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Overseas Manufacturing Delays Raises Injection Molding Demand in the U.S.

October 18th, 2021

In Southern California, the massive backlog of container ships waiting to dock at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles is just the most visible reminder of something that businesses across the United States have been feeling—the global supply chain is a mess, with no signs that it will be getting back to normal anytime soon. As of October 5, Long Beach and Los Angeles had 90 container ships in port, of which 63 were waiting in drift areas or at anchor for their turn to dock and unload.

In pre-pandemic times, it was unusual for more than a few ships to be waiting to dock at any given time. Now, ships can wait up to a month in port before their cargo is unloaded. With the ports operating at only 60 to 70% of their usual capacity and warehouses near the ports almost fully occupied, the difficulties in getting foreign-made parts and components to their final destinations don’t show any signs of decreasing.

The Impact on Manufacturing

For businesses that were once able to rely on just-in-time stocking to maintain the inventories of parts they needed for final assembly, or for critical spare parts, the current situation has been a disaster. When it was easy to depend on the timely arrival of shipments from abroad, it was also easy to ignore the inherent risk in depending on limited sources located halfway around the world. Now many manufacturers are realizing that the pandemic only exposed the weaknesses in the global supply chain—it didn’t create them.

Companies both here in the U.S. and abroad have been searching for alternatives to foreign-made parts to keep their operations moving. Increasingly, they have been turning to United States manufacturers to source injection molded components and bypass the supply chain bottlenecks that have been throttling production.

Onshoring and Reshoring Injection Molding

The expense of shipping delays and idle production lines is upending what was once considered common wisdom about the economics of getting goods from abroad. Now companies are discovering that it is better business to source their custom molded parts from U.S.-based manufacturers and realizing more benefits than they anticipated.

Buyers, purchasing agents and expeditors across the country are recognizing that along with dependably and availability of products they are met with a degree of accountability that only domestically sourced manufacturers can provide. When you start putting all these pieces together- Availability, accessibility, dependability, accountability etc. it’s not hard to see why so many companies are making the decision to buy from domestically produced products.

Southwest Plastics - Serving Our Clients

For over 55 years, Southwest Plastics has been producing custom plastic parts made to the most exacting standards for clients in the electronics, telecommunications, healthcare, automotive, aerospace, and defense industries. Over the years, we’ve continually improved our knowledge and capacity to provide top quality, competitive pricing, and fast turnaround times for our clients.

In the current climate of global uncertainty, when businesses are unsure when (or even if) the economy and supply chain will return to a more familiar footing, Southwest Plastics has been continuing to provide superior service to our customers, whether they’re designing a prototype or ordering a large production quantity. We know how important on-time, reliable manufacturing is when the lack of the right component can bring your entire enterprise to a halt. We make sure your finished products are made to the highest quality standards with the best possible material for the job.

If your business has been looking for a highly skilled U.S.-based manufacturer to dependably source injection molded components, Southwest Plastics is your solution. To find out more about how we can provide the value, reliability, and service you need, contact us here.

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