Increasing Supply Chain Costs Drive Price Increases for Industry Suppliers

Escalating materials costs throughout the supply chain have driven a number of glass industry companies and suppliers to instigate price increases on various products. These increases are having an impact on companies throughout the industry.

Pilkington North America notified its customers in April of a price increase that took effect May 3. It pointed to rising costs of raw materials, packaging, freight and labor as reasons for the increase, which does not affect its energy and transportation surcharge. The increases range from 4% to 12% and include clear float glass, tinted float glass, Optiwhite low-iron, and various other coated products.

Owatonna, Minn.-based Viracon also notified customers of a price increase on quote requests received on or after May 12, 2021. A letter from Garret Henson, vice president of sales and marketing, points to price increases of 8-13% on float glass and coated float glass from primary glass suppliers within the commercial architectural industry, which take effect this week, as cause for the increase.

“We have experienced substantial cost increases in packaging materials, over the road freight costs, laminating and insulating materials. While we work hard to achieve continuous productivity improvements at Viracon, increases of this scale cannot be fully absorbed,” reads the letter, which says their pricing escalation will depend on the float glass, specialty coated glass, and product configuration utilized.

On the materials supply side, Kuraray also announced a global price increase of 0.30/square meters (0.76mm / 30mil equivalent)-plus on its Trosifol PVB interlayer and SentryGlas ionoplast interlayer. According to the announcement, the price increase is due to cost increases in raw materials, packaging materials, transportation and logistics.

Bob Linford, vice president of the Giroux Glass California operations, says his company has experienced these recent price increases, and in addition to Viracon, he says he seen increases from Glasswerks and Trulite. He says the increases from fabricators is partly due to a serious shortage of PVB used for laminated glass interlayers.

“That will ultimately and radically impact both the supply and, of course, price,” he says.

More Than Glass and PVB

Glass and PVB are not the only materials facing increases. Nataline Lomedico, president and CEO of Giroux Glass, says she meets with a peer group of glazing companies across the country, which sees the percentage of all material increases being between 8-15%.

Joe Gudenburr, president and CEO of Syracuse Glass Co., says, they have seen a steady list of increases over the course of the last five months from most every aspect of the supply chain.

“All glass suppliers have increased prices twice during this period. Metal/aluminum has also been increased twice during this same period of time. In both cases, these increases have been significant depending on mix/product type,” he says, adding that these increases do not include additional surcharges related to the costs of fuel, energy and labor associated with logistics.

“On our end we are trying to do all we can to make certain that we advance initiatives to enhance our efficiencies so that we can absorb some of this in the spirit of helping our client partners,” he says. “Unfortunately, the numbers are significant and can’t be fully absorbed by anyone.”

In addition to glazing industry increases, he points out that they are also seeing increasing costs of other materials, such as wood, which has roughly tripled in some cases since Q4 of 2020.

According to the 2021 Glass and Glazing Industry Outlook, published by Key Media & Research, fenestration material prices have increased by just over 22% from 2010 to 2020.

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