Reshoring: Perception Doesn’t Match Reality

A recent study claims the ratio between U.S. manufacturing imports and gross output declined in 2014.


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For at least a few years now, I’ve heard manufacturers, economists, industry forecasters and other industry players talk a big game about the trend toward work being sourced here rather than overseas. At least in my mind, this trend could be attributed for much of the recent optimism—and success—in manufacturing circles. After all, the argument makes perfect sense: Account for all costs involved, including shipping, quality concerns and so forth, add favorable exchange rates and a dash of new efficiencies from automation and other sources, and manufacturing closer to home is a lot more appealing.

However, a recent study has me rethinking what I’d previously taken as gospel. According to the 2014 Reshoring Index, conducted by global strategy and management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, offshoring to foreign manufacturing markets actually outpaced reshoring in 2014. Read the press release for more information.