Global Fastener News

Supply Chains Worsen for U.S. Importers

Supply Chains Worsen for U.S. Importers
August 22
23:04 2021

Supply chain issues are worsening for U.S. importers. But domestic manufacturers are not interested in orders that merely supplement what distributors are importing, according to Doug Ruggles, President of Martin Fastening Solutions.

While importers have been forced to change their business process during the pandemic, there is no substitute for face-to-face interactions, according to a forum from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Importers buy fasteners from Taiwan because of consistent quality, Ruggles added.

“As soon as Section 301 tariffs went into effect, we utilized our Taiwan connection to meet our needs,” stated Joe Nagle, Sr. Manager, Strategic Sourcing, Customer Solutions, Lawson Products.

In today’s world, business have fewer resources and less time to continually vet their sources. Supply chain issues are keeping Taiwan fastener imports down.

“It’s not a shift away from Taiwan at all,” Ruggles noted.

A lot of customers are going back to domestic fastener manufacturers due to 22-24 week lead time one year ago; now its 32-40, according to Jon Najeski, Manager of Purchasing of Screws Industries Inc.

“A lot of industries can’t wait that long to get product.”

“The capacity to meet demand is not there in the U.S., so we have to supplement with overseas suppliers,” noted Ruggles. “This is nothing new.”

Infrastructure spending in the coming years will drive ongoing fastener demand, Nagle predicted.

Taiwan exports 1.36 million tons of fasteners each year at a value of US$3.99 billion. The U.S. imports 609,000 tons of Taiwan fasteners each year at a value of $1.69 billion.

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