For many years, retailers have been purchasing their products from China and other countries in Southeast Asia. Over the last five to ten years, there has been a push to source product from other parts of the world, including East Africa and the Middle East. Even more recently, companies have focused efforts on near-shoring products to combat supply chain challenges. The driving force behind the move to these other locations has been due to a lower ELC. This lower ELC is typically the result of lower labor costs, lower product costs, or favorable duty charges.
In many cases using ELC alone is appropriate. However, when shipping components from a nominated supplier or mill, the sourcing manager needs to account for longer lead-times to ship components to these non-traditional locations. They must also account for the possibility that the shipping days for some of these countries are not as readily available as the traditional China ports and may add to the lead-time. They may find that these new ports are not as reliable or that it may take longer to have enough products to ship a full container because they do not have as many suppliers to consolidate their shipments.
When considering moving the sourcing of a product to a new country, keep in mind that you need to consider the logistics of having all components shipped to that new factory.