Pros And Cons Of Bulk Bag Packaging

by Josh Biggs in Business on 9th September 2021

Bulk bags are not only flexible but also breathable. Air can go through the spaces and gaps in their lining and even circulate through the products they contain. Breathable bulk bags have been given the technical name ‘flexible intermediate bulk containers’ (FIBCs) in the industry. The purpose of their design is to prevent the buildup of moisture and dampness inside them.

FIBC bulk bags are a popular choice among warehouse operators, wholesalers, traders, and transporters because of their flexibility and portability, and they’re quite durable and compatible with heavy-duty loads as well. Breathable bulk bags are used for sorting, storing, shelving, and transporting dry products and flowable items. They can be designed by the manufacturer based on the construction type of the woven material.

The Pros

If you’re still on the fence about opting for bulk bag packaging, here are some of its advantages and benefits:

  1. Flexible Material And Structure

One of the advantages of using bulk bags that becomes more apparent once you start using them is that they’re made of highly flexible materials, specifically woven polypropylene strands. These form the sturdy mesh finish of bulk bags that you see when you inspect them up close. Makers of bulk bags choose those woven strands in particular because they prevent dampness from occurring within the bags. Dampness is what causes mold to form inside, which would ruin the products that a bag contains.

There’s an increasing number of businesses buying in bulk to save on their expenses and increase their profits. With the continued growth of the online shopping industry, e-commerce companies are turning to bulk bags, too.

Bulk bags are made of polypropylene, which is a virgin material made from a petroleum-based product. Resin is extruded from petroleum feedstock, which makes up the petroleum derivative used to make polypropylene. Sturdy woven strands are then manufactured using the raw polypropylene material.

  1. Light Yet Durable

Another advantage of FIBC bulk bags is that they’re light yet durable. They’re made of a resilient kind of fabric, which is unlike the material used for most other kinds of packaging. You’ll get lower shipping weight when you use bulk bags. This means you’ll be paying less for your load as a whole, helping you save money on cargo and transportation expenses over time.

You can use bulk bags in a wide variety of applications. They can be used to store everything from agricultural products—fruits, vegetables, grains, wheat, and sugar, to name a few—and pet food to chemicals and pharmaceuticals. They’re the most durable, versatile, reliable, and useful option when it comes to packing and storing commodities. Most small stores and intermediate trading businesses as well as warehouse operators and distributors won’t be able to go on with their day-to-day operations without FIBCs.

  1. Saves You Space

Bulk bags can help you save a lot of space in your warehouse due to their design and collapsible nature. With them, you no longer have to use multiple rigid containers that tend to take up more space than necessary.

Standard bulk bags can be used to store and handle large, heavy objects, yet they’re still able to make the most of the available warehouse space. When they’re not being used, they can easily be folded flat. As such, if you’re planning to start a container brokerage company, you might want to consider using bulk bags if you haven’t bought container bags or boxes yet.

The flexibility of bulk bags is best displayed when they’re filled with heavy products—you’ll notice that even in that situation, they’ll retain their general shape and structure. With most manufacturers, you can choose from different kinds of materials, shapes, tops, and bottoms for your bulk bags. This gives you more control over the applications you’re going to use the FIBCs for.

The Cons

Like other types of products, bulk bags come with certain disadvantages you should be aware of, including the following:

  1. Coated Versus Uncoated

One of the cons of bulk bags is that they’re not waterproof. Woven polypropylene strands are very good in allowing air circulation to prevent dampness and accumulation of mold. But the downside is that they’re permeable by water—especially running liquid—because of the wide gaps between the strands. This is the trade-off from the construction type of uncoated breathable bulk bags.

There’s a way of making them waterproof, although it would raise the overall cost of producing them. The solution of most manufacturers when clients ask for waterproof but breathable bulk bags is to make coated breathable bulk bags. To achieve this, liners and coatings are applied to the FIBCs. Those are meant to prevent moisture from getting to the product stored in the bags. It’s possible for some dampness to accumulate in them, so you might want to go for ventilated breathable bulk bags with spouts or baffles.

  1. Higher Cost

Even for uncoated breathable bulk bags, acquiring them would mean spending more in order to replace your old bags. If your existing old bags are still usable and they’ve been working for your business operations for quite some time now, buying and breathable bulk bags would require additional capital on your part. So if you’re going to make the switch, you should make sure that you have adequate funds to cover the costs.

  1. Possibility Of Contamination

Another disadvantage of using breathable bulk bags is the potential for contamination. As mentioned, the woven polypropylene material is excellent for air ventilation and circulation. For items such as fruits and vegetables, pet food, and grains such as corn and rice, FIBCs work perfectly fine because of the relatively large size of each item.

Problems arise when the breathable bulk bags will be used to hold finer substances or powder elements. Some examples of these are sugar, wheat, flour, and similar agricultural products. With powder products to store and pack, there’s a higher risk of contamination when they’re placed in dusty storehouses or have to be transported over dusty roads. There’s a big chance that the dust particles will permeate the gaps between the woven polypropylene strands because they’re small enough.

Conclusion

FIBC breathable bulk bags are one of the best solutions to the container requirements of many industries. A lot of shippers and transporters like them because they’re flexible, light yet durable, space-saving, and cost-efficient. However, you’ll have to make an additional investment if you’re going to use them to replace the containers you currently have in your business. Also, due to their breathable material, they’re not waterproof and may be prone to dust contamination. Therefore, you should know how to use them properly depending on the products you’re looking to store and transport.

Categories: Business