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  • Writer's pictureKerstin Koehler

The Basics of Onshoring, Reshoring and Nearshoring in Relation to Distribution Services

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

As businesses continue to globalize, it's not uncommon for companies and distribution services to face decisions on where to source their goods and services. Onshoring, re-shoring, and nearshoring are three strategies that businesses can utilize to source products and services, although what they are and the advantages and disadvantages of all three may not be innately known to many.

Learn more about each strategy and explore the benefits and drawbacks of each.

The Basics of Onshoring, Reshoring and Nearshoring in Relation to Distribution Services


Onshoring, also known as inshoring and domestic sourcing, is the process of sourcing goods and services from within a company's own country. In other words, instead of outsourcing work to other countries, the company brings the work back to its home country. Onshoring is also referred to as inshoring or domestic sourcing.

Benefits of Onshoring

There are a variety of benefits for companies and distribution services that opt to use onshoring, such as its ability to help create jobs in the company's home country. By bringing work back to the home country, the company can create jobs that would have otherwise been outsourced. Additionally, onshoring can help to reduce lead times and transportation costs, which can improve the company's supply chain efficiency.


Re-shoring involves bringing back work that was previously outsourced to other countries. In other words, re-shoring is a process that consists of moving work from a foreign country back to the company's home country.

Benefits of Reshoring

Re-shoring will prove to have different advantages re-shoring, such as how it permits companies to vastly improve quality control. By reverting work to the home country, the company can have more oversight and control over the production process rather than if it was situated in another location, where monitoring quality control cannot be mandated so frequently. Further, re-shoring can help to reduce supply chain risks, as companies may face fewer disruptions due to political instability or natural disasters in certain locations.


Nearshoring is a practice of outsourcing business processes or services to a nearby country, usually with a similar or shared time zone, language, and culture. It is a form of offshoring that is geographically closer to the company. Nearshoring has become popular due to the benefits it offers, including cost savings, access to a larger talent pool, cultural similarity, and reduced time zone differences.

Benefits of Nearshoring

A significant benefit of nearshoring is that it can be a helpful resource for companies who want to reduce costs while still maintaining some of the benefits of onshoring. By sourcing goods and services from nearby countries, companies can reduce transportation costs and lead times. Additionally, nearshoring can help companies maintain a similar time zone, culture, and language, which can make communication and collaboration much easier and more accessible.


Onshoring, re-shoring, and nearshoring are all viable options for businesses looking to outsource their operations or services. Choosing between the three options depends on various factors, including cost, talent availability, cultural similarity, and time zone differences. It is essential to carefully consider each option's advantages and disadvantages and determine which one aligns best with the company's needs and goals.

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