A Nitrile Glove Shortage is About to Cause Problems Worldwide. Here’s What You Need to Know.

There’s no doubt the pandemic has set in motion a significant ripple effect of problems throughout global industries.

And just as many of us were wondering what would be the next domino to fall, another problem is poised to cause disruption across many sectors: an imminent global glove shortage.

Why is This Global Nitrile Glove Shortage Happening?

Signs of a nitrile glove shortage started in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began to show its true impacts. This created an extreme imbalance in supply and demand–one which has only worsened as virus cases surged and the need for quality protective gloves grew.

And now, with nearly 50% of the world’s supply of nitrile gloves coming from Malaysia, the country’s four biggest glove-manufacturing factories have been shut down.

As a result, we can anticipate significant global supply chain issues and nitrile glove shortages to emerge in Q3 of this year as existing stock continues to diminish and production remains low.

Why Does This Shortage Matter?

From police to paramedics, nurses and doctors, and other frontline workers, gloves are incredibly important parts of their jobs–especially during the pandemic.

For example:

  • All medical facilities are currently required to wear hand protection, from hospitals to independent physicians’ offices, dental clinics and beyond
  • Vaccine rollouts have caused the demand for gloves to skyrocket
  • Frontline workers, including store clerks, post offices, and airline staff have been required to wear gloves when they never had before

The demand for nitrile gloves simply outweighs the supply.

And this shortage presents numerous challenges, including skyrocketing glove prices and a lack of supply available for purchase forcing people to continue wearing a pair that should have been disposed of.

But most importantly, it means many of these professionals are at increased risk due to having to wear gloves of reduced quality.

Specifically, while six mil gloves are typically the standard for hospital staff, police officers, paramedics, and other emergency workers, many are being forced to wear 3.5 mil gloves which are significantly less durable.

On top of that, many businesses have been placing and paying for large orders only to receive partial deliveries.

And this is all attributable to existing demand and the lack of a consistent, reliable supply chain.

When the real glove shortage hits later this year, those challenges will be supercharged.

Northern Specialty Supplies and CoShield Have Partnered Up to Help

To get ahead of these challenges and help shield our customers from the impact of this glove shortage, Northern Specialty Supplies has partnered with CoShield, one of the world’s largest private label glove manufacturers, to act as a Canadian distributor.

CoShield, which conducts manufacturing all over the world, has largely been able to avoid many localized shutdowns and is in turn bringing an element of stability back to the global glove market.

We’re extremely excited to be able to share the news of our partnership and to ensure our customers will have consistent and reliable access to nitrile gloves.

If you’d like to learn more about our partnership with CoShield or to inquire about purchasing nitrile gloves, get in touch with us today. Our team of experts is here to help.