I vacationed in Florida last week. I had to buy a Rubbermaid container while there. I went to Wal-Mart and found one. To my surprise, the label and plastic were marked “Made in USA”.

How isolated or widespread is this? That being simple product manufacturing is returning to the US & Canada?

I use to work there. There is too much air in the product to ship from China. Unless you can sell a nested set you can’t afford to ship the dumb-dumb simple molded plastic stuff from China because of the freight. You need to include some value with labor-added content (think toys).

There was news recently that Rubbermaid was exiting core categories because of material cost pressure:

One of those is the tote category. It’s difficult to differentiate in that category when you’re competing against price. I remember reading somewhere where Walmart was thinking about manufacturing their own totes nin China, not just sourcing them. However, they couldn’t live with the low margins… and they’re the logistics experts.