If you aren’t familiar with the concept of nearshoring, you likely will be soon. After decades of offshoring (i.e., moving certain operations overseas to lower costs), many U.S. businesses are bringing their manufacturing closer to home today.
In defining nearshoring as the inverse of offshoring, Forbes says, “This means that companies are progressively transferring part of their production to countries close to their markets and with similar time zones, in order to minimize the effects of disruptions in supply chains.” And, quoting a Proper Insights & Analytics survey, one reason is that “disruption and shortages in the supply chain can take up to 6-12 months to normalize.”
There are multiple drivers for this strategy shift, including the risk of another pandemic, instability in Europe from the Ukraine-Russia war, and growing geopolitical tensions in Asia. These and other concerns have led to increased pessimism about the U.S. government's ability to anticipate and mitigate supply chain disruptions. As a result, many companies are proactively shortening their supply chains.
One of the most common destinations for nearshoring is Mexico. That makes sense for several reasons, from our shared border to longstanding trade relationships. However, this pivot will surely cause some “growing pains” as companies scramble to rethink the processes it affects. Rather than relying on fine-tuned procedures for getting materials to and from countries like China, they are having to turn their focus south and determine how best to move everything from raw materials to finished goods to and from Mexico.
Scrambling To Augment Transportation Capacity With Leased Semi Trailers
You are unlikely to find many companies (and perhaps none) that can make (or have made) a seamless transition from overseas operations to a nearshoring approach. In the same way that getting established in Asia required some trial and error when offshoring took off, a similar orientation process is underway regarding Mexican locations.
A relationship that many transportation professionals are finding essential is one with a company like Boxwheel that rents and leases semi trailers. Easy access to equipment gives them vital flexibility as they work to establish new connections and familiarize themselves with new challenges. Knowing they can get more dry vans, reefers and other trailers as needed also positions them to scale operations with minimal stress and no disruption.
Supporting Nearshoring With Rented or Leased Semi Trailers
As American businesses establish production capabilities in Mexico, they surely conduct “due diligence.” Still, despite their best efforts, it’s not hard to imagine that there will be some false starts. And those scenarios can quickly tax a company’s transportation resources.
For example, imagine an organization focusing production in one area of Mexico only to discover that it would be advantageous to operate at another location instead. That isn’t a switch they can make overnight. Consequently, they may find themselves having to maintain operations in both areas for several months (or longer). This means that instead of one large transportation flow, the company will now have to sustain two smaller flows—and that requires more semi trailers.
Since the goal is to re-center operations in the second location, at which point there will again be just one transportation stream, purchasing additional semi trailers doesn’t make sense. A better option is to lease semi trailers to meet longer-term requirements and rent them for shorter periods as needed.
Storing Assets in Rented/Leased Semi Trailers
The majority of semi trailers are, not surprisingly, used to transport goods, materials and products. However, there is another way to leverage rented or leased semi trailers: as movable storage units.
Companies increasingly find that building or even renting warehouse space is not ideal, particularly in turbulent times. But as they transition to nearshoring, semi trailers are an affordable, flexible and mobile option for housing assets.
One trailer alone can provide a significant increase in storage capacity. If a company chooses to park several on its property, it can essentially “build a warehouse” in literally a matter of hours. Where this morning there was an empty field, this afternoon there is a functioning secure storage facility.
Connecting With a Trusted and Experienced Semi Trailer Provider
Nearshoring is a concept that is likely to be around for many years to come. A study by Uber Freight noted in a Transport Topics article says that “imports from Mexico could increase by 30% or 40% over the next five years.” Needless to say, the transportation and storage capabilities of companies involved in this change will need to expand.
In some cases, you can anticipate the need to rent or lease semi trailers. In others, however, the requirement pops up suddenly. Consequently, it is a good idea to establish a relationship with a semi trailer provider like Boxwheel. That way, you are familiar with our processes, inventory and team, giving you the knowledge and confidence to arrange for semi trailers quickly to meet an urgent need. One phone call and you’ve got the right equipment.
We are always happy to hear from companies—whether they need semi trailers “asap” or are simply researching their options. We can tell you about the equipment we have available, our 3-step process for obtaining a trailer and how we service and maintain our equipment to ensure it meets our high standards. We can also share information on the backgrounds of our owners and team members, which totals several decades in the transportation industry.
Support Your Nearshoring Efforts With Help From Boxwheel
Our inventory includes reefers, dry vans and liftgate semi trailers from the best manufacturers in the business—names like Great Dane, Wabash and Utility. And if your nearshoring strategy will take you to Mexico, we’re an industry leader that is conveniently located in the southwestern U.S., with operations in Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Texas.
If you have questions about our company or our extensive inventory of semi trailers for rent or lease, reach out to us anytime. Whether you have transportation needs, add-on storage requirements, or both, we can help you achieve your business goals.
About Boxwheel Trailer Leasing
Boxwheel Trailer Leasing was founded on the idea that leasing semi trailers doesn’t have to be complicated. Leveraging decades of experience in trailer leasing and sales, our team of industry veterans has eliminated the red tape and mountains of paperwork to make getting on the road with a leased, rented or purchased trailer easy, affordable, and safe. Boxwheel provides dry van, flat bed and refrigerated units for rental, lease or sale to customers seeking long-haul, cartage and storage solutions. Boxwheel is proud to serve the Denver, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Reno, and El Paso, TX markets. https://boxwheel.com
Mike Di Paolo | Co-Owner
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