5 Main factors that affect socks delivery time

Table of Contents

When communicating with our client, the delivery time of bulk orders is one of the top 10 FAQs. Delivery is a test of a factory’s control and flexibility in the production process, a good delivery time can allow traders to occupy the market in advance, so as to increase the reorder rate.

If there is a delay in delivery, it affects not only the trust of the customer but the reputation of brands as well as the experience of the end consumers. And for some products that have been advertised in marketing, the brand may also face huge fines if the delivery is delayed. In short, delivery is the top concern same as quality. Then you may wonder how a sock factory tells its delivery date. And is there any way to prevent delivery delay? Some tips are given below for reference.

The main 5 factors that caused a delay on the delivery time of socks are material dyeing, the output of the factory or manufacturer, the management of machines, whether there’s further process for socks and deficient quantity.

Factors that affect delivery time

First of all, we need to know the factors affecting the delivery time, such as raw materials dyeing, the output of one machine, how many machines will be arranged in an order, and so on.

Material dyeing

Yarn dyeing has the greatest impact on the delivery time, as the normal dyeing process takes about 15-25 days, with different raw materials taking different amounts of time. Sometimes the dye factory does not match the dyestuff ratio which will lead to a large difference in colors, so the sock factory has to reschedule dyeing unless the client is ok with new colors, or it will affect the shipping time.

Should all material be dyed? Actually, for regular raw materials such as cotton, polyester, nylon, etc., there are generally a lot of ready color yarns for reference, most Pantone color codes can be matched to alternative color yarns for bulk production, saving time on dyeing. You may ask, what ready colors do you have? The following picture shows the ready color charts of cotton yarn, nylon, and polyester in our factory. Generally, we will provide similar color codes for customers to choose from, and dyeing will be arranged only if the colors are totally different.

As we produce compression socks all year round, regarding the nylon and polyester raw materials used for compression socks, we have prepared many other colors of yarn in our warehouse that are not commonly used. Besides, we also have wool, and bamboo ready materials, which can save a lot of time for samples and bulk orders.

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It also should be noted that the raw material of socks is made of main yarn, spandex, or elastane (see this article on raw materials). Therefore, sometimes even if the main yarn is available, spandex or elastic may also need to be dyed, which will increase the delivery time.

There’s one more thing to mention, the common colors for spandex or elastic is black and white, for dark-colored socks, we will use black spandex, while for light-colored socks, we will use white spandex. There may be cases where black and white spandex is used as a base color and the yarn may leak or be discordant, as shown in the following picture. This is when the spandex and elastic need to be dyed.

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There are many factors that affect the output of socks, such as the needle count, length, terry or cushion structures, material, pattern complexity, and so on, so the output is different for different styles of socks. 

Take the example of regular crew length cotton socks, the output of adult-sized is about 250-350 pairs a day, so the production time is basically 30-40 days for the quantity of 10,000 pairs or less, and the sock factory will usually arrange 2-3 machines to produce this quantity, so the delivery time is less than one month. Our regular knee-high compression socks, for example, have a typical capacity of around 150-180 pairs per machine, while for larger sizes or more complex designs, there may only be 100-120 pairs per machine.

When it comes to the off-season and the factory is idle, a few more machines may be opened for your order thus can shorten the delivery time. Nowadays our factory first has 230 machines, which are still increasing to meet the growing needs of our customers.

Machine arrangement

The arrangement of machines in the sock factory is adjusted according to the orders, mainly due to the order place time. Therefore, the factory will generally submit the delivery date according to the existing order situation, of course, many factories now also have cooperation with the outsourcing factories. Once the factory really cannot catch the delivery time, they will generally arrange production by outsourcing suppliers to solve the time problem.

If you encounter a factory with outsourced orders, you should pay special attention to quality control, because some of them may have problems with the quality of socks since the machine is not properly adjusted.

What is more, some problems may not be visible in the sock appearance first but may be discovered only after the socks have been worn or opened, but by that time they are already in the hands of the consumer and it is too late. For this reason, we suggest that you arrange an inspection before shipment. And we also talked about the tips during the socks inspection.

Other processes

Normally there are 5 steps for the socks production process, get on the machines, get off the machines,  toe linking, boarding, and packing. However, some socks have other processes, such as grip socks, zip-up socks, pocket socks, and so on. An additional process is equivalent to an increased delivery time. For grip socks, it doesn’t take too long, basically two or three days, and for large quantities, it can be done within a week. However, zip-up socks and pocket socks need to be sewn, which involves a manual process and therefore takes more time, thus affecting the delivery time.

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Deficient quantity

In the production process, there will be a variety of losses of machines and raw materials, resulting in a certain amount of defective products and deficiencies. 100% non-defective products do not exist, so the factory will order more raw materials to make up for this loss before preparing materials. However, if the estimate is not correct or the machine waste is up to exception, it will be found that there’s a shortage of socks when it’s near to be shipped, thus may also delay the delivery. If the factory is informed in advance and this shortage quantity does not affect your sale, then you can ship normally.

Tips to prevent delay

So what are the ways to prevent delays in delivery?

First of all, you need to know roughly how the socks are produced and whether they need to be dyed, and then compare the time given by the factory and the above information in this article to figure out if they are reasonable. Generally speaking, ready-made materials will be ready in 2-3 days so the sock factory is able to start production first, and the remaining materials being available one after another during the production process. Therefore, you can ask the factory to provide you with a table, such as how many days should be spent at which stage, then you can get a rough idea of the time taken for each process and can check with the factory at that point in time that it is going well.

Grasp off-seasons

Generally speaking, there are low and high seasons for factories, with the period around Chinese New Year, September, and October being recognized as the busiest time of year. Therefore July and August are relatively less busy times and shipping costs are cheaper than usual at this time of year. So you can take advantage of this season to place your order and save on freight costs while still ensuring delivery time.

The above are some suggestions that affect the delivery date and the prevention of delivery delays, which we hope will help you. In addition, we Jiaxing Max Socks, are very good at quality control and delivery, so welcome to come to us for sock inquiries.

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