In response to supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical disputes, raw materials shortages and trade issues, a majority of US-based companies are planning to relocate production closer to home.
Surveying 1,610 executives in the US and Europe, ABB found that 70 percent of US businesses are planning changes in their operations, with 37 percent planning to bring production back home and 33 percent looking to nearshore and shift their operations to a closer location.
ABB’s study also found that American companies are relying more on automation to solve their supply chain issues. 43 percent of businesses surveyed indicated that they will use automation and robotics to build supply chain resilience, with 75 percent of US-based businesses noting that robotics and automation will play a significant role in addressing supply chain issues.
Although there is a greater demand for robotics in the United States, ABB’s survey found that the rate of investment in automation remains higher in Europe, with 74 percent of European businesses indicating they will invest in robotics and automation in the next three years - compared to 62 percent in the US.
The role of automation and robotics in reshoring or nearshoring operations in the US also depends on bridging the skills gap in robotics education and better educating and upskilling workers.