4 Oct 2006
Backpacks(HKTDC Fashion - Leather Goods & Bags, Vol 04,2006)
Hitting The Highway
|Hong Kong Fang Yuan Industrial Ltd's Activa backpacks feature a versatile model that easily morphs into a trolley bag|
Practical, functional and stylish are just a few of the words that can be used to describe good old-fashioned backpacks, which used to be general-purpose holdalls but have now become increasingly specialised.
The humble backpack can now be found carrying everything from lunches and books to computers and digital cameras in such varied situations as schools, airplanes, buses and streets.
With many years' experience and industry insight, Hong Kong manufacturers such as Cariforce Travelware Industrial Ltd specialise in meeting the needs of all backpack fans.
Established in 1990, the company manufactures document bags, travel bags and promotional bags as well as a wide and ever-expanding range of backpacks.
Cariforce produces 30,000 backpacks per month at its 2,000-square-metre factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland, which employs some 150 staff.
They mould polyester and nylon from the mainland and Taiwan into eye-catching backpacks in a kaleidoscope of colours, including pink/grey, lime/grey and orange/grey; all featuring multiple pockets and an air-channel back panel for maximum wearer comfort.
Sales manager Gary Yip says the company credits its success to providing rugged, durable packs that offer a range of features, including file and book storage compartments, PDA pockets, CD media panels, pen and pencil slots, organiser pockets, lined MP3 player side pockets, key clips, air-flow dual density foam shoulder straps and heavy-duty handles. "Part of our strategy is to make backpacks that are functional and offer good value," Yip maintains.
The company introduces 2-3 new models each month to its main markets of Europe and the US, many of which bear its own Cariforce brand. "Minimum quantity is 1,000 units with price depending on the number of backpacks ordered," Yip explains. "Delivery is 45 days after order confirmation."
Equally focused on Europe and the US is PAQ Mfg Ltd, which exports to Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and the US as well as Australia, India, Israel, Panama, Taiwan and Turkey.
The 23-year-old company prides itself on manufacturing a huge range of cases users can "take anywhere at anytime", ranging from CD/DVD, camera and duffle bags to backpacks.
Sales manager Stephen Chen believes that PAQ's long success is due to a combination of quality, strong product development, original styles, strong material knowledge and in-house design, which has ensured a strong reception for the company's Hama and Mx Onda brands.
"To build an established brand name, as we have done, it is important to have a quality product that incorporates unique designs that meet market needs," Chen insists.
Typical of PAQ's 10,000-backpacks-per-month output are two popular laptop bags MC-007 and BP-01001, the former part of the company's modern classic range while the latter caters to the corporate executive market with more storage room.
Both packs provide internal pockets or compartments for accessories and can fit a 15.4-inch computer, while other models are available for larger laptops.
Like the rest of PAQ's product portfolio, they are manufactured from nylon and PVC sourced from the Chinese mainland at the company's 400-worker mainland factory in Shenzhen.
Monthly production depends on the model, but the minimum order requirement is 500 pieces for packs that cost more than US$5 per piece FOB Hong Kong and 1,000 pieces for items priced at less than US$5 per item.
PAQ has more than 200 different backpack models and introduces new models every six months in line with seasonal buying periods. "There will always be competition, especially from the mainland, but in order to be successful we focus on trendy styles and have a good feel for market trends which we incorporate into our designs," Chen explains.
Also focusing on in-house designs is Long Gain (HK) Ltd, which has been producing a wide range of backpacks, travel bags and sports bags since 1999 and has developed an extensive appreciation of consumer needs and demands.
"Current trends are for sporty and colourful packs," managing director Iris Ngan observes. "Inspiration can come from a variety of sources or be a simple as the result of a colour I like."
Classic examples of Long Gain's backpack range are LG-PMR-90850 and LG-BO-605, both of which feature an array of handy external and mesh pockets and a single inside compartment.
New models, many of which bear the company's own LG brand, are introduced every six months at prices available on request. "A model's popularity is largely determined by markets and refined further by customers' individual tastes," Ngan explains. "We take this into consideration when designing and marketing our products."
Made of high-quality polyester and nylon sourced on the mainland and Taiwan, Long Gain's backpacks are manufactured at a 55,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan on the mainland that employs approximately 400 workers.
They produce some 100,000 items a month, which are available in 1,000-unit minimum order quantities for delivery to markets in Europe, Africa and Canada 45-60 days after order confirmation and receipt of deposit.
Buyers keen to make big sales to the burgeoning backpack brigade would be well-advised to pack their order books and hit the road to Hong Kong.
WRITTEN BY VICKI WILLIAMS
B.P. Bag Co Ltd
Rms 1-6, 14/F, Blk B
Hi Tech Ind Centre
491-501 Castle Peak Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Cariforce Travelware Industrial Ltd
Flat B, 16/F
Houston Ind Bldg
32-40 Wang Lung St
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Hong Kong Fang Yuan Industrial Ltd
Rm 1010, Blk A
New Trade Plaza
6 On Ping St
Sha Tin, New Territories
Long Gain (HK) Ltd
Rm 15, 19/F
Int'l Trade Centre
11 Sha Tsui Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Miu Sum Trading Co Ltd
Flat F, 4/F, Stage 4
Golden Dragon Ind Centre
190 Tai Lin Pai Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories