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Reshoring Keeps Up Pace

Shannon Wetzel

The U.S. metalcasting industry continues to click along at a steady pace, and I see the evidence of this period of strong casting sales in the press releases that come across my desk and in the foundries I have visited the past 12 months. Most recently, I visited Seneca Foundry in Iowa, which is on page 18 of this issue. Like the industry as a whole, Seneca Foundry is experiencing a time of very strong sales and they are using it to reinvest in their facility to meet new opportunities and ensure their future moving forward. 

According to the AFS 2023 Metalcasting Forecast and Trends Midyear Report published last month, AFS is projecting a 6.6% increase in casting sales for the year, up from a 4.3% estimate in January. The final evaluation of 2022 revenue indicates a 12.5% increase year over year, which is the  second consecutive year of double digit growth.

A piece of that growth is from reshoring and foreign direct investment, which according to Reshoring Initiative, continues to outpace recent record highs. In the first quarter of 2023, 101,500 reshored and FDI jobs were announced. At this rate, by year-end the cumulative number of manufacturing jobs brought back since 2010 will be 2 million, which Harry Moser, president of Reshoring Initiative, says is about 40% of what the U.S. lost to offshoring.

According to Moser, four broad industries account for over 90% of jobs announced. They are electrical equipment, computer and electronics, transportation equipment, and chemicals.

What’s interesting to me is the factors that are driving this extended surge in rebuilding domestic manufacturing. Table 1 and 2 show the top factors companies are reporting as reasons to reshore and the factors that are gaining momentum. 

For metalcasters riding this wave, reinvesting will be critical to match the growing demand for domestic manufacturing.  

Table 1. Projected Top Factors for 2023
Factor Number of Mentions
Eco-system synergies (i.e. healthy local supply chains) 384
Government incentives 340
Proximity to customers/market 324
Skilled workforce availability/training 168
Infrastructure 160
Impact on domestic economy 156
Manufacturing/engineering joint innovation (R&D) 156
Image/Made in USA brand 132


Table 2. Increasingly Reported Factors Influencing Reshoring in 2023 Quarter 1
Factor 2022 2023 % Increase
Customization/flexibility 13 40 208
3D printing/additive manufacturing 9 24 167
Strained offshore relationships 5 12 140
Eco-system synergies 
(i.e. healthy local supply chains)
164 384 134
Image/Made in USA brand 57 132 132
Impact on domestic economy 91 156 53
Manufacturing/engineering joint innovation (R&D) 102 156 53
Infrastructure 122 160 31