Reshoring of Industry Could Be Rewarding for Converters Ready to Seize the Trend
The return of manufacturing jobs to the U.S. from abroad means brands will need more help from American converters, nearby plastics suppliers, and the domestic polymer supply in the coming years.
A Return of Industry = a Need for Nearby Plastics Suppliers
In 2022, a record 350,000 new jobs were expected to be created as a result of the reshoring of and foreign direct investment in American industry, according to a report from the Reshoring Initiative. That breaks the previous record of 260,000 jobs created just one year earlier and continued a trend that’s been building since 2016 and accelerated in recent years due to geopolitical and economic concerns such as:
- Supply chain risks, freight costs, and inventory challenges;
- China’s reliability as a producer of goods;
- And incentives to domestic production, including the $1 trillion U.S. infrastructure bill, the $52 billion federal CHIPS and Science Act, and Walmart’s $350 billion Made in America initiative.
These factors “are combining to create conditions for this (reshoring) movement to finally have legs,” according to a Deloitte report. There’s no sign this trend will be abating anytime soon. Deloittte also says 62% of manufacturers it surveyed have started reshoring or near-shoring their production capabilities. That is expected to reduce by 20% the share of Asia-originating shipments to the U.S. by 2030.
Reshoring Assistance Benefits Plastics Suppliers & Brands
The plastics industry – including converters and plastics suppliers – can help brands plan to reshore their operations efficiently and effectively.
For example, Westec generally works with their customers to assess their current manufacturing circumstances and challenges to find opportunities for optimization such as the cost effectiveness of moving existing tooling to America versus launching a new domestic tooling program.
“We generally advise taking calculated steps in reshoring so as not to cause disruptions in inventory and product availability,” says Mustafa Hossani, Westec’s business development manager. “One of the main challenges in tool-transfer programs from overseas is having enough inventory built up not to disrupt product availability for our customers’ business needs. Each customer and project has its own unique challenges and takes a different approach – which makes it all the more exciting.”
Shell Polymers Empowers Converters to Meet Demand
Shell Polymers has the people, products, and resources to help converters take advantage of new and growing business opportunities driven by industrial reshoring.
Our new polyethylene plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania is the first such facility in the Northeastern United States. It’s within 700 miles of most of the North American plastics industry, offering the potential for shortening converters’ supply chains.
We have the grade slates of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) converters need to take advantage of new business opportunities. And we’ll work with converters to determine which pellets are right for them, based on their business needs.
Plus, our commercial-scale equipment paired with our technical expertise is key to unlocking new business opportunities for converters. The plant’s Innovation Center hosts an Application Hall, where converters can test new products without shutting down their own lines. Plus, our Polymer Pioneers and Pros can offer assistance to our clients in product development, troubleshooting, and brainstorming.
At Shell Polymers, we see the value in establishing and building real relationships – a (Real)ationship, if you will. We are customer-centric and think about your wants and needs. That’s why your business success is our success, too.