Mackenzie supply remains strong as glass shortages hit the market

Mackenzie Glass has said that its supply partnerships remain robust with high stock levels across its complete range, despite growing industry concerns about glass shortages.

While float-glass manufacturers kept their lines running during lockdown significant many were putting products back into cullet, impacting on quality and availability.

This, according to analysts, has combined with the significant jump in demand for glass seen since the easing of lockdown following rapid growth in retail and the return of demand from commercial projects, to put ‘significant pressure’ on the glass supply chain.

Mark Herbert, joint-Managing Director, Mackenzie Glass, said: “There are some real positives here, and that is the high level of demand our customers are seeing across all sectors of construction.

“That, in conjunction with the lower outputs from float glass manufacturers in March and April, is however creating a logjam, and demand is currently outstripping supply, which will put pressure on some product lines over the summer.

“Our partnership with Pilkington and as its first Regional Partner, to a degree insulates us from that squeeze on supply and we have full availability across our product range.” 

Pilkington’s first ‘Regional Partner’, Mackenzie’s offering is weighted towards the float-glass giant’s ranges. It nonetheless remains independent of it, also holding product in stock from Saint Gobain, Guardian, AGC and most recently, Pyroguard.

It supplies more than one million square metres of flat glass a year with a turnover in excess of £5m, returning to profit in 2019, just two-years on from acquisition.

This has been supported in part by increased demand for laminates, Mackenzie expanding its range and levels of stock holding.

This has included the addition of 4,500mX3,210mmm over-sized 10.8mm laminate to its range. Offered in addition to standard stock sheets of 3.2mX2.5m in 4.4mm to 14.8mm laminates, the offer added in response to demand from commercial suppliers.

It has also invested in its laminate cutting capability with the purchase of a second Boterro cutting table, its new 515LAMe introducing new capacity to handle ‘super-sized’ 4.5m X 3.2m laminated sheets.

Running across two-shifts 24hours a day and able to heat laminate glass to splitting temperature in just 90 seconds compared to a standard 8-minutes, it has allowed Mackenzie Glass lead times on cut-to-size laminates to as little as three-days.

“In general, we’re already at a point where there are some clear shortages, with some products on longer lead times – and that’s across float glass manufacturers”, continued Mark. “There’s also the impact of Brexit on glass supply coming in from Europe.

“The levels and the range of stock that we hold, plus the strength of our relationship with Pilkington but also other glass suppliers, means that we remain so far unaffected and can offer a complete product range to our customers.”

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