Your pallets and bulk bags may not seem like the stars of your supply chain, but they are! These packaging powerhouses ensure that your products arrive efficiently, reduce damage risk, enhance safety for your workers, and allow you to make the most of every square inch of your warehousing space.
We may be biased, but we fully believe that well-engineered pallets and FIBCs make the
bulk (pun intended) of your supply and transit logistics. If you don’t get these two pieces of the puzzle right, disaster can ensue.
Want to avoid product damage, preventable bag breeches, decreased efficiency during transit, or skyrocketing freight costs? Partnering with a plastic pallet and bulk bag provider worth their salt can give you the confidence you need to proceed with your daily operations.
Here’s what we’d look for in top-tier bulk bags and plastic pallets.
Building a Better Bulk Bag: Engineering, Specs, and More
With a bulk bag, you want to look at the material and the construction first.
Bulk Bag Materials
Bulk bag materials range from polypropylene to polyethylene, polyester, and nylon.
You’ll want to select a polypropylene bag, which offers superior durability, strength, and moisture resistance. Polyethylene can sometimes be used for food-grade applications, but polypropylene is the most common material for high-quality bulk bags. Some bags may even have coatings, or thin extra layers on the fabric, to confer extra protection (depending on the application). Examples include anti-UV or anti-static coatings.
When designing your bulk bags with your preferred provider, tell their materials science engineers what you’ll use them for. This may influence material or coating choice.
Bulk Bag Construction
Bulk bag construction includes considerations for:
- How each bag is shaped
- How the bag’s base and top are configured to work with specific types of filling machines or pallets
- The type and where the bag’s seams are placed, because high-quality bulk bags feature seams placed precisely to distribute weight evenly and keep stress points (i.e., possible breakage points!) minimal
Your provider’s materials science engineers should listen carefully to your plans for your bags, consider your available equipment, and then design FIBCs meant to perform flawlessly for you. Often, they’ll make a sample bag for you to test as part of the design and ordering process.
Bulk bags are essential to the modern supply chain, but even the best ones shouldn’t work alone. Bulk bags require a conducive environment to succeed—including helpful support structures like plastic pallets.
Picking Your Perfect Plastic Pallet: Engineering, Specs, and More
Pallets constitute the perfect support system for bulk bags in transit. If you want to stack, store, and ship your bulk bags in the most efficient way possible, it’s time to look at what plastic pallets can do for you.
The best pallets, like the best bulk bags, are made thoughtfully—starting with the right materials.
Common pallet materials include wood, cardboard, and plastic. Although wood and cardboard pallets have their places, plastic pallets have a definite edge when it comes to increased payload capacity, lighter weight, and the ability to reuse and recycle them over time. One added plastic perk: Wooden pallets require expensive treatments and maintenance to keep them compliant and hygienic, but plastic pallets are extremely easy (and low-cost) to keep clean.
Want to learn more about the strength and utility of plastic pallets? We’ve got a guide for you.
Pallets come in all shapes and sizes, but having a consistent pallet form specific to your warehouse’s constraints can save you a lot of space. When analyzing potential pallets, look for providers that can offer you pallet options with several different dimensions.
Also, consider stackability: When your pallets aren’t in use, where are you storing them? Finding options that nest or even have collapsible components can improve your warehouse's navigability, safety, and use of space. Nestable refers to pallets that can be partially stacked within the pallet below, commonly seen in warehouses. This stacking method effectively reduces the overall height of the pallet stack while enhancing the stability of the unused pallets in storage.
Why Are These Considerations So Important?
Why couldn’t you just buy any bulk bag or pallet and call it a day?
Here’s why: We cannot overstate the importance of bulk bag durability and strength. You could buy a weaker, less predictable bag, but you might risk the safety of your product every time you use it.
Plastic pallet nestability and standardization will make it easier for you to transport your products safely and efficiently. (Plus, heavier wooden pallets lead to higher shipping costs, which certainly add up over time.)
Together, high-quality bulk bags and plastic pallets save your company time, money, and stress and contribute to your company’s sustainability initiatives. And if you work in the following industries that use pallets and bulk bags together regularly, you’ll realize the benefits of using high-quality materials very quickly:
- Food and Beverage
Regardless of your industry, if you are in the market for meticulously engineered FIBCs and plastic pallets, we’ve got you covered.
Ready to Reap the Rewards of Using the Right Packaging Elements?
Need to find dependable, well-designed bulk bags that you can customize to fit your specifications?
Interested in pairing your bags with plastic pallets made to help FIBCs go the distance?
Sonoco’s packaging specialists and materials science engineers have the expertise and passion for delivering the high-quality packaging elements your company needs. Reach out to our team to learn more!
In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about our plastic pallets, check out our Plastic Pallets Infographic.