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Logistical advantages fuel growth of Jiangsu's fitness equipment sector

Category: Blog; Updated on: 2019-04-18 15:33:27; Views: 1406

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The first installment of this two-part series discusses the factors making the area a key sourcing center.

Home to more than 300 manufacturers, Jiangsu province is among the major sources of fi tness equipment in China. The local industry's selection encompasses various strength training and cardio exercise machines. Stability balls, resistance bands, hand grips, yoga mats and other accessories are also available.

One of the key manufacturing centers in the area is the prefectural city of Nantong. This hub serves as base for about 170 suppliers, several of which have advanced production facilities.

Kunshan city is another important sourcing center. The supplier pool there has grown to 20 makers from only six in 2004. Treadmills, ellipticals, spinning bikes and strength training equipment are among the major exports of the area.

Enabling the continued development of the hubs is their convenient access to a comprehensive supply network. Within Jiangsu province are more than 1,300 businesses that can provide various raw materials and components.

Taicang city alone hosts 500 makers offering steel tubes, bearings and other inputs. Enterprises providing services such as molding and surface treatment are also present.

Another factor sustaining growth of the clusters is their strategic location in the Yangtze River Delta region. Jiangsu is one of the most active trading hubs in China, having large harbors such as Lianyungang and Nantong.

The first links the province to more than 150 countries, including Japan and South Korea. In addition, Lianyungang port is located near rail, road and air transportation facilities, easing the movement of manufacturing inputs and finished products to and from the factories.

Nantong harbor, meanwhile, connects Jiangsu to over 60 countries. Bulk cargoes handled by the facility include iron and nonmetallic ores, steel products and industrial chemicals.

Technical support an added advantage

Apart from the logistical edge they enjoy, fitness equipment makers in Jiangsu benefit from having access to skilled personnel. Jiangsu has 119 universities, more than any other province in the country.

Academic and research institutions within the area serve as a resource for the latest technological developments, enabling manufacturers to keep their selections abreast of trends.

Checking that products adhere to the standards required by overseas markets is the state-level quality inspection and testing center in Kunshan. A similar facility is being planned for establishment in Taicang next year.

Industry demographics

Jiangsu's supplier base for fi tness equipment includes several small workshops with as few as 50 workers. These makers usually focus on products with simple designs or structures such as abdominal training machines, weight benches, steppers and barbells. At most factories, bending processes are done manually.

Medium and large enterprises have more advanced production facilities, enabling them to offer advanced products. Ellipticals, exercise bikes and treadmills are often part of their selections.

Companies with 100 to 300 employees are considered midsize. Major industry players have at least 500 personnel.

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