Apparel ranked third among the top reshoring industries

Apparel ranked third among the top reshoring industries

Apparel manufacturing has defied expectations by being one of the leading industries bringing manufacturing back to the US, a new index suggests.

Global strategy and management consulting firm AT Kearney has measured the rate and pace of the return of manufacturing to the US in its inaugural Reshoring Index, tracking the changes in ratio between US manufacturing imports and gross output over a 10-year period.

The index is expected to show a year-on-year decline, down 20 basis points on 2013, indicating that offshoring to foreign manufacturing markets still outpaces reshoring.

“While the so-called reshoring trend has helped improve the mood of US manufacturing since the recession, the reality is that the import value of manufactured goods into the US from 14 low-cost Asian countries has grown at an average of 8% per year in the last five years,” said Pramod Gupta, AT Kearney principal and study co-author.

However, apparel ranked third among the top reshoring industries, providing 12% of the cases noted by the company, below only electrical goods manufacturing and transportation equipment manufacturing.

This surprised the authors, who said apparel manufacturing “previously had not been expected ever to come back”.

Improvement in delivery times was the top reason given by executives for reshoring, ahead of quality improvement and brand/image.