Multi-trip vs. single trip bulk bags: Which is more cost effective?

Since bulk bags were invented, there has been a debate over the most cost-effective way of transporting semi-bulk products: in single trip or multi-trip bags? The answer seems clear—every time you use a multi-trip bulk bag, the costs reduce dramatically.

Below is a comparison of typical costs:

Multi-trip option (6:1 safety factor)

NB: Cliffe Packaging recommends that a multi-trip bulk bag be used up to a maximum of 5 times.

Single-trip option (5:1 safety factor)

At five trips, the saving is around 30%. On this basis, the multi-trip bag breaks even during the second trip, which is a very quick return. Not only would the multi-trip option save money, it has a very positive impact on the environment, reducing packaging waste by 80%.

If you are using bulk bags internally in a closed loop system, the savings are even greater. Just remember to ensure that the bags are checked and retied before returning them to service.

When to use single trip bags

The multi-trip option is not suitable for every application. When food or cross-contamination is an issue, the single trip bag is the only viable option. This also applies to deep sea exports, where retrieving the bag is impossible.

If the product you are carrying is of low value, or needs to be stored for many months before shipment, then the better option is a single trip bag.