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Ask a Pro: Can a Bulk Bag Replace a Gaylord Box?

Posted by Sonoco Conitex Team on January 23,2023

Gaylord boxes in a warehouse

Gaylord boxes can prompt a lot of questions. After all, when compared to a product such as a bulk bag, their immediate potential can be less clear. Their unique title may contribute to their mystique: They’re named after the company that first made them and popularized their use.

You’re likely already familiar with gaylord boxes: They’re the pallet-sized, corrugated-cardboard crates that are used for packing, storing, and shipping many types of bulk material. Gaylord boxes come in a wide array of thicknesses, shapes, and sizes. Depending on their manufacturer, you may be able to request different features when purchasing gaylord boxes, including different shaped flaps or lids. Some gaylord boxes even come in shapes other than rectangles, such as octagons. 

Generally, gaylord boxes are intended for single use. They’re especially popular in the warehouse, transportation, and grocery industries. 

When you’re assessing your transit and storage container options, you may wonder which is best: a gaylord box or an FIBC bulk bag? What are the primary differences between them and the advantages of each? If you wanted to switch from one to the other, what considerations would factor into that decision? Can a bulk bag replace a gaylord box?

What are the pros and cons of gaylord boxes and FIBC bulk bags?

Gaylord boxes are excellent for situations where structure is needed. For example, consider the use case of a grocery shipping container: In many cases, a large bulk box of watermelons will be transferred from the warehouse to a truck to the grocery floor in the same packaging container. If that’s a box with self-supporting sides, very little—if any—additional support could be required in the entire process. 

If you’re looking at FIBC bulk bags, the benefits you may experience may also depend on how you’re using them. For example, for your specific use cases, you may need rigidity and structure less than you require a strong material that you know won’t breach. We appreciate the safety benefits that can be (literally) woven into an FIBC bulk bag: For example, FIBC bulk bags can be UV-, moisture-, and contamination-resistant. For companies in the food, health, or pharmaceutical industries, these qualities may be necessary to protect true protect integrity. 

FIBC bulk bags may offer the following additional benefits:

  • Cost and time efficiency: Often, transporting one large FIBC bulk bag can save having to move several smaller gaylord boxes. 
  • Space savings: Since FIBC bulk bags take up next to no space before being filled, they can help keep your space tidy and clean. Once they’re filled, FIBC bulk bags are designed to be stacked efficiently. 
  • Maximum customizability: You can customize many different aspects of an FIBC bulk bag, which can lead to optimized use and increased savings. 

Ultimately, your choice to stock your storerooms with boxes or bags will depend on how you plan on using them. However, if you’re currently considering making a change for your business, you should think carefully about the logistics of doing so. 

Considering switching? Think about your filling processes.

Perhaps one of the most fundamental questions when it comes to optimizing your processes regards the actual use of your boxes or bags. With either, you’re going to need an efficient way to fill your storage and transit solutions with your specific product. 

Gaylord boxes and FIBC bulk bags can be filled in several different ways. Gaylord boxes typically require more manual processes in the filling procedures because some variants of gaylord boxes have lids, flaps, or slots at the top that can impede straightforward filling. 

With bulk bags, a benefit is filling efficiency with more automated processes. You may possibly be able to use your existing loading equipment to fill a bulk bag, and if you’re considering the move from a manual process to a more automated one, you may be able to increase your company’s throughput and efficiency. At the same time, you’ll enjoy reduced labor costs. However, this may require up-front capital investment. 

The pros at Conitex Sonoco are here to get you the insider info you need.

Gaylord boxes and FIBC bulk bags both exist to help you streamline your storage and shipping processes for your bulk packaging. Both are customizable and provide versatile functionality. FIBC bulk bags may offer a distinct advantage when it comes to safety. If you’re considering switching from one to the other, you’ll definitely just want to make sure that your existing infrastructure—including your filling equipment—will be able to support your intended choice. 

Whether you favor boxes or bags, Conitex Sonoco is ready to assist with your company’s sustainable, strategic packaging needs. Our line of FIBC bulk bags presents an affordable, customizable, and contamination-free option to help you optimize your company’s distribution processes. Call our team today to learn more about FIBC bulk bags, the customization process, or to start your quote to make the switch.Click to get your complimentary guide on the safe handling of FIBC bulk bags

Tags: FIBC Bulk Bags, bulk bags

Sonoco Conitex Team

Sonoco Conitex Team