Panjiva and The Global Sourcing Council released a joint report, The State of Global Trade in 2012, highlighting key concerns, challenges and opportunities for companies involved in global trade.
On the sourcing front, the report supports what we recently reported in MDM in the article Trend Points to Less Offshoring for Manufacturers.
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The survey of buyers and suppliers worldwide found that while 73 percent of buyer respondents currently source from China, 68 percent cited sourcing from outside of China as “much more important” or “more important” in 2012 as compared with 2011. A third said that sourcing in new geographies was a top way of managing costs in the year ahead.
So where are they sourcing? Other Asian nations are the top alternative, according to more than half of respondents. However, buyers and suppliers both see opportunity in the U.S. as a sourcing alternative. Almost a quarter named the U.S. as an alternative to China.
Another interesting note on the U.S.: Nearly two-thirds of overseas suppliers pointed to the U.S. as a region they will target for new business. Perhaps due to recent conditions there, suppliers were less interested in focusing on Europe. China was also not a top target for new business.
“The past four years have been very volatile for those involved in global trade, but there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel,” said Josh Green, CEO of Panjiva, when announcing the results. “Sourcing professionals can deal with rising labor and commodity costs by making the move to regions where costs can be better controlled. The critical success factors remain identifying the right regions and partners to work with and putting the right planning processes in place to ultimately make the move.”
The top three concerns about the economy from respondents were a slump in global demand, volatility in commodity prices and rising labor costs.
The State of Global Trade in 2012 report is currently available for free download on Panjiva’s website at www.panjiva.com. The report is based on a survey of over 250 professionals engaged in global trade conducted in February 2012.