From The Editor

Thomas Report Suggests Renewed Drive to Reshore

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MCN Editor Dan Markham North American manufacturers have learned a vital lesson from the COVID pandemic: supply chains matter.

According to a new study from Thomas, its 2021 State of North American Manufacturing Annual Report, manufacturers will be far more likely to source material domestically in the coming years. According to the survey, 83 percent of manufacturers are likely or extremely likely to reshore in the coming years, up from just 54 percent in the last month before the pandemic took hold.

"We are witnessing the wholesale reexamination of supply chain relationships, which will realign global manufacturing for decades to come. With North American businesses accelerating reshoring and replacing some of their overseas suppliers with domestic alternatives, U.S. manufacturers are being presented with an unprecedented opportunity," said Tony Uphoff, Thomas president and CEO. "The insights from this year's State of North American Annual Report further underscore the need for increased investment in skilled labor and manufacturing technologies to ultimately improve the trade deficit and future-proof supply chains to protect against potential disruptions."

Obstacles with overseas suppliers, such as availability of technical support and time zone differences, were among the reasons cited for moving sourcing back home.

Leading the charge toward U.S. and Canada-based operations are the automotive and oil and gas sectors, the most motivated verticals to add North American suppliers to their supply chains, Thomas reports. Additional sentiment from survey participants reveals a strong interest in reshoring due to obstacles with overseas suppliers, such as availability of technical support and time zone differences.