The study is based on an explanatory survey conducted in October 2015 in Denmark, Finland and Sweden and focused on manufacturing companies with a minimum of 50 employees. Results show that 275 firms out of 847 had experiences of offshoring decisions and 160 of backshoring ones. With respect to the relocation drivers, labour cost has been cited as the most important factor for the initial offshoring decisions, while backshoring decisions are based on a broader set of drivers like quality, flexibility, lead-time, access to skills and knowledge, access to technology, proximity to R&D and time-to-market. In terms of firms' size, it emerges that companies with 2–10 plants in multiple foreign locations are more active in relocating production; however, firms with over than ten plants are less active. Backshoring movements from Western European countries are more common within a company’s own plants network, while backshoring movements from Eastern European and Asian countries are more common from external suppliers or contract manufacturers. Lastly, the highest level of relocation can be seen in the medium-high technology industries (chemicals, electrical equipment, machinery, motor vehicles and transport equipment ones).
Manufacturing relocation abroad and back: empirical evidence from the Nordic countries
Volume number and page:
Vol. 7, No. 3 pp.221–240
Journal or media source:
World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research
Heikkilä J.; Nenonen S.; OlhagerJ.; Stentoft J. (2018) Manufacturing relocation abroad and back: empirical evidence from the Nordic countries World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research Vol. 7, No. 3 pp.221–240