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US manufacturers looking beyond Asia and closer to home in aftermath of COVID


A report revealing that 83% of US manufacturers are planning to add North American suppliers to their supply chains within a year will make interesting reading for a fishing tackle industry battling to keep pace with rising consumer demand.

The growing trend may also have connotations for China and other Asian suppliers who rely on US manufacturers for large proportions of their business.

The 2021 Thomas North American Manufacturing Report reveals various shifts in domestic sourcing trends and supply chain demands. But the key takeaway is the industry’s growing emphasis on ‘reshoring’ in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Pent-up consumer demand during and post COVID has meant that many companies have struggled to maintain stock and have been hit with steep increases in shipping and container costs. One well known US fishing brand told Angling International that its container charges have almost trebled in the past six months. The rising costs of making fishing equipment in China in recent years has also caused tackle companies to reconsider their options.

“The supply chain disruptions brought on by the pandemic have become a wake-up call for businesses to look beyond cost-saving and just-in-time inventory management,” says Thomas in what it calls its ‘groundbreaking’ report.

“94% of the manufacturers surveyed listed ‘availability’ and ‘lead times’ as the most important factors when vetting new suppliers, instead of the generally anticipated answer ‘price per unit.’

One respondent commented: “We need more US manufacturers and the supply chain needs to be strengthened. Just-in-time does not work in a boom.” 

If there’s anything positive to come out of the past 18 months, it’s that many in the industry are calling for more introspection, investment and support for the wider manufacturing ecosystem and sustainable solutions to future-proof supply chains, says the report.

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