Many large scale consumers of disposable gloves are now asking about the plausibility of scalability for these products. Unfortunately, manufacturers are not able to scale production as quickly or as largely as is needed to keep up with the rapid increase in demand.
While we’ve seen other PPE products, like face masks, jump in supply rapidly to keep up with the new level of demand, it is just not that simple when it comes to scaling the production of disposable gloves. In most cases, the time needed to actually increase the capacity for production is anywhere from 6 to 12 months, so you would still be waiting quite a long time to see that take effect in the marketplace.
This is due to several factors including acquiring raw materials, the supply chain, as well as the production process. Raw materials needed to create nitrile is a challenge to scale quickly.
Additionally, there is a shortage of qualified workers in countries like Malaysia and Thailand, where the production of the majority of glove material takes place. Due to quarantines in effect across the globe, many supply chains are breaking down as shipping containers are being detained and unable to reach their final destination.