Similar to many other industries, the fashion
industry uses various acronyms to help abbreviate certain terminology.
The term ETD & ETA are in regarding to shipping schedules. This is
important for discussions between production departments & clothing
factories and also between wholesalers & retailers. Basically, any
purchase order between a buyer & seller has relevance to ETD & ETA
ETD = Estimate Time
ETA = Estimate Time
The ETD is when the shipment will “leave".
The ETA is when the shipment will “arrive".
On purchase orders the shipping dates can be
written in a few ways.
Ship date: 2/15 (February 15th)
or Ship by: 2/15
ETD 2/15 (February 15th)
The three versions above have the same meaning.
On purchase orders the due dates can be written in
a few ways.
Due date: 3/15 (March 15th)
ETA 3/15 (March 15th)
Below is an example of a typical discussion between
an apparel wholesaler (importer) and a clothing factory (exporter):
Importer: We ordered t-shirts from you three months
ago, where the heck are they?
Exporter: Your purchase order request form
indicated that you wanted an 3/15 ETD.
Importer: I sent you an email & revised purchase
order changing that requirement. We now need an ETA of
3/15. Please rush our order.
A few additional relevant terms that may be of help
to you are as follows:
“Ex-factory": this is the date product leaves the
factory. This can possibly be the ETD date, but sometimes the ETD
date may be the date the freight actually leaves the port of origin.
It is important to note that it takes time for product to leave a
factory, board a vessel, then the vessel complete loading and exit the
port. This could potentially be days or weeks depending on how far
the factory is located from port and the vessel schedules.
“Due at Port": it is a good idea to determine
if the ETA date quoted by a supplier is the date that freight is due to
port or actually due to the warehouse. It is important to keep in
mind that after freight arrives at port a few steps need to transpire.
The vessel needs to have containers offloaded, security review, customs
clearance etc. After that, the freight has to transport to the
Learn more about
apparel shipping issues and