big city April Supply Chain & PPE Industry Snapshot
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        April Supply Chain & PPE Industry Snapshot

        April Supply Chain & PPE Industry Snapshot

        Apparel Shortages Seen Throughout the Market as VGuard® Lab Coats Launch

        The market continues to see shortages on apparel such as lab coats and coveralls.  Lead times continue to be longer than normal from manufacturers and raw material suppliers.  Many distributors are completely out of stock or have limited sizes available. 

        Vanguard Safety is launching a new, full line of Polypropylene Lab Coats. We’re offering 5 new styles in a light weight 28gsm and a medium weight 40gsm.

        Our B1AS1 and B1CS1 series of Lab Coats in sizes MD – 3XL and in stock and ready to ship. Contact us at to learn more and place your order.

        Our New VGuard® Lab Coat Series:

        • B1AS1 - Light weight, 28gsm. White, no pockets. In stock, ready to ship
        • B1AS2 - Light weight, 28gsm. Blue, no pockets. Non-stock available item
        • B1BS1 - Light weight, 28gsm. White, 3 pockets for storage. Pre-Book Now - ETA May
        • B1CS1 - Medium weight, 40gsm. White, no pockets. In stock, ready to ship
        • B1DS1 - Medium weight, 40gsm. White, 3 pockets for storage. Pre-Book Now - ETA May

        Vanguard Safety Continues to Diversify as Domestic Anti-China Sentiment Grows

        Due to the Section 301 Tariffs, which were introduced in 2018, many goods imported from China are subject to a 25% tax. This tax is in response to what the United States government deemed unfair trade practices by China.

        In continued efforts to be tough on China, last week US representatives Dusty Johnson and John Garamendi, the main backers of last year’s Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA), introduced the bipartisan Ocean Shipping Reform Implementation Act bill to Congress. This Act, the pair explained, is an attempt to crack down on China’s attempts to influence America’s supply chain.

        The bill would prohibit US ports from using China’s National Transportation Logistics Public Information Platform (LOGINK) which allows the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to investigate foreign shipping exchanges like the Shanghai Shipping Exchange to preempt improper business practices and authorizes the FMC to streamline data standards for maritime freight logistics.

        Garamendi commented, “After years of endless happy talk in Washington, we are finally making free trade fair trade and stopping Chinese state-controlled companies from ripping off our country and gutting our manufacturing jobs. Our implementation bill introduced today will finish the job.”

        Peter Friedman, executive director of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, said the new bill, dubbed OSRA 2.0, addresses emerging security and market control concerns relating to non-market economies with whom American companies trade.

        With large tariffs and anti-China sentiment looming, it is important to have a diversified portfolio of manufacturing partners. Vanguard Safety currently works with partners in 9 different countries. We continue to use our deep relationships with our manufacturing partners to ensure that our customers get the highest quality product for the best value.

        We also have a large offering of domestically stocked PPE in our 3 warehouses in Cleveland, OH, Edison, NJ and Los Angeles, CA.


        LA Import Numbers Still Sinking

        As expected, LA Port numbers in February declined. The LA Port fell to third place among U.S. container ports for the month. Total throughput decreased to only 487,846 twenty-foot equivalent units in February, plunging 43% year over year. Last month’s throughput was down 33% from January and 31% from February 2019, pre-COVID. In comparison, Los Angeles can handle more than twice its February volume.

        The Long Beach Port reported February throughput of 543,675 TEUs, coming in 11% above Los Angeles.

        Source: FreightWaves

        Experts attribute the decline to a mix of factors including the ongoing labor contract dispute between the union and employers and increased domestic supply lessening demand for more product. However, experts believe that the volumes will increase once factories are fully operational again after the Lunar New Year holiday. With Lunar New Year in the rearview mirror, experts expect final throughput volumes to reach nearly 600,000 TEUs in March. This would account for a more than a 20% increase from February. However, the LA Port’s first-quarter volumes are still predicted to be down 33% year over year, and a 21% decrease versus the five-year average.

        We are seeing minimal delays of three to seven days to offload orders at the LA port and are continuing to monitor volumes at domestic ports to ensure our customers are not impacted by any volume shifts or import delays.


        Congress Confronts Child-Labor Problem

        A Michigan lawmaker implored the Biden administration to investigate and punish U.S. businesses using child labor to make products, including apparel.

        Congressman Dan Kildee’s letter to Secretaries Walsh and Becerra of the U.S. Departments of Labor (DOL) and Health and Human Services (HHS) urged stronger enforcement action against violators of child labor laws in light of recent reports.

        Signed by 61 Members of Congress, the letter points to a recent New York Times exposé that found migrant children as young as 12 were unlawfully employed by companies in 20 states, from a Michigan Cheerios factory to slaughterhouses in Delaware, Mississippi and North Carolina, and a roofing company in Alabama. 

        At Vanguard Safety, we live by the mantra “Vision with Values,” which is our mission statement to ensure our products are manufactured not only in a compliant way, but in a manner we can be proud of. All of our products are sourced responsibly, ethically and sustainably. We perform on the ground quality assurance to assess the environmental and social impacts of production. We also believe that business is not just about closing a sale or squeezing our factories to provide the best numbers. It’s about building long-term, successful partnerships.

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