If your business is involved in storing or transporting goods including chemicals, food, agricultural products or construction materials, you’ll probably need to find yourself a flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC) or bulk bag supplier at some point.

What are FIBC bags?

FIBC or bulk bags are a great option for companies needing to store or move large volumes of goods, because they can help you more effectively and efficiently manage space requirements and transport costs. They are strong, durable and more environmentally-friendly in the long-term than pallets. 

How to choose an FIBC supplier

The type of business you operate and the type of goods you store and transport will depend on the type of FIBC bags you need. You need to make sure the company you are working with have the bags you need. For example, you might need bags for:

– pharmaceuticals and food: explicitly designed to store and transport products in a contaminant-free way.
– anti-static: for use near flammable liquids or around explosives.
– baffle bulk bags: allow you to maximise the volume of goods you can transport. 
– builders merchants: perfect for rubble, aggregate, sand or gravel. 
– ADR and UN certified: for transporting hazardous substances.
– PVC: for harsh weather conditions.

You’ll need to consider what you need the bulk bags for when you’re looking for a supplier, as well as taking into account:

1. Does the supplier have capacity?

Not all FIBC suppliers are created equal. Some are large national or international suppliers, while others are small, local, operations. You need to make sure you select a company that can meet your specific supply needs. Can they deliver the number of bags you need, and will they deliver on time?

2. Does the supplier offer discounts?

Many larger suppliers, who are able to keep more bags in stock than smaller companies, are able to offer discounts if you buy in bulk or are willing to commit to a long-term relationship or exclusivity. It is worth asking if discounts are available and considering this when you make your final decision.

3. What safety factor do they work to?

There are different safety factors when it comes to bulk bags. For example, a safety factor of 5:1 means that a bag can hold five times its safe working load, and these bags can generally only be used once. If you want to use bags multiple times, which is more cost-effective, you will need a supplier who can provide bags with a 6:1 ratio instead. 

4. Can you print on the bags?

Printing on FIBC bags is a great way to make industrial packaging work for you when it comes to marketing your company. You can include a logo or a message – but only if your supplier can print on the bags you’ve ordered or can arrange to have this done for you. 

Ultimately, finding the right supplier will need to come down to finding the right balance of a quality product at the right price. This may or may not be a national supplier, though they are likely to be able to offer better deals, it should be a company you feel confident in and comfortable developing a business relationship with.

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