MUNDELEIN, Ill., July 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Hong Ray Enterprises of Shijiazhuang, China, the world's largest manufacturer of vinyl exam gloves and a major manufacturer of nitrile gloves, has notified Medline Industries, Inc., and other U.S. customers that they are facing "force majeure conditions" and that they will be unable to meet their normal agreements to customers. Hong Ray is Medline's largest exam glove supplier.
"This disruption to supply will have a cost impact on the entire industry," said Tripp Amdur, president of Medline's glove division. "We are moving quickly to secure adequate supply for our customers through alternative factories, at ultimately a much higher cost. It is crucial that we act fast for exam gloves, however, because it's a high demand item that can spike in times of crisis situations such as SARS and the pandemic flu."
In its letter to Medline and its other U.S. customers, Hong Ray cited a long list of events and government actions that have led to its inability to fulfill its contracts. These include a fire at a major raw material manufacturer, dramatic changes in government policy impacting labor, taxes and credit and pollution-control measures associated with the Beijing Olympics.
According to Amdur, Hong Ray's situation is by no means unique.
"All of our suppliers are facing enormous and unexpected obstacles in fulfilling their contract obligations," said Amdur. "While Hong Ray is the first factory to formally declare 'force majeure,' other factories, including those that manufacture latex gloves, face similar circumstances. In Malaysia, for example, the government recently declared a change in pricing for natural gas, almost tripling the price overnight."
Medline, headquartered in Mundelein, IL, manufactures and distributes
more than 100,000 products to hospitals, extended care facilities, surgery
centers, home care dealers and agencies and other markets. Medline has more
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