Navigating the New Landscape: Outsourcing Manufacturing of Steel Structures to Vietnam

steel manufacturing in vietnam

Over the past decade, the world has seen significant shifts in the global manufacturing landscape, with businesses diversifying their supply chains away from China to other promising locations. Among these, Vietnam has emerged as a prime alternative.

This trend is particularly noticeable in the steel structures industry, where companies increasingly outsource manufacturing to Vietnam for projects or continuous use. But what factors are driving this shift? And why is Vietnam being chosen as a preferred destination?

The Rising Cost Structure in China

For decades, China has been the world’s factory, but escalating costs have undermined this status. Labour costs in China have risen significantly over the years, driven by an increase in the standard of living and the government’s push for higher wages.

In addition, China’s environmental regulations have become stricter, driving up compliance costs, particularly in industries such as steel manufacturing, which have a significant environmental impact.

Comparatively, Vietnam offers a more cost-effective option. While labour costs are also rising in Vietnam, they remain significantly lower than in China. Vietnamese environmental regulations, while also becoming stricter, are currently less stringent, reducing compliance costs.

The Image of China in Western Countries

In recent years, China’s image in Western countries has suffered due to political tensions and alleged human rights abuses. This negative perception has spilt over into the business realm, with many companies being pressured by stakeholders to reduce their dependence on China.

Companies that continue to rely heavily on China face reputational risks, with potential consequences for their brand image and customer loyalty.

Vietnam, on the other hand, enjoys a more favourable image in the West. The country is viewed as an emerging market with a stable political environment, making it a viable alternative for companies looking to diversify their supply chains away from China.

Supply Chain Risk and Political Rhetoric

Supply chain risks have come to the forefront with the escalation of political rhetoric against Taiwan, a key player in the global technology supply chain. The tension has raised concerns about potential disruptions to the supply chain should a conflict arise. Given this uncertainty, many businesses seek to mitigate risk by establishing alternative supply chains.

Vietnam’s proximity to China, combined with its political stability, makes it an attractive alternative. The country has established itself as a reliable player in the global supply chain, providing security to businesses wary of potential disruptions.

The Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the vulnerability of over-reliance on a single manufacturing hub. China’s lockdowns during the pandemic severely impacted its manufacturing industry, causing production halts and significant disruptions in global supply chains. This event has prompted businesses to reassess their supply chains, seeking to build more resilient systems to withstand future crises.

Vietnam has handled the pandemic effectively, managing to limit the spread of the virus and minimize its impact on the economy. The country’s manufacturing industry has mainly remained operational, reinforcing Vietnam’s image as a reliable manufacturing destination.

Vietnam’s Attractive Business Environment

Beyond these reasons, Vietnam presents an attractive business environment drawing foreign businesses. The country has been making concerted efforts to improve its business climate, including regulatory reforms to facilitate business operations and foreign investments. Moreover, the country has signed several free trade agreements that open access to global markets and reduce trade barriers.

Vietnam’s skilled labour force, robust infrastructure, and strategic location also add to its attractiveness as a manufacturing destination. In particular, the country has a strong metalworking tradition, making it an ideal place for outsourcing the manufacturing of steel structures.


The shift in the global manufacturing landscape is a complex phenomenon driven by many factors, including costs, geopolitical issues, supply chain resilience, and business climate. As companies reassess their manufacturing strategies in the wake of these developments, Vietnam is emerging as a strong contender, offering a cost-effective and reliable alternative for manufacturing steel structures.

Outsourcing manufacturing to Vietnam provides companies with a means to mitigate risk and reduce costs and allows them to tap into a promising emerging market with immense growth potential. As the world grapples with geopolitical uncertainties and the aftermath of the pandemic, it’s clear that diversifying supply chains will be critical to resilience – and Vietnam is well-positioned to be a part of this new global manufacturing narrative.

The Finnsea Advantage: Streamlining Outsourcing Manufacturing of Steel Structures to Vietnam

Navigating the dynamic and diverse landscape of global manufacturing can be a complex process, even more so when it involves significant shifts such as diversifying supply chains away from established manufacturing giants like China to promising new alternatives like Vietnam. Finnsea Manufacturing Consulting Services, with its comprehensive Supplier Search process, is poised to help businesses effectively manage this transition, offering solutions to challenges and helping to leverage the opportunities inherent in such a move.

Understanding the Cost Structures

Finnsea’s team of experienced consultants profoundly understands the intricate cost structures in different regions, including China and Vietnam. We know that the rising costs in China, fueled by increased wages and stricter environmental regulations, are driving businesses to seek more cost-effective alternatives. Our consultants can help companies to assess and compare these costs in detail, providing insights into labour costs, compliance costs, and overall cost-effectiveness.

Through our Supplier Search process, we can identify suitable Vietnamese manufacturers who offer competitive rates without compromising quality, helping businesses effectively reduce their manufacturing costs.

Managing Reputational Risks

The shift from China to Vietnam is a practical decision driven by costs and supply chain considerations and a strategic move considering the reputational risks associated with a heavy reliance on China. With a more favourable image in the West, Vietnam offers a viable alternative that mitigates these risks.

Finnsea’s Supplier Search process ensures that businesses partner with Vietnamese manufacturers who adhere to high standards of conduct, minimizing potential reputational risks. We conduct thorough due diligence, considering environmental sustainability, labour practices, and local and international regulations compliance.

Ensuring Supply Chain Resilience

With the increasing geopolitical tensions and the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain resilience has become a top priority for businesses. Vietnam’s proximity to China and its political stability make it an attractive alternative for establishing resilient supply chains.

Finnsea’s Supplier Search process considers the crucial aspect of supply chain resilience. We assess potential suppliers on factors such as their capacity to scale, reliability, track record, and contingency plans, helping businesses to build robust and resilient supply chains.

Leveraging Vietnam’s manufacturing opportunity

Vietnam’s regulatory reforms, free trade agreements, skilled labour force, and robust infrastructure contribute to its attractiveness as a manufacturing destination. Additionally, Vietnam’s strong metalworking tradition makes it an ideal location for outsourcing the manufacturing of steel structures.

Finnsea can help businesses leverage these advantages through our Supplier Search process. We can guide businesses through the regulatory landscape, help them understand the local business culture, and find manufacturers with the necessary skills and infrastructure for manufacturing steel structures.

In conclusion, the shift to outsourcing manufacturing to Vietnam presents both challenges and opportunities.

With Finnsea’s comprehensive and tailored approach, businesses can navigate this transition more effectively, mitigating risks, reducing costs, and tapping into the immense growth potential of this promising emerging market. As companies reassess their manufacturing strategies, we are ready to assist, ensuring they can adapt confidently and efficiently to this new global manufacturing narrative.

Steel manufacturing outsourcing project in Vietnam? Contact us for help.