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How To Safely Store And Handle Fibc Bulk Bags

Flexible intermediate bulk containers, also known as FIBC bulk bags, are rapidly making bulk material shipping easier and more cost effective.

Despite being made of woven fabric, bulk bags are extremely strong, as they are able to hold between 2,000 and 4,000 pounds of bulk materials. In fact, FIBCs are prized for their superior package-to-product weight ratio which is estimated to be five to seven pounds per metric ton.

Bulk Bag Hold Amount

However, for those looking to incorporate FIBCs into their shipping operation, there are important things to keep in mind. Because bulk bags must meet high demands with regard to strength and durability, it is essential for shipping operations to become familiar with how to handle and how to store FIBC bulk bags properly. While FIBCs have been proven to be as durable as their more solid counterparts, improper storage and handling can lead to significant, costly and potentially dangerous accidents. Like any product that must withstand high demands, FIBCs must be used in accordance with manufacturer recommendations and industry best practices.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide on safely handling and storing bulk bags. Our guide is based on the stringent criteria set down by the Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers Association (FIBCA), the leading professional association for distributors, manufacturers and users of FIBCs.

Let’s begin with the issue of correct storage. While you can buy bulk bags either new or used, it is important to store them properly to ensure their strength and longevity.

There are two elements you should protect your FIBCs from:

• UV rays: While the woven polypropylene that makes up bulk bags is extremely durable, over time, exposure to UV rays can start to weaken the fabric. Remember, many bulk bags are expected to lift up to 4,000 pounds. Polypropylene is a reliable material, but you want to avoid anything that could potentially weaken a material expected to bear over a ton of weight.

• Inclement weather: Storms, rain and snow can all gradually weaken the strength of your bulk bags over time. Additionally, you should make sure you are storing any unused bulk bags in a place that is free of significant indoor moisture since exposure to even general moisture can eventually degrade the quality of your bags.

It’s also important to make sure your bags are being stored inside. The FIBCA does not endorse or support any form of outside storage, even if that storage location is free from moisture and UV rays.

FIBCs are so useful because they are light and flexible, making them easy to store and maneuver when not in use. However, for them to provide this type of flexibility, FIBCs are made with strong materials that are nonetheless subject to weathering if not stored properly.

It is also worth noting that as of the moment, there is no significant data on the expected shelf lives of FIBCs. Because of the number of factors that can contribute to FIBC strength degradation, it’s important to follow manufacturer recommendations and regularly subject your FIBCs to strength tests. If you test samples of your used FIBCs and compare the results with new FIBCs, you will be able to determine if any measurable change in quality has taken place.