The Reshoring Revolution: Rediscovering the Competitive Edge of American Manufacturing


With the allure of lower labor and production costs and operational freedom, it’s easy to understand why so many businesses have been driven to establish manufacturing operations overseas. But while American companies have chosen to offshore for decades, several factors – namely, an increase in costs associated with overseas production – have led many US-based companies to consider moving their plastic injection molding production closer to home. As many rethink their offshoring strategies but still assume US manufacturing is the most expensive option, nearshoring in Mexico has become a significant consideration. However, many companies don’t realize that moving production back to America, including injection molding, can be the best option in terms of cost and also offer numerous additional benefits. Let’s explore why so many American companies are shifting away from offshoring and how reshoring provides a competitive edge that offshoring and nearshoring can’t beat.

The Shifting Dynamics of Offshoring

While American businesses have been offshoring for years for various reasons, the most significant motive has generally been financial. Traditionally, offshore manufacturing, particularly in countries with lower labor costs, offered significant cost advantages for companies. The availability of cheap labor meant reduced production costs, which increased profit margins. Offshoring also meant access to larger consumer markets and the ability to quickly scale up production to meet growing demand or adapt to market fluctuations, thanks to a larger workforce in many offshore locations. These locations also sometimes offered fewer regulations, taxes, and labor laws, providing companies with greater operational freedom in addition to cost savings.

So why are so many companies looking to move their injection molding production from overseas? Companies are finding that as the demand for skilled workers overseas has steadily risen, so have labor rates; soaring transportation costs, import and export duties, and steep tariff hikes are also increasing the cost of doing business overseas. Quality control issues are another factor. Many offshore locations have lenient requirements for product quality, and poor workmanship and materials can drive up warranty-related costs and damage a company’s reputation. In addition to rising costs and quality control problems, many companies deal with day-to-day operational challenges due to time zone differences and cultural and language barriers. This combination of factors is leading companies to seek a better option for their injection molding production needs.

Nearshoring: Is it the Best Alternative?

Many American companies are looking into nearshoring in Mexico to curb the rising costs of offshoring. An alternative to offshoring, nearshoring brings manufacturing operations such as plastic injection molding to a neighboring country. The idea is that the closer proximity would alleviate the adverse effects of offshoring; by establishing production facilities closer to home, a company would keep a closer eye on its production, reduce transportation costs, and meet customer demands with a faster response.

While nearshoring can be a viable alternative to offshoring for injection molding, its benefits aren’t as substantial as the ones reshoring offers. After all, when production is located at home instead of in a neighboring country, American companies can keep an even closer eye on production, reduce transportation and other related costs further, and help customers even more quickly. However, many American companies pursue nearshoring in Mexico solely because of the misconception that it’s cheaper than moving injection molding production back to the United States entirely. This is simply not true. In fact, manufacturing in America, including plastic injection molding, can be less expensive than nearshoring in Mexico or offshoring in China or another country.

The Reality: Reshoring is a Cost-Effective Option

The truth is that, despite its reputation as the costliest choice, reshoring can be and often is the most affordable option. Moving injection molding or other types manufacturing back to America provides a range of cost-saving benefits, including:

  • Demand-driven production: With production nearby, companies can align their manufacturing process with actual demand. Maintaining lower inventory levels reduces inventory carrying costs.
  • Enhanced control and quality: Reshoring gives companies greater control over their operations. They can closely monitor the production process, swiftly address any issues that arise, and minimize costs related to quality control, such as product defects and customer complaints.
  • Streamlined logistics: Shorter lead times and proximity to the market result in lower shipping costs, as goods don’t need to travel long distances. Additionally, eliminating travel expenses and communication challenges associated with offshore manufacturing leads to further cost savings.
  • Improved productivity through technology: Reshoring often involves adopting manufacturing technologies and automation to increase productivity and efficiency, reducing labor costs and resulting in long-term cost savings for companies.

With so many opportunities to cut costs and save money, it’s no surprise that many companies are discovering that – contrary to common perception – the total cost of ownership (TCO) is often lower when their plastic injection molding and other manufacturing operations are based domestically.

Even More Reasons to Reshore 

Not only can reshoring be a wise choice for a company to make financially, but it also offers many other benefits. Additional reasons to embrace reshoring include:

  • Increased customer satisfaction: With plastic injection molding and other manufacturing operations closer to home, it’s easier for companies to maintain control over their products and respond quickly to customer demands. High-quality products and fast response times result in high customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Intellectual property protection: Some countries may have weaker IP laws or enforcement, increasing the risk of counterfeiting, patent infringement, or trade secret theft. Moving operations onshore can safeguard proprietary knowledge and prevent unauthorized use.
  • Job creation and economic growth: Reshoring allows companies to create local job opportunities, helping to reduce unemployment and stimulate the US economy.
  • Better supply chain management: Several factors have affected supply chains in recent years, including the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters. Reshoring can enhance supply chain resilience by reducing dependence on distant supply chains.
  • Enhanced sustainability: Shorter transportation distances result in reduced carbon emissions. Reshoring also enables companies to implement more sustainable practices and adhere to stricter environmental regulations in the USA.

With many benefits extending far beyond cost savings, reshoring plastic injection molding and other manufacturing processes is a compelling choice for companies looking to build a strong image, customer loyalty, and long-term business success.

Central Plastics: Your Go-To for Competitive Reshoring Options

As more and more companies contemplate moving on from offshoring, Central Plastics offers competitive onshoring options worth considering for your plastic injection molding needs. With a proven track record of excellence, a commitment to quality, and prices often more competitive than China and Mexico, Central Plastics stands out as a prime candidate for reshoring initiatives. Ready to regain control of your injection molding production and reap the benefits of onshoring? Contact us today!