In 2014, reshoring advocates claimed that U.S. manufacturing had brought 10,000 jobs back to the U.S. from China, Mexico, and other places they’d headed off to at the end of the 20th century. There was some back and forth controversy over whether reshoring was as big a deal as its proponents were claiming, and that was about it.
After all, half the jobs lost went to automation, not reshoring, and most of the facilities that opened in the states were staffed not by 150 unskilled workers but by robots and a handful of engineers. It seemed almost irrelevant whether factories returned to the U.S. if robots were getting the jobs in those factories.
Meanwhile, rising labor costs in China, increasing consumer demand for customized products, a desire to shorten supply chains, and tariffs encouraged reshoring. Even though a lack of skilled workers in the United States continues to be a problem, manufacturers are increasingly seeing the benefits of keeping production closer to home.
2018 was a record-breaking year for reshoring. and so was 2019. Thomasnet predicts that 2020 will beat 2019, too, though “nobody’s talking about it.” So why is the rise of reshoring not making the headlines?
Is there a shore to come back to?
With manufacturing out of the U.S. for a generation, we no longer have raw materials or materials production at the level we used to have. We don’t have the workers, either those willing to work in manufacturing or those with the skills.
Some experts say that we don’t have the innovation, either. Small to medium size manufacturers got crushed, and the U.S. lost its manufacturing mojo.
It’s apparently not just like riding a bicycle.
While we wait for it all to shake out, you can count on us fort service or support for any Rexroth electric industrial motion control systems and devices. We specialize, and we have the largest selection of emergency replacement units in the nation.