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. Bulk bags stack up against other common industry products like Gaylord boxes, drums, and heavy sacks. The differences – big or small – between these products can mean a more cost-effective and efficient solution. Investing in bulk bags and helpful bulk bag handling equipment can help expedite your operation and ensure the safety of your dry bulk materials. Continue reading to learn about the benefits of bulk bags and how they compare to Gaylord boxes, drums, and 50-pound small sacks.
Comparing Bulk Bags with Other Industry Products
Bulk Bags vs. Gaylord Boxes
If you’ve spent one day in a warehouse, you’ve probably been exposed to Gaylord boxes. These boxes are made of corrugated cardboard and allow for the shipment of heavy or bulk products. Gaylord boxes are sometimes known as bulk boxes, bulk bins, pallet boxes, or skid boxes. Even pumpkins and watermelons are shipped and stored in them at the local supermarket. 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, Gaylord boxes may not be the best fit. Since bulk bags 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. Using bulk bags instead of Gaylord boxes in these types of situations can save you time, money, and increase sanitation and safety.
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. You can’t collapse drums for storage like you can with bulk bags. Because drums take up so much space and are heavier, the shipping costs for drums is significantly more expensive than for bulk bags. Bulk bags are cheaper and easier to package and move because of their lightweight, more flexible design.
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. Additionally, bulk bags 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. This equipment will serve you well and last a long time. Bulk bags and the proper handling equipment will save you money in the long run and improve your efficiency.
Bulk Bags vs. Small 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. There are a variety of reasons that the newer 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.
Have Questions About Bulk Bags or FormPak’s Handling Equipment?
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.