Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Michael D. Anderson
Ashraf Z Al-Hamdan
Sampson E. Gholston
Offshore outsourcing--United States., Freight and freightage--United States., Transportation--United States., Shipment of goods--United States., Highway capacity--United States.
Over the several decades, China and other Asian countries became attractive to many multinational enterprises (MNEs) to bring their manufacturing facilities out of the U.S. for several reasons: 1) the average hourly wages of the U.S., 2) the Asian countries had abundant skilled labor pool, and 3) the MNEs sought the proximity to new markets in Asia. However, the advantage of lower labor costs in China is rapidly decreasing as labor costs are gradually increasing, which will eventually negate the cost saving for the MNEs that relocate their manufacturing out of their home countries. Moreover, federal and state governments have announced tax benefits and policies encouraging MNEs to bring back, keep, or expand their manufacturing in the U.S. The economic activities, bringing back, keeping, or expanding manufacturing facilities in the U.S. are referred to as ‘Reshoring’. This research aims to analyze the impact of the reshoring phenomenon in the near future. This study is divided into two parts: 1) an examination of the locations of manufacturing plants where the offshored plants will likely be relocated, 2) to estimate the impact on the U.S. nationwide highway transportation network after reshoring. The main research framework is developed based on the traditional four-step travel demand modeling. In order to find the best facility locations and to estimate future freight origin-destination flows resulting from reshoring, this study develops a new application for the second step of the demand modeling applying three different methodologies: the multiple linear regression analysis, factor rating analysis, and linear programming as facility location problem. In order to estimate the reshoring impact on the U.S. nationwide network, the estimated freight flow and truck trips are assigned on the U.S. interstate network. This research determines ranks, scores, the best suitable facility locations. The top 10 regions are selected to estimate freight origin-destination flow and the flow is assigned on the network. This study also compares freight and truck-miles traveled of before and after reshoring. This study finds reshoring will reduce total ton-miles traveled, truck-miles traveled, and total number of truck trips. Based on the results, it is expected that reshoring leads to decreases in transportation costs and network congestion.
Kim, Jaehoon, "Estimating impact of the reshoring phenomenon on the U.S. freight transport and network" (2016). Dissertations. 92.