During the worst of the recent recession, many people began buying products made in America to spur job growth in the U.S. and strengthen the national economy. While it can sometimes be difficult for consumers to find some items made domestically, plenty of individuals were up for the challenge, particularly if it would help benefit the country. And as the "made in the USA" trend gained steam, more products are being manufactured here instead of abroad, which will force transportation companies to adjust strategies and ensure they are best serving clients by taking the most direct route.
More apparel manufacturing moving back to the US
Many products that have traditionally been produced overseas are beginning to make their way back to America. Electronics companies have relied on Asian facilities to produce computers, cellphones and other gadgets for years, but with Apple's announcement that it would begin assembling computers in the U.S., this trend is slowly changing.
Clothing has also typically been made overseas, but recent controversies surrounding unsafe factories have pushed more companies to look into domestic manufacturing. USA Today reported even major designers and retailers like Brooks Brothers and Saks have made the move to produce apparel in the U.S., rather than foreign countries. Retailer American Apparel has increased its factory staff by 100, according to the source, indicating the company is trying to keep up with huge consumer demand for clothing made domestically. With shorter lead times, higher quality and fewer concerns, the rise in American apparel manufacturing may only continue to increase in the coming years.
Why Americans are turning to domestic products
Boosting the local economy and putting their neighbors back to work was just one reason many Americans purchase domestically made products. Soaring overseas labor costs, long shipping times and low quality may also have made it more cost effective for some companies to move their manufacturing back to the states, especially if the switch would allow them to lower their prices and become more competitive. The dropping prices of American-made goods may also have lured many families to buy products assembled in the U.S.
Still more shoppers may have looked to buy American after becoming increasingly concerned about how workers are often treated in overseas facilities. Stories of brawls, suicides and protests at Apple's Chinese factories, as well as harrowing tales about deadly facility fires and collapses in Bangladesh have had an impact on how consumers view outsourcing. Those concerned about the unsafe working conditions in foreign sweatshops may choose to buy American for the reassurance of knowing the workers who produced the goods were treated fairly and completed their jobs in clean, safe facilities.
With the growing number of companies choosing to produce clothing, electronics and other goods in the U.S., rather than overseas, the demand for shipping services will be strong. Not only will vehicles need to move finished product from facilities to retailers, but they will also need to ship cloth, thread, sewing machines and other supplies to factories across the country. By turning to route optimization software, fleet managers can rest assured drivers will make all stops on time and their clients' production schedules won't be thrown off.