Why Is There a Shortage of Glass in the UK

Glass is a strong, brittle, and weather-resistant inorganic solid that is generally clear or translucent. For thousands of years, people have turned glass into useful and attractive things, and it continues to play an essential role today in a wide range of industries, including construction, handicrafts, and communications. It is created by rapidly chilling molten materials like silica sand to prevent the development of visible crystals.

Glass is an essential material in the double glazing industry and the shortage in the industry is having a marked affect on delivery times according to Polygon Windows.

The chemical compositions and physical properties of different types of glass are vastly different. Most variations, on the other hand, share certain characteristics. While they cool from a state of fluidity, they go through a vicious stage where they grow vibrant colors from the glass mixtures being fused with these metallic oxides. They are also poor conductors of heat and electricity when cold. Most types have been quickly fractured by a blast or surprise and show a fissured fracture.

Factors Affecting the Glass Production:

Several industries are starting to feel the shortage of glass scarcity in 2021 and have had to take measures to meet this shortage. Due to numerous factors, which include the worldwide pandemic and global tariffs, glass supply is turning tougher to find and more expensive to purchase. Unfortunately, because of the current worldwide pandemic, many factories and producers have had to halt or downsize glass manufacturing, making it difficult to fulfill the demand in the market.

During the lock down period, people have been spending more money and time in doing home improvements. However, with the decreased production levels in manufacturing during lockdown, all varieties of companies are finding it difficult to meet this demand. Double glazing window companies are finding it especially difficult to meet customer expectations. With increased demand and shortage of glass the supply of double glazed windows has moved from 2 to 3 weeks to 5 weeks.

Explaining the shortages of glass in the United Kingdom

The whole glass supply chain is suffering from severe shortages. While the producers of double and triple-paned glass units are prepared to build the glass.

Their supply is sourced the world’s glass processors, who provide float glass in different thicknesses. The high-level suppliers are also reliant on shipping containers, and their is a global scarcity of these.

Deliveries have taken weeks longer than expected, and their suppliers have upped their prices as a result, making things much more difficult for window installation companies. The cost of containers has increased, which has contributed to these pricing hikes.
Possibly, you’re wondering why your glass isn’t produced in the United Kingdom? It’s true. Most glass producers import their raw materials and flat glass sheets from all around the world. The fact that most of the UK’s main float glass plants have shut down doesn’t help.

Is the worldwide vaccination rollout affecting the windows and doors in your house? The need for billions of glass vials for vaccinations is expected to have an impact on the top-level glass supply as well.

Is there a short term solution to these issues?

We have little influence over the factors affecting glass availability and price. Two float lines have been shut down, which has increased demand even more. Even after the float lines come back up, it will take some time to recoup some of the lost ground due to the high demand.It indicates that prices will continue to rise slowly over the next few months, with increases likely to be in the single- or double-digit range.

If you work in the supply chain, these two actions will help alleviate some of the pressure this is putting on it.
Start by being upfront with your clients about the problem. Because it’s well-known, no one should be shocked if there are difficulties with delivery. Fabricators, as well as IGU manufacturers, are likely to be the most hampered in this situation. For installers who buy their glazed frames from their fabricators, if their glass supplier fails to deliver, not only does the fabricator not finish the production process, but the installer also does not receive their delivery of products, possibly causing chaos with fitting schedules. Communicate with your customers frequently and in an honest manner. As a result, businesses may better prepare and leave space for error in their plans.
The second method is to pass on any price increases to the final consumers in the distribution chain. While total inflation is growing faster than expected, the general population still has enough extra cash on hand to cover the rising prices. For the time being, at any rate. Our sector has to keep rebuilding margins, otherwise, the increased business we’ve received in the previous year will be for naught. Since May of last year, we’ve shown ourselves that we can sell for a higher, more lucrative price. Let’s keep it that way and make sure the chain’s profitability is solid.

Is it likely that the glass scarcity will last until the end of 2021?

For the time being, the glass scarcity will last until 2021. It doesn’t follow, however, that there will be no glass. However, this means that supply will be severely constrained in certain areas, and business choices about who to serve will be made in the meantime. In other words, the biggest IGU producers who are most committed and pay well will be picked above those that dual/triple source, are modestly sized, and possibly did not do so well on the payments front. I think this is a case when being loyal pays dividends.

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