Nearshoring is "the transfer of business or IT processes to companies in a nearby country, often sharing a border with your own country", where both parties expect to benefit from one or more of the following dimensions of proximity: geographic, temporal (time zone), cultural, linguistic, economic, political, or historical linkages. The service work that is being sourced may be a business process or software development.
Nearshoring is a derivative of the business term offshoring.
Offshoring involves shifting work to a foreign, distant organization in order to reduce production costs. Offshoring is subject to several different constraints, however, such as time lag between the parties, differences in local employment laws and practices, and oversight. A Western European IT company, say, might outsource software writing to a company in India, which specialises in such work, to take advantage of low cost, and skilled labour with a common language, but the distance between the two means reduced face contact, therefore less control of the project, and greater vulnerability to such as Intellectual Property theft and Fraud.
In contrast, nearshoring means that the business has shifted work to a lower cost organization, but within its own region, broadly defined.
In Europe, nearshoring relationships are between clients in larger European economies and various providers in smaller European nations. Major centers are in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Belarus and the Baltic. There are also nearshore centers in larger markets, such as Russia and Ukraine. These destinations are attractive because they are low-cost, have skilled labor forces, and a less stringent regulatory environment, but crucially they allow for more day to day physical oversight. They also have strong cultural ties to the major economic centers in Europe. For example, Bulgaria is now considered to be a viable outsourcing destination for such companies as German software company SAP, where labor costs are low, and the skills available, but which is also closer to home. According to the recent research, there are over 250 software companies and over 10,000 software professionals in the Central and Eastern European region.
The complexity of offshoring stems from different languages and cultures, long distances and different time zones, spending more time and effort on establishing trust and long-term relationships, overriding communication barriers and activities of that kind. Nearshoring doesn't necessarily overcome all of these barriers, but the proximity allows more flexibility to align organizations.
Nearshoring has become a marketing differentiator for those nations and providers who wish to set themselves apart from sourcing centers in Asia, especially the dominant, India.
See also 
|Look up nearshore#English in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Sourcingmag.com Dictionary definition
- Erran Carmel and Pamela Abbott (October 2007). "Why 'nearshore' means that distance matters". Communications of the ACM.
- Cinquegrani, Sam. "Nearshoring: A Smart Alternative to Offshore". IT Today. Auerbach Publications. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
- Reinhardt, Andy (2004-03-01). "Forget India, Let's Go To Bulgaria". Business Week. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
- Thomas, Meyer (2006-08-14). Offshoring to new shores: Nearshoring to Central and Eastern Europe (PDF). Deutsche Bank. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
- (PDF) Central and Eastern Europe Independent Software Vendor Landscape (Report). 2010-12-01. http://zinnov.com/pdfFiles/1328076047orv_CEE_Region_MediaDeck.pdf. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
- Kanellos, Michael (2009-05-18). "Mexico sells itself as 'nearshore' outsourcing hub for US: Venga! Venga!". Silicon.com. Retrieved 2009-03-22.