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Bulk bags are incredibly durable and safe packaging solutions for various materials, including rubble, ore, grains and foods. However, sometimes a bulk bag can break when it is being filled, handled or discharged. This can be caused by a few factors and is an unlikely outcome, but you should know what to do if a bag does break in use.

Custom Bulk Bags is a leading manufacturer and supplier of bulk bags in South Africa. We have a manufacturing capacity of up to 3.5-million bags per year. All of our products undergo strict quality inspection processes before being sold to customers. In addition, they are produced in accordance with ISO 9001 standards for quality management systems.

As a result, we can guarantee the quality of our bulk bags. Our products also have a minimum safety factor of 5:1, which means that they can hold at least five times their intended load before breaking. While overfilling a bulk bag is never recommended, it’s important to choose ones that have a good safety factor rating.

Factors that may cause a bulk bag to fail

Certain handling procedures can cause a bulk bag to break. These include the filling processes, the equipment used to move the bulk bags and how they are stored. Your bulk bag supplier should give you a breakdown of best practices in order to prolong the shelflife of these versatile products.

Never overfill a bulk bag as this can cause the side panels to split or tear, as well as place too much strain on the lifting loops. In most cases where a bulk bag fails, it is because it has been overfilled. Do not drag bulk bags across a warehouse floor, as this abrasion can damage the bottom of the product.

When stacking and storing bulk bags, be sure that they are kept in a cool, dry and covered environment. Too much moisture and sunlight can degrade the quality of the fabric and make it weaker over time. Always use the lifting loops to pick up a bulk bag; placing a forklift tine against the panels can potentially rip the fabric.

Steps to take if a bulk bag fails

1. Take a photo of the label – This will allow your bulk bag supplier to verify the information, such as manufacturing date, order number and inspection data. The more details that you can provide to your supplier, the better. This will allow them to ascertain whether the failure was caused by a manufacturing defect, an old bag or misuse.

2. Take a photo of the damaged bulk bag – Once again, photos of the damaged area will allow your supplier to see the potential causes. Take pictures of the entire bag and close-ups of the area where it failed. Any irregularities, flaws and discolouration seen could reveal the cause.

3. Keep the bag for inspection – Some bulk bag suppliers will want to see the damaged bag in person. Fold it carefully and try not to create more damage. The supplier will then be able to conduct tests to try to establish the cause of failure. These include close inspection of the sewing, the woven fabric and any signs of moisture or UV exposure. This inspection will also allow the supplier to improve manufacturing processes and quality control for future batches.

4. Make a note of the handling procedure – If a bulk bag fails, write down the handling method, the equipment and the surrounding environment. This will help your supplier determine if environmental factors or handling procedures were to blame. Sometimes, incorrect filling and handling procedures can cause multiple bulk bags to fail, so if this is a recurring problem, then it’s important to fix these processes.

Always ensure that you are using a bulk bag in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. This will ensure that the products last as long as possible. Bulk bags are designed to be durable, so any failure needs to be investigated. For more information about our bulk bags, please contact us today. 


Custom Bulk Bags is a leading South African manufacturer of woven polypropylene bags for various industries, such as mining, chemicals and food. We are able to produce over 3.5-million bulk bags per year, keeping our customers in stock at all times. Our bags adhere to the highest levels of quality as a result of our stringent in-house testing and quality control programmes.

Custom Bulk Bags holds ISO 9001 certification and we currently have a number of UN-certified designs. We are a Level 3 B-BBEE manufacturer and supplier and fall under the ownership structure of Deneb Investments Limited. For more information on our products, contact Follow us on Facebook for our latest news and industry insights.