What Is the Future of Offshoring?

Supply Chain Dive — As the trend of offshoring continues, supply chain, logistics and operations management professionals must assess ease of outsourcing, effectiveness of the supply chain and risk factors such as potential disruptions and ways to prepare for them.

“Nearshoring/offshoring responds naturally to changes and shifts in global manufacturing, based on location, cost and quality,” said Jon Slangerup, Chairman and CEO at American Global Logistics. “If you can source a product for less without sacrificing quality or speed to market, then the closer or more accessible the source is, the better. From a U.S. perspective, this has played out with the strong consumer demand for low-cost goods produced offshore in Asia. However, you only have to look to Canada and Mexico to see the tremendous impact that ‘nearshoring’ has had on North American trade and jobs.

However, I think the more relevant and compelling conversation focuses on the impact of automation on reducing labor costs and the related opportunities for “reshoring” and optimizing supply chains. Artificial intelligence and robotics (AI&R) are rapidly transforming the face of global manufacturing and operations, which will ultimately enable goods to be made at or near the point of consumption. At the same time, the processing, handling and delivery of goods (multi-modal logistics, warehousing, driverless trucks and drones, etc.) will further optimize workflow.”

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