Supply Chain Still Posing Challenges for Disposable Glove Market

Stacked-up containers are indicative of the continuing issues facing the global supply chain.

It’s being called a perfect storm. The global supply chain for a broad range of products is under unprecedented stress. Shipping congestion is both slowing down deliveries and driving up costs.

Disposable gloves are not exempt from the chaos. From labor shortages in Southeast Asia factories brought about by surges in COVID-19 cases, to scarcity of container vessels, to closed ports, to backed-up ships off the coast of California, countless products—including gloves—are not getting through.

Disruption is reported across the whole chain, from sourcing to last-mile delivery. In the U.S., booming consumer demand has put pressure on port and warehouse capacity, while labor shortages have meant fewer drivers on the road and fewer products delivered on time.

Don’t expect improvement anytime soon

Experts are predicting that supply chain woes will get much worse before they improve. Transit times from Southeast Asia to the U.S. have increased by 78%. Once the ships arrive, they are being held up off the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in numbers nearly five times greater than in pre-pandemic times.

Worldwide port congestion could last until well past February 2022, as retailers decide they want to use the traditionally slow period after Lunar New Year to refill inventories. Some are predicting that the situation could linger into Q2 or Q3 of next year.

Disposable gloves have become much more difficult to procure, and that is expected to continue for a while. Between the supply chain dysfunction and the rising costs of manufacturing, do not expect the equilibrium of 2019 to return anytime soon.

Yes, there are lots of gloves available

Is there good news in all of this? Yes: AMMEX has navigated the pandemic, and we have gloves. We will continue to receive shipments of gloves every week. They may not arrive as quickly as everyone would like, and we may not have stock on every size customers want.

Log into the AMMEX portal and check out what’s available. We’ve dedicated tremendous resources to mitigating risks for distributors, and we have a lot of inventory.

Glove prices, which had come down a bit, are impacted by strong demand and the high cost of logistics. There is a lot of scrambling going on to secure glove inventory at the best prices, although fluctuation is unavoidable.

With acute high demand for gloves and supply chains struggling through the busiest season of the year, we expect inventory and pricing to remain volatile for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022.

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