As a plastic bottle and glass bottle distributor, O.Berk works daily with manufacturers around the world to source and supply bottle packaging. While general concensus remains that Asia remains to be a cost competitive alternative to North America manufacturing, a new trend of reshoring has emerged where manufacturers are bringing back plastic bottle molds back to their North America plants due to economic trends overseas.
It is well recongized that manufacturing plastic bottles in asian countries (specifically China) carries a significant cost savings due to low labor cost and strong currency. However, for the past 10 years it was observed that labor wages in China have more than doubled, the weakening US dollar vs. Chinese RMB, and increased cost of overseas transportation have made overseas manufacturing less cost competitive.
Perhaps the biggest advantage on reshoring is shorten lead time. While overseas transit generally takes upward of 30 days, domestic transit will reduce that, in many cases, to 2. For distributors like us, it means increased availability on stock items, tighter quality control, as well as lower carbon footprint per piece. For users like you, it means shorter lead-times on special order bottles while keeping cost under control, access to a wider stock mold options and in-stock bottles.
Of the two plastic jars pictured above, it is hard to make a distinction on which was made overseas and which dosmestically because of improved quality standards. However, overseas manfuacturing carries a higher carbon footprint due largely on what it takes to deliver to the end-user. While carbon footprint generated by dosmetic jars comes largely from trucking, overseas jars also have carbon footprint generated by overseas freight. So when it comes to enviornmental concerns, domestic prodcuts have a slight advantage simply due to distance.
Whether reshoring will be a trend to stay remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: more manufacturers are reshoring their plastic bottle molds, and we will be on the look-out for options that will improve our stock and special order offerings.