Where do disposable gloves come from? While you may not hear that question as often as "Where do babies come from," this makes the process no less interesting. In fact, the supply chain is an international network that includes manufacturers, distributors and shippers.
Here is an overview:
Raw material production
A few countries are known for producing various materials used for disposable gloves. All of these nations are in Southeast Asia.
Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia are the top producers of natural latex rubber. Many Vietnamese farmers, for example, heavily rely on the demand for latex. Most export their latex across the border into China, according to Toui Tre News.
Speaking of China, the country is the biggest producer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or vinyl. A report from China Market Research Reports showed the country is the top location in the world for PVC production potential, output and consumption for all PVC products. Additionally, the researchers forecast China's PVC demand will continue to rise through 2017.
Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia have the largest market share for nitrile butadiene rubber. In fact, multiple sources report Malaysia glove production skyrocketed in response to the recent Ebola outbreak. Reuters said the country shipped 20 million medical gloves to Africa to help control the outbreak.
The manufacturing phase
In the aforementioned countries, manufacturers compound the raw materials and begin producing and dipping disposable gloves. AMMEX's production centers are in all of the aforementioned countries, where the sourcing and procurement phases occur.
In these factories, the manufacturers produce and test the gloves. The production process uses hand-shaped formers, which the manufacturers dip in the glove materials. After the gloves dry, the workers rinse them and apply food-grade cornstarch powder if necessary. Nitrile gloves undergo the chlorination process, as they do not utilize powder for easier donning.
The production cycle is where they ensure competitive pricing, and quality controls enter the process here, as they want to make certain the gloves are exceptional before they pack them. The testing process is based on AMMEX's unique standards to ensure consistent, high-quality supply. Manufacturers package and pack gloves that meet our standards and prepare them for shipping by loading them in containers. All of this occurs within a 60- to 120-day lead time.
Shipping to the US and distribution
Once the gloves are ready, the manufacturers ship them to the U.S. via ocean freight. After AMMEX gloves arrive in the states, they then move to one of our three North American distributions centers: Atlanta, Toronto or Seattle.
The journey does not end here. The gloves then go to distributors, who in turn ship them to waiting customers. Also, AMMEX ships the day after the orders post so customers can get their gloves right away.
While detailing this process is not as uncomfortable as parents explaining the birds and the bees to their children, it can provide customers with the peace of mind knowing AMMEX is about the highest quality from start to finish. Learn more about becoming an AMMEX partner.