It’s no secret that global supply chains are currently facing unprecedented strain. It seems like every day we are seeing news about process increases or shortages of key products ranging from lumber and building materials to cars and trucks. The bulk bag industry has not escaped the current supply chain crisis unscathed. FIBC orders are facing significant delays, with lead times longer than any in recent memory. As stock becomes increasingly harder to come by, bulk bag prices have also seen a significant jump.
About Alec Dicken
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far reaching impact on many industries, with the bulk bag industry being no exception. In past blog posts, we discussed some of the ways the pandemic has impacted our industry, including disruptions to the supply chain, delayed production and shipment times, and more. Another impact from COVID that often goes overlooked is the shift in purchasing trends across the bulk bag and packaging industries.
In April 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a massive $330 million agricultural grant designed to help agricultural producers and supply chain organizations recover from the pandemic. The funds are part of the USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers program that launched in March. Far from being a simple aid package, the grant has far reaching goals – and potential impact. Understanding these goals and their potential impact on the agricultural industry, as well as our own industry, is important to the grant’s long-term success and your own future operational planning.
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t just disrupted your daily routine and kept millions home from work – it has also profoundly impacted global supply chains. In some instances, supply chains around the world have been ground to a halt, creating a scarcity of common products both in the household and within many industries. However, recent issues with scarcity have equally as much to do with demand as they do with more limited supply.
It’s no secret that 2020 was nothing short of crazy. The COVID-19 pandemic quickly spread across the globe, impacting the lives of almost everyone in the world. Countless industries and businesses faced unforeseen and nearly insurmountable challenges to their daily operations, staff and supply chain. The manufacturing industry was hit particularly hard by the pandemic – material sourcing challenges led to increased lead times, cost increases and other frustrations for organizations focused on the creation of products and goods. As such, many within the manufacturing industry have dubbed[...]
Continual growth of the bulk bag industry has led to new applications, products and industry use cases. In addition to innovative new products, evolution within the FIBC industry has resulted in improved solutions to old challenges and replacements to existing products.
Product innovations within the FIBC industry are occurring on a large scale outside of the United States. Many overseas suppliers maintain and run facilities that meet international standards and are consistently looking for new ways to innovate and create new products for the industry.
The FIBC industry is continually evolving in response to the changing requirements of end users. As the industry evolves, so do the products offered by vendors. At National Bulk Bag, we are continually excited by the new and refined products entering the market. Many of these product innovations offer promising benefits for specific industries and use cases.
If you’re working with a quality FIBC distributor, chances are they have an available in-stock bag that will work for your product and application. This is generally a fantastic option as it is usually a cheaper option, offers significantly reduced lead times (time from bag purchase to delivery), and can deliver large quantities quickly. However, there are circumstances where an in-stock bag may not be compatible with your operation and/or facility.
At National Bulk Bag, we are constantly striving to help our current and future customers stay safe while using FIBCs in their workplaces and/or production facilities. Part of this effort is a continuing dedication to releasing educational materials (be sure to check out our Official Safety Guide) and promoting other materials from our partners.
As 2019 came to an end and 2020 was just beginning, the world saw a drastic de-escalation in the ever-changing trade war between the United States and China. We wrote about the potential impact the trade war could have back in early 2019 with this post (“Impact of the USA-China Trade War on the FIBC Industry”). At that time, it was impossible to know just how far the trade war would escalate and which products the tariffs would ultimately impact the most.
As new industries emerge, new opportunities emerge with them. Previously regulated industries like hemp and cannabis are suddenly open for business in the United States and have become large users of products like FIBC bulk bags. However, with these new opportunities have also come plenty of new challenges – especially inside industries that while legal, remain heavily regulated with guidelines and laws often being completely different state to state.
BRC (British Retail Consortium), now recently rebranded to BRCGS (British Retail Consortium Global Standards) has recently updated the guidelines for their standards with their Issue 8 release.
For many users of bulk bags, the rules and regulations that surround the food industry are an everyday part of life. Dealing with the various certifications, processes, standards, and testing is extremely tedious but crucial part of maintaining a clean and successful food-grade facility.
As a distributor of FIBCs, our overseas manufacturing partners greatly impact the product we sell. A great amount of the value we add as a distributor comes from the relationships we have with our manufacturers and our ability to properly vet them and the products they ship. These manufacturers not only make the bags themselves; they conduct QA (quality assurance) and product testing on site before the bags are shipped – an extremely important part of the procurement process (for a deeper look into what quality distributors do to vet their suppliers, check out this blog).
Globalization has impacted the lives of Americans and American Companies in significant ways. Perhaps one of the most impactful effects of globalization has occurred in product supply chains – and the FIBC industry is no exception. As we have noted several times in the past, the vast majority of bulk bags are now produced overseas – primarily in Asian countries. The benefits of this shift have been great for the industry as a whole, but it hasn’t come without drawbacks.
Uncertainty is often the enemy of markets and industries. It’s been in the headlines for almost 2 years now – the “looming” trade war with China. Now, to be sure, we’re not here to analyze the dispute as a whole or pass judgement on whether it’s a full-blown trade war or simply the start of one. No matter what one may think of the current situation between the United States and China, there is no doubt it has created a great amount of uncertainty around the industries that source materials and products from Asia.
Transporting and/or storing large amounts of materials in large flexible bags (like FIBCs) can be inherently dangerous. Because of this, we talk a lot about safety. It cannot be understated how important the safe use of bulk bags is to us at National Bulk Bag. Safe working load (SWL) is one of the most important things any user should know about the bag they’ve purchased. But how do you find out the SWL of the bag you’re using? How do you know when you’re exceeding your SWL? In this post, we take a deeper dive into safe working load and examine the various ways to weigh FIBCs and ensure[...]
We talk a lot about FIBC construction on the NBB blog, and for good reason. With all the variations and combination of bags, it would be impressive if we ever get to the point where we’ve covered them all. Nonetheless we will continue our pursuit to make sure we talk about as many as we can no matter how obscure or specialized some may be. That brings us to bulk bag flaps. What are they? What do they do? Would they be a good fit for your product and/or application? Let’s discuss.
Recently we discussed using full bottom discharge (diaper bottom) flexible intermediate bulk containers with certain products like wet coffee grounds and other wet or high moisture products. This brought to light that we at the National Bulk Bag blog have not talked very much about the use of bulk bags with wet/high moisture products and/or materials. Let’s change that. In this post, we discuss the best practices when handling wet products and/or materials and what bag features to look for that can help mitigate some of the issues that come with those products/materials.