“The pandemic exposed supply chain risk that was previously unrecognized or dismissed,” says Paul Danks, president of the Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS®’ European Regional Chapter and director of global corporate solutions for DeVono Cresa in London. For example, over 50% of all freight is transported in the belly of passenger jets. When commercial flying virtually stopped because of COVID-19 fears, that immediately disrupted the supply chain of certain items.
One suggestion has been a “China-plus-one” strategy, which means reducing risk while still taking advantage of lower labor costs in Asia. Plus-one can mean regional manufacturing centers across the U.S. or nearshoring in Mexico. These solutions offer a shorter distance to marketplaces, lower transportation costs, corporate technology dispersed through the U.S., and the marketing advantage of having a product “made in America.”
Three U.S. cities that might not seem to be prospects for onshoring benefits have learned otherwise.
Miami—Raw materials and products that come from Latin America generally go through the port of Miami, “which is busier than ever,” says John Steinbauer, SIOR president of Steinbauer Associates Inc. in Miami. “From an international standpoint, we are getting materials and product, mostly from Latin American suppliers, and because of that, we have gotten along fine during the pandemic,” says Steinbauer. All that product and material sometimes has to be warehoused, which is an added benefit.