Why Companies Should Onshore in Marshall County, KY

16 Sep 2020

Onshoring is top of mind for business executives who have watched their supply chains be disrupted and product deliveries delayed to COVID-19. For four decades companies have offshored manufacturing operations overseas in order to save costs. COVID-19 has forced companies to ask, “At what cost?” If the cost is an inability to supply customers and fulfil contracts it may not be worth it. With 60% of U.S. manufacturing companies surveyed by Thomas reporting COVID-19 business disruptions this is a widespread issue impacting virtually all industries. 

Onshoring is the logical solution to reducing the risk of future disruptions and delays, at least in part. Though companies may not be looking to move their entire operations back to the United States, opening U.S. manufacturing facilities as part of their global operations certainly is. In that scenario, Marshall County, Kentucky, certainly has a lot to offer, including access to a great quality of place, strong transportation logistics and an established ecosystem of manufacturing companies. 

In addition to companies onshoring directly, 28% of suppliers surveyed reported that they are seeking domestic sources. This will create expansion opportunities for current U.S. manufacturers. Marshall County, Kentucky, is uniquely positioned to support that growth and to be a home to growing companies, or those onshoring for the first time. 

Why Companies Should Onshore in Marshall County, KY

#1 Available Commercial Sites

Marshall County, Kentucky, offers direct interstate access to I-69 and I-24 throughout our community. Southwest One Industrial Park can support growth, offer affordable utility prices, incredible four lane access and a cost of real estate that is far lower than it is in larger metropolitan areas. 

#2 Location

Marshall County, Kentucky, is in the center of where many manufacturing companies want to be. If you were to draw a triangle around St. Louis, Memphis and Nashville we are right in the middle.  Our community is within a day's drive of New Orleans or Chicago. We offer companies a prime location to supply OEMs in the north and the southeast.

#3 Transportation Assets

Our transportation infrastructure is robust and offers numerous ways to get products to market, including:

  • I-69/I-24 corridor with great interstate access
  • Close to I-57 & I-55 corridor and automotive OEMs
  • I-55 access and I-57 in northern Illinois 
  • 4 navigable rivers intersecting (Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland, Mississippi)
  • Access to the Mississippi river that leads to the Port of New Orleans and the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway that offers access to the Gulf at Port of Mobile

#4 Workforce

Marshall County, Kentucky, offers access to a strong workforce, along with workforce development programs. These are offered by Murray State University, West Kentucky Community & Technical College and an innovative from the Marshall County School District incorporating project based learning into their curriculum. Our region has a generational workforce with manufacturing experience, so for many of these kids, manufacturing and innovation comes naturally.

Reasons to Onshore Now

COVID-19 has demonstrated the scope and scale of the impact a global pandemic can make, but it’s not the only disaster that can disrupt supply chains. Environmental factors are another one. The world has suffered an increase in severe hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, etc. - all things that are unpredictable and cannot be controlled. Unfortunately, many of the same countries where U.S. companies have manufacturing operations have been hardest hit by these disasters and their infrastructure is not secure enough to withstand them. For example, the 2001 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand had crippling effects on the electronics and automotive manufacturing sectors. Put simply - the global supply chain is fragile. Businesses who want to protect themselves must onshore at least part of their operations to protect their interests.

We Can Help

The process of finding a site, obtaining permits, constructing a facility, hiring and training a workforce may seem daunting. At Kentucky Lake Economic Development, we understand and we are here to help. If onshoring is part of your business protection strategy, we can provide assistance throughout the entire process. Contact us to learn more.  Visit us at www.kledc.com

Resources and Further Reading 



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