Offshoring … to the U.S.

1 minute read
Maggie Sieger

Brazil’s Tramontina has joined the global trend of outsourcing, with a curious twist: the cookwaremaker is moving manufacturing jobs to the U.S. Tramontina last month reopened a shuttered plant in Manitowoc, Wis., and plans to move both line production and raw-material processing there from China. “Once we started looking, we figured out it would be very economical to make our products domestically,” says Antonio Galafassi, president of Tramontina USA. Although labor costs are higher, the plant’s efficiency and its proximity to big customers offset that disadvantage. The company opened a distribution center in Houston in 1986, when it entered the U.S. market, but after securing contracts with the likes of Wal-Mart and Costco, the company wanted a domestic manufacturing presence. Tramontina settled on Manitowoc because the city’s former Mirro cookware plant, shut down in April 2003, had everything the Brazilian company needed. “The factory was in great shape, and we have access to a highly skilled work force with a tradition of making cookware,” Galafassi says. “There’s just a lot of synergy.” –By Maggie Sieger

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