How big are shoe factories?
How big are shoe factories? Shoe factories come in all shapes and sizes. In the business when you’re talking about the size of the shoe factory you are talking about how many lines are in a factory. When you say lines, you mean actual assembly lines so a small factory will have just one or two lines. These small factors are getting rarer and rarer these days most factories are a bit larger 5 to 10 or 20 lines or more.
How many pairs can one shoe assembly line will make. One assembly line 1000 to 1500 pairs per day of a simple shoe. Now assuming a shoe factory will be operating about 300 days a year roughly 50 weeks time six days a week, with overtime, roughly comes to about pairs of shoes from one assembly line per year, so a 10 line shoe factory could make 3 1/2 million pairs of shoes and one year.
The extra large shoe factories that makes shoes for a big brand like Nike or Adidas Reebok or Under Armour may have many lines in one complex. When I say complex I mean huge property. I’ve worked at a factory with 40 production lines and 20,000 workers with a capacity to produce approximately 20 million pairs of footwear annually. The site has 20 buildings and site covers approximately 500,000 square meters.
It’s common for a shoe manufacturing complex to have many factories inside one complex so in the smaller factory buildings will be roughly a 5 or 10 line factory self-contained in one building anymore than assembly lines in one building just makes the building too big. You might typically find a unit of five lines so this building will be roughly 125 yards long and to get five lines side-by-side you may have another hundred yards wide this building in order to support the assembly operations for five lines you’ll need to 10 stitching lines so that may take up 2 floors.
In Southern China the factories will tend to be multi story buildings but as you go further north or further west into the interior of China, where the property is not so valuable, the factories will be spread out and they’ll be single-story steel framed aluminum sided buildings.