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IndustryNet Blog

Industrial Category Searches Surge 42% on IndustryNet as Coronavirus Shakes Up U.S. Supply Chains

Posted by IndustryNet on Tuesday, May 5, 2020


U.S. manufacturers continue to adapt to a business landscape radically altered by COVID-19, with many struggling with supply chain gaps caused by widespread closures in China and across the U.S.

Some industrial companies have remained open, their products deemed “critical” by the federal government, while others have overhauled their facilities to produce completely new parts and products needed in the coronavirus fight.

Amid the COVID-19 supply chain chaos that has spread across the U.S. manufacturing sector, we noticed an interesting trend this month on IndustryNet, the industrial marketplace that connects buyers with 400,000 U.S. manufacturers and suppliers of more than 10,000 products and services. Category searches on the site for the month of April surged 42% over April of 2019, suggesting that U.S. manufacturers are on the hunt for new domestic suppliers to help fill gaps in the supply chain.

Category searches on IndustryNet in April of 2020 totaled 483,470, compared to 341,649 searches in April of 2019.

In fact, looking back over the past twelve months, our top 5 days for category searches during this period occurred in April of this year, with April 8th topping the list at 26,990 searches.

This is not surprising, given that the U.S. import of goods from China dropped to a 10-year low in January of this year and continues to drop. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, imports from China stood at $33.2 million worth of goods at the start of the year. By March, that figure dropped to $19.8 million – a low not seen since May 2005.


 Related: COVID-19's Impact on the U.S. Reshoring Movement 

We were curious to see: what exactly are people searching for and what might this tell us about the manufacturing climate at present?

Top Category Searches on IndustryNet for April 2020

Industrial category searches on IndustryNet topped 483,000 in April. We took those specific searches and grouped them into broader industrial categories. These were the categories industrial buyers were searching the most over the month. 

1. Tools

Industrial buyers were searching for lots of tools this month, from torque and threading tools to sheet metal working, rotary and pneumatic tools.

Total searches among 53 types of tools totaled 33,311 for the month of April, making tools our hottest category for the month.

2. Tubing

Tubing was also at the top of many industrial buyers’ lists in April, ranking second for IndustryNet searches.

We saw 28,303 searches altogether from 58 separate tubing categories on IndustryNet. These included steel tubing (574 searches) carbon steel tubing (542 searches) and welded steel tubing (525 searches).

Other popular tubing searches included aluminum, coiled, cold drawn and copper tubing.

3. Chemicals

Chemicals of all sorts ranked third on IndustryNet in April, totaling 28,243 searches for the month among 46 different types of chemicals.

Most popular were industrial chemicals, contract manufacturing chemicals, and not surprisingly, cleaning chemicals.

4. Tanks

From water storage and vacuum tanks to pressure and polyethylene, tanks of all types were popular this month. IndustryNet recorded total category searches for tanks at 22,278.

5. Molds

Searches for molds rounded out our list of top category searches for the month. Aluminum molds were especially popular at 1,046 searches, followed by silicone molds (1,017) and plastic injection molds (1,011).

Further down the list we saw searches for steel molds, ceramic molds, rubber molds and compression molds. Taken all together, searches for 22 different types of molds totaled 21,642.

Other Top Industrial Category Searches in April

Not surprisingly, searches for all types of food products were also popular this month, as retailers as the food service industry adjusted to supply chain disruptions.

Total category searches for food products totaled 13,892.

Other top searches on IndustryNet included

Steel: 15,870 searches
Lumber: 10,425 searches
Packaging: 9,440 searches
Machinery & Machining: 8,882
Signs: 6,396

Be a Visible Part of the New Supply Chain

U.S. manufacturing is shifting in unprecedented ways and now is the time to stand out to industrial buyers in search of your products and parts.

IndustryNet is a direct path for U.S. industrial suppliers to increase their visibility among domestic industrial procurers. Click here to learn more.

Read MoreWhy Advertising is So Crucial for Manufacturers in the Time of Coronavirus


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