous bilateral trade agreements that deliver a similar result. US customers have slightly higher tariffs on t-shirts and apparel when compared to Vietnam, but the total cost for companies is still highly competitive.

4. Shipping Access

Vietnam’s infrastructure has more than 300 ports, of which about half are international seaports. That makes it easy to ship goods from throughout the country to a destination where they can be easily exported. This asset allows for shipping times to be substantially lower.

China has more than 2,000 ports, with 34 of them considered “major.”

Although domestic movement may be faster in some circumstances in Vietnam, China has a well-developed internal infrastructure that facilitates the movement of finished goods. You can select a factory, discuss manufacturing needs, and have your items shipped directly to lessen your budgeted lead time.

5. Business Environment

Vietnam and China both offer a business-friendly environment that wants to be active in the international community. Both nations encourage and support their domestic manufacturing sectors by providing various incentives.

In Vietnam, you’ll find specific industrial zones where the country encourages factories to build facilities and start production.

Those efforts have helped Vietnam rise to 70th in the world when ranking the ease of doing business in the country.

China already has specific industrial zones available to use with a reputation for success, which is why Vietnam is following a similar blueprint. You have established production lines to access,

quality control allies on the ground, and simplified investment points for your cheap t-shirts or other apparel to use. On the same World Bank index, China ranks 32nd. In comparison, Canada is 23rd, Mexico is 60th, and Bangladesh ranks 168th.

6. Political Stability

Vietnam and China emphasize welcoming foreign investments. By creating stable environments, less political risk is part of a manufacturing transaction.

Although Vietnam ranks at 2 out of 7 on the Credendo Short-Term Political Risk Scale for export transactions, China ranks at 1 (and seven is the worst). For the Long-Term risk scale. China is given a 2 out of 7, while Vietnam ranks at 4 out of 7.

Where Is the Best Place to Manufacture Cheap T-Shirts?

Although every brand and business will have individual preferences to consider, most companies find that China offers several advantages that are not currently available in Vietnam.

The difference to consider is one of experience vs. ambition. Vietnam is implementing plans to improve its infrastructure, create better shipping times, and improve manufacturing processes. China already has those assets.

If you want cheap t-shirts now while minimizing current and future risks, Chinese manufacturing knows how to deliver results.

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