FIBC Manufacturing: USA versus Overseas

FIBC Manufacturing: USA versus Overseas

When it comes to sourcing FIBCs you have two options – buying from a domestic manufacturer in the US, or a distributor that partners with overseas manufacturers. The vast majority of bulk bags distributed in the US are made overseas.

Despite the trend to source bags overseas, there are still some distributors that purchase from US-based manufacturers. They often claim to have a superior quality product and better lead times, but in truth many distributors that source FIBCs overseas offer the same high quality product with reasonable lead-times and competitive prices.


It’s All About Price

By far the biggest attraction to overseas manufactured bulk bags is price. The cost of labor to produce FIBCs overseas is significantly less than in the US. The result is significant cost reductions when producing overseas. Even when you add the costs of transportation and importation to the manufacturing costs, overseas bags are still significantly less expensive than bags manufactured in the US. This results in big cost savings for the purchaser even when buying through a domestic supplier.

However, the perceived quality of American made products have consumers often paying more for a product or service of the same quality. In the end, you want a quality product at the best value. What if you could have both?


FIBC manufacturing, bulk bag warehouse, National Bulk BagQuality FIBCs from Overseas Manufacturers

US based manufacturers often claim that their facilities are superior to overseas competition; however, significant improvements in overseas manufacturers have closed the gap.

Many bulk bag manufacturers abroad now use the highest industry standards including BRC and AIB to insure their FIBCs meet the best quality standards. This has transformed the industry to the point where there is essentially no quality difference between a FIBC made in the US versus overseas.

Overseas manufacturers have also upgraded their facilities to accommodate specific food-grade and pharmaceutical quality production standards (BRC standards) that are higher than standards for typical bulk bags. These standards include:

  1. Proper ventilation
  2. Pest Control Procedures
  3. Metal Detection
  4. Light Table Inspection
  5. Proper Personnel Wardrobe
  6. Proper Personnel Hygiene
  7. HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) Program
  8. Record Keeping


Lead Times and Warehousing

When FIBCs are manufactured overseas, they must be shipped locally to the port, wait to be packed into a crate, loaded onto the ship, and then transported across the ocean to the US. This process can often result in lengthy lead-times creating costly delays in the daily operations of businesses that use the bags. Distributors that purchase from US based manufacturers boast that by manufacturing locally they can significantly reduce lead times associated with overseas production.

FIBC manufacturing, bulk bag warehouse, National Bulk Bag

Enter warehousing.

Distributors that import bags combat the notorious lead-times associated with overseas sourcing with substantial warehousing capabilities. Domestic warehouses located across the US allow distributors to stock large volumes of a variety of bulk bags in different locations across the country. This results in shorter lead-times and easier access to bags near you.

Domestic FIBC distributors will often carry an in-stock bag locally in a warehouse for your application allowing the purchaser to bypass the extended lead-times. The bulk bag order is then fulfilled in a domestic warehouse and shipped immediately. If you need a custom bag, distributors that source overseas will spec out your bag, manufacture it overseas, and house these bags locally and managed inventory levels. This allows them to capitalize on the low pricing of a bag sourced overseas and the shortened lead times of local warehousing while simultaneously getting the convenience of a bag made in the US – the best of both worlds.


Globalization Is Your Ally

Modern bulk bag suppliers have created proven processes in sourcing, warehousing, and distribution to bring you low cost bags manufactured overseas while maintaining the high-quality standards of domestic manufacturing. Globalization has essentially eliminated the need to purchase bags domestically allowing buyers to get high quality bags at a low price.

Thanks for reading!

Case Study Icon.jpgThanks for visiting the National Bulk Bag blog! We hope you found this article helpful and informative.

Finding the right bulk bag supplier is crucial to getting the right FIBC for your product and application. In order to learn more about how National Bulk Bag addresses extended lead times associated with overseas manufacturing, check out our case study "Short Term Solutions and Long Term Relationships". 

This study explores the many solutions required to bring our customers high quality bags at low prices all in a timely fashion.


March 17, 2017

Categories: Bulk Bags

About the Author: Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson is an Account Manager in the industrial bag division of Rapid Packaging and National Bulk Bag. Zach received his bachelors degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato.

Zach's background includes sales in the transportation department with CH Robinson for four years and IT staffing for another four.

In his free time, Zach enjoys running, golfing, spending time at his cabin with his wife and two sons.

Zach is National Bulk Bag's resident UN bag and agricultural bag specialist. He has been certified in UN FIBCs for hazardous materials making him a fantastic resource if you plan on using bulk bags with potentially dangerous chemicals and other materials.

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