U.S. manufacturing is far from dead – at least in Chicago, where the Chicago Export Packing Co. is busy packaging U.S.-made equipment for overseas export.

FBN’s Jeff Flock visited a warehouse where Chicago Export Packing Co. president Mark Kasch and vice-president Mike Costantini were overseeing the packaging of water filtration equipment that will be shipped to the Philippines.

“This is an excellent example of prime U.S. manufacturing … high-tech, high-value, U.S.-manufactured goods that are being manufactured in the states, but are needed for an engineering project overseas,” says Costantini.

While they’re not sending over basics like nuts or bolts, as Costantini points out, the engineering expertise of U.S. companies is allowing for Chicago Export Packing Co. to flourish, as foreign businesses search for high-quality equipment they can’t find in their own countries.

“It’s a prime example of U.S. engineering at its best,” says Costantini.

Profits From Developing Countries
Over the past decade, Chicago Export Packing Co. has seen an expansion of its client base in developing countries. The company frequently ships secondhand equipment to foreign buyers looking for a deal.  

“It’s extremely important. It gives everybody in those countries a headstart, and gets them off the ground. You know, the last 8, 9 years exploded with emerging countries. We couldn’t get equipment out the door fast enough to India or China,” says Kasch.

Kasch and Costantini say the hottest countries for their export business today are in South America, like Brazil, or in Asia, such as Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.

Aside from developing countries, Kasch and Costantini say “reshoring” – or bringing manufacturing back to North America – is increasingly common.

“A lot of U.S. manufacturing companies are bringing plants back to the states, Canada and Mexico,” says Costantini. “It’s a concept that’s come into favor now because of increased logistics costs, and it’s also an issue of quality, quite frankly.”

Even though fewer export opportunities might hurt a company like Chicago Export Packing Co., Costantini says they still consider Canada “an export project” – and the country is increasingly attractive, especially for oil and energy companies.

Follow Gabrielle Karol on Twitter @GabrielleKarol