When it comes to transporting food, chemical, agricultural, or pharmaceutical products – or any dry bulk material – the costs can add up quickly. If your company has worked hard to create a high-quality product, do the research to determine the most efficient way to prepare your merchandise for safe and efficient travel. One very efficient and effective option to consider is using bulk bags, which can transport your products from point A to point B inexpensively and provide better ergonomics. Continue reading below to learn about the benefits of bulk bags and how they compare to Gaylord boxes, drums, and 50-pound small sacks.
Benefits of Bulk Bags
Bulk Bags vs. Gaylord Boxes
If you’ve spent one day in a warehouse, you’ve probably been exposed to Gaylord boxes. Even pumpkins and watermelons are shipped and stored in them at the local super market. These multi-ply cardboard boxes can hold up to 1,500 pounds and may even include an internal poly-liner.
However, Gaylord boxes aren’t the best option for every type of product or shipment. For example, if your facility ships a large amount of dry or powdered products such as chemicals, flour, silica, or similar materials, bulk bags can save you time, money, and increase sanitation and safety. Since bulk bag can hold up to 4,400 pounds of material and are constructed of woven polypropylene, the packaging cost per ton can be dramatically better with bulk bags. Additionally, the labor required to assemble and dis-assemble Gaylords is ergonomically challenging, and the time and risk quickly add up to even higher costs. Lastly, the storage area required for Gaylords (erected or not) is much larger than the equivalent packaging volume of bulk bags.
Bulk Bags vs. Drums
If you’re using drums to store or package your product for shipment, you’re probably no stranger to the amount of space drums take up in a warehouse. Unlike bulk bags, you can’t collapse drums for storage. Another perk of using bulk bags rather than drums is a lower shipping cost, due to their light weight and density of packaging (drums are cylinders that create diamond shaped dead zones when palletized). In addition, drums must be transported on a pallet, and manipulated on the discharge end – typically inverted. Bulk bags may not require the use of pallets, which is better for the environment and your budget, and they discharge out the bottom, so the material handling and ergonomic costs are much less and the risks are far fewer. You’ll just need to make a small initial investment in special bulk bag handling equipment.
Bulk Bags vs. Heavy Sacks
If haven’t worked with bulk bags you might easily confuse them with the small sacks commonly used in warehouses prior to the 1980s. Bulk bags are a much better option than small sacks. For starters, small sacks can only carry between 50 to 100 pounds. Since most small bags don’t have handles, employees must lift them to transport them to process machinery, which can cause back problems and other repetitive lifting injuries. With the help of bulk bag lifting adaptors, bulk bags are much safer to maneuver than small sacks and offer better cost per ton of packaging material. They can also offer a more accurate way to batch material into down-stream equipment (50-pound bags are never 50 pounds). A small investment in a scale-based bulk bag handling system can provide better inventory utilization and batching consistency as well.
Now that you know about the benefits of bulk bags, are you ready to learn more? At FormPak we use our 50 years in business and combined 100 years of experience in the dry materials field to design and build bulk bag equipment solutions to make your operations and shipping more efficient and cost effective. FormPak can assist your company with bulk bag filling, unloading, and lifting as well as fully integrated batching systems, bag break stations, and flexible screws. To discuss the benefits of bulk bags or the requirements of your bulk bag or dry material handling project, please give us a call or contact us online today.