It’s a “Shore” Thing

How Nearshoring is Creating Waves in Transportation and Mexico Cross-Border Services

If there’s one thing that the past few years brought home to manufacturers, retailers and other critical industries, it’s that the supply chain for inventory, manufacturing and product transportation handled in the U.S. and around the world needs to shift. Many are changing their business practices to create more efficient, resilient production and supply chains through nearshoring – which at its simplest means bringing production much closer to home. With more than three decades of experience already under its tires, Landstar was ahead of the curve, by actively “shoring up” its ability to meet North America’s rapidly growing need for cross-border services.

Nearshoring is almost, but not quite, the opposite of offshoring. Offshoring is the practice of moving manufacturing and production facilities to another country, usually quite far from the goods’ final destination. This has been the way businesses have managed their production and supply chains for decades. But that’s rapidly changing. Nearshoring promises the ability to minimize the effects of supply chain disruptions, reduce the distance goods have to travel from manufacture to market, and make the entire process easier to oversee and control.

It’s not the same as re-shoring, either. Re-shoring is where companies bring their manufacturing completely back to their home country. While nearshoring is more of a Mister-Rogers-Won’t-You-Be-My-Neighbor model, where businesses bring their production to a nearby country, where they can still maintain lower production costs and remove many of the issues that come with having manufacturing thousands of miles away.

According to a recent article in Transport Topics, reduction in transportation time and costs may be among the most significant benefits of nearshoring. Goods travel shorter distances, and most often trucks instead of cargo ships transport goods, exponentially decreasing time between manufacture and delivery. 

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