Big Dollars on Freight Through Bulk Bag Improvements (Technology)
as published on myplasticsindustry.com
price of a bulk bag today is often less than the cost of the wood pallet
it sits on, the cost of getting a ton of product to an export customer
often runs up to $120 - $130 per ton. Companies can spend a great deal
of effort trying to reduce the price of an antiquated bulk bag design
by 10% to save $1.00 or they can redesign the bulk bag in a manner that
reduces the ‘system’ cost by 10% and save $10-$13 per ton!
may be able to reduce costs notably through better bulk bag utilization.
If you are getting less than the maximum weight allowed in your 20 ft
export containers and/or you are using 40 ft containers, and/or you
are not maximizing your domestic trucks, then you are a good candidate
to improve costs dramatically with newer bulk bag technology.
several simple things to look for to determine if you are a cost reduction
1. Are you
maximizing your Export container? Goal - 44,000 to 45,000 product pounds
2. Are you using 40 ft containers? Goal – 20 ft containers
3. Are you spending any money bracing your products inside the container?
Goal - $0.00
4. Are you using wood pallets? Goal – Minimize their cost
If you are
not reaching the goals listed above, there are dollars to be saved through
better bulk bag designs!
are charged the same price for shipping whether they are 45,000 pounds
or 1 pound. Therefore, every single extra pound of product you can squeeze
into a container lowers the cost of every pound you ship. These savings
can often be realized with little change to your system.
the right bag to maximize your container, you will have two goals;
1. Put 4400 pounds in each available footprint.
2. Fill the entire container with complete layers to lower bracing costs.
3. If using a pallet, be sure it does not interfere with inter-bag support.
Back in the
early 1980’s, the standard bulk bag design was 35 x 35 x desired
height. Filling equipment was not very sophisticated then and many bulk bags
leaned notably on their oversized wood pallets. These leaning bulk bags often
reached from sidewall to side wall in export containers and appeared
to be the best bulk bag at that time.
the bulk bag technology has advanced significantly since then. Today’s
filling equipment and bulk bag designs indicate that the best size to use
is now a 37 x 37 x desired height. This new size bulk bag will have three
1. It will
lower the height requirement by roughly 10% for the same amount of product.
2. It will completely fill your export container from left to right
and eliminate any movement in those directions.
3. Your product will arrive in very vertical condition, improving your
customer’s opinion of your product.
if you had been height restricted with your present design and not getting
your full weight in the export container, then the extra 10% of volume
you gain by expanding the base will add up to 10% more product into
every container and lower your shipping costs by 10%! This larger base
will allow each bulk bag to be supported on all four sides, giving them improved
stability. This will enhance the bulk bag's arrival condition and appearance.
If you are
using Export Containers, check your bulk bag specifications now. If
your specification reads less than 37 inches square, you may be spending
more money for your product delivery than necessary!
Once you have
the right bulk bag selected, you must also consider if you have the best
pallet for the job. The wrong size pallet can spoil your goals. Please
look at Figure 1. Many companies use 40 x 48 or 42 x 48 wood pallets
under their bulk bags. This is often done because this pallet is already ‘available’ in the plant. For some reason, many people understand
the need to properly size a wood pallet for paper bags but think it
is unimportant for bulk bags. They take the attitude that ‘any
pallet’ will do.