IRVING, Texas—Less than two months after disclosing its intention to bring production to the U.S., Thai gloves maker Sri Trang has signed a supply deal for "chemo-rated" nitrile exam gloves in the country.
The agreement, signed as part of an enhanced supply program with Vizient Novaplus, requires the supplier to maintain certain levels of onshore inventory to mitigate supply disruptions and demand surges, Irving-based health care supply venture Vizient said in a news release.
As part of the agreement with Sri Trang, Vizient members will be able to commit to a monthly purchasing volume for nitrile gloves "at any level."
They will then have a matching 90-day, onshore supply maintained by Sri Trang specifically for that provider organization.
"As a result of the pandemic, Vizient members are looking for new ways to engage with manufacturers and distributors for supply assurance," said Brent Gee, vice president of contract and program services for Vizient.
The agreement follows Sri Trang's June 30 announcement in which it disclosed plans to establish a production base in the U.S.
The company said the proposed 100-plus acre campus will serve as a North American hub and comprise a nitrile glove manufacturing facility, distribution center and warehouse, and administrative complex.
Sri Trang expects the plant's manufacturing capacity to reach 2.5 billion nitrile gloves annually after the first full year of production.
The facility will support Sri Trang's existing operation in Tampa, Fla.—Sri Trang USA Inc.—and strengthen its East Coast distribution centers.
"Adding glove production in the largest glove consumption market will shorten the lead time and strengthen supply certainty for U.S. customers currently purchasing from conventional sources of gloves in Asia," said William Harris, CEO of Sri Trang USA Inc.
The gloves, he said, will be free from tariffs, import-related supply chain disruptions, and can be supplied under both Sri Trang brands and OEM brands.
"The campus seeks to incorporate 'green' thinking with the potential for locally sourced materials, multipurpose areas and eco-friendly energy sources," he added.
Established in 1987, Sri Trang's operations span all sectors of the natural rubber industry, from rubber plantations and rubber processing to glove production.
Sri Trang currently has 10 glove manufacturing facilities across three campuses in Thailand, and produces 35 billion disposable glove pieces per year.