Glaziers Don't Have Concerns of Possible Glass Shortage
Is a glass shortage really on its way? According to some primary
glass manufacturers the answer is yes (For related story CLICK
HERE). After all, a number of float glass lines were shut down
earlier this year, some companies are under-going scheduled necessary
cold repairs and with the uncertainty of what Mother Nature may
do (such as the case for PPG
in Wichita Falls), it's not hard to see why some may see a glass
shortage on its way. However, some contract glaziers are not in
agreement that a shortage of glass is really a big concern.
According to Bill Sullivan president of Heartland Glass in Waite
Park, Minn., his company has not seen any issues concerning a glass
"We have not experienced any problem procuring any flat glass
or fabricated glass products as a result of any shortages in the
industry," says Sullivan. "As a contract glazing company
most of our purchases are fabricated products and I think that insulates
us somewhat from experiencing any problems obtaining fabricated
A.J. Carr, vice president of Corbin Glass Co. Inc. in Corbin, Ky.,
says he doesn't necessarily see so much of a shortage as much as
the opportunity for increasing surcharges.
"Raw materials are becoming more expensive, not in less supply.
The construction market may be sluggish for a while, which will
be good for keeping material costs down, but as the market picks
up I see manufacturers charging more for product and using energy
costs as a umbrella," says Carr. "I believe that talk
of a glass shortage is more propaganda by manufacturers than an
actual problem we would face."
According to Carr, concerns regarding freight and packaging are
bigger issues for contract glaziers.
"Glass haulers, like everyone else, are dealing with extreme
fuel costs and that in turn increases the overall per-load cost
of the glass product," Carr says. "It is difficult to
bid and compete in this volatile market due to energy costs. To
better prepare ourselves we have to be more serious about how we
forecast a project in the bidding process. We have to be smarter
and more educated on rising fuel costs, hurricanes, natural disasters,
even terrorism, than before."
There are steps contract glaziers can take to try and prepare,
be it for a glass shortage, increasing fuel and energy costs or
natural disasters. Carr says in order to prepare it's important
for contract glaziers to not under forecast and to be more diligent
in making sure estimates are accurate.
"Stay in constant contact with suppliers and keep a finger
on the pulse of the market," says Carr. "If a supplier
has an increase coming, it is imperative we know the day it takes
effect and get every project protected to the maximum allowed by
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