Thomson Plastics Inc. will invest about $6 million over the next year to expand capacity for large-tonnage injection molding for customers reshoring production from Asia and Canada.
"Freight logistics has always been an issue but … when you're dealing with large components, you're shipping as much air as you are plastic," Steve Dyer, president and CEO of TPI, told Plastics News. "Because plastic doesn't weigh much, you always cube out on a truck before you weigh out. So location and logistics are even more critical."
As many of TPI's core customers reshore work from Asia, some are relocating regional work from Canada, Dyer said.
"We're in the process of bringing those molds, which are going to save them millions of dollars in freight," he said.
The company is using $3.5 million of its investment to retool its headquarters plant in Thomson, Ga., where it plans to hire about 30-40 new workers.
It also ordered new machines for its Lexington, N.C., plant, where it will hire 15 new workers.
TPI's Duncan, S.C. plant, which it purchased last fall, will hire about 20 new workers to meet demand, Dyer said.
Amid a continued worker shortage, Dyer said TPI is offering competitive wages and showing appreciation for its employees.
"People like me are unnecessary overheads," he said. "The value is added at the machine and we want our teammates to feel that important because they are to us.
"As we're all struggling to find people … we have to do the type of work that creates margins that allow you to pay [sustainable wages]," Dyer added.