Skip to main content

Bulk bags have become a critical component of effective material handling in South African industry. According to an IndustryARC research report from 2023, the global FIBC market is expected to reach a stunning $3.8 billion (~R72 billion) by 2027. 

This growth reflects the multiple benefits that bulk bags provide, such as cost-effectiveness, versatility, and convenience of use. However, in order to fully realise these benefits and ensure worker safety, specific handling methods are required.

Custom Bulk Bags is a reputable local manufacturer of bulk bags and we manufacture high-quality packaging solutions that are tailored to your specifications. We produce up to 3.5 million bulk bags per year and our products can safely hold between 500kg and two tonnes of material per bag, depending on your needs. 

Dos of bulk bag handling

The basis of safe and efficient bulk bag handling begins with selecting the right bag for the job. Consider the weight and type of material you plan to store or move. Custom Bulk Bags provides a comprehensive assortment of bulk bags with varying capacities, fabric weights, and discharge choices to meet various industrial needs.

Read the labels carefully. Every bulk bag comes with a safety sticker indicating its Safe Working Load (SWL), which is the maximum weight it may safely hold. Never surpass this limit. The label also includes instructions for correct handling and any bag-specific limits.

Inspect bulk bags before filling. Complete a visual check; look for cuts, tears, and other indicators of damage that could jeopardise the bag’s integrity. Custom Bulk Bags creates high-quality bulk bags using stringent quality control procedures, but pre-filling inspection is still an important safety precaution. 

Check the discharge spouts before filling. Make sure the discharge spouts are properly secured and clear of debris. This eliminates spills and keeps the material clean while being carried.

When filling bulk bags, prioritise stability. Use a solid base and fill the bag evenly to avoid tipping or swaying. Uneven filling might put stress on the bag’s seams, increasing the likelihood of tearing.

Secure the closure after filling the bulk bag. Close the top inlet using the indicated closure method. Custom Bulk Bags offers bulk bags with a variety of closure options; however, make sure to follow the precise directions for your chosen bag.

Lifting equipment is important. When handling packed bulk bags, use the right lifting equipment, such as forklifts with properly sized tines or hoists with secure slings. Never try to lift a bulk bag by hand.

Static electricity can be generated when bulk bags are filled and moved. Grounding the bag and utilising conductive materials can help to reduce this threat. Consult a safety specialist about suitable grounding measures for your operation. Be sure to order Type C anti-static bulk bags if you are working with flammable or combustible materials.

Protect bulk bags from the elements. When storing bulk bags outside, keep them away from direct sunlight and extreme weather conditions. Excessive UV exposure can deteriorate the bag’s fabric over time, and rain or snow might bring undesired moisture into the contents. We offer bulk bags with UV-protection but the general rule of avoiding direct sunlight should still be adhered to.

Lastly, secure bulk bags for transportation by making sure they are properly tied down on pallets or within a container to avoid movement and damage. Secure the bags with straps or tie-downs for peace of mind during shipping and to protect the materials within.

Don’ts of bulk bag handling

Do not skip the consultation. Before making a purchase, consult with a bulk bag manufacturer such as Custom Bulk Bags. Our team of professionals can assist you in picking the best bulk bag for your application and material handling requirements.

Never overload the bag. Exceeding the SWL poses a major safety risk to handlers, employees and equipment. Respect the bulk bag’s weight limitations to avoid breakage and potential injuries.

Uneven filling can cause an unstable load and place undue stress on the bag’s seams. To protect the bulk bag’s integrity, ensure that the filling procedure is balanced and controlled. Similarly, avoid jerky movements when lifting or transporting packed bulk bags. Maintain a steady and controlled operation to keep the bag from tipping or swaying.

Never stand underneath fully loaded bulk bags. It is a fundamental guideline of bulk bag handling to never stand beneath a dangling bulk bag. Even the smallest equipment malfunction or bag tear can result in significant damage and injury.

Improper stacking of bulk bags can cause collapse and product spillage. Use suitable stacking strategies to develop a secure storage solution. Overhangs should be avoided as they may compromise stack stability.

Lastly, extreme weather conditions, such as high temperatures, heavy rain, or strong winds, can damage bulk bags and jeopardise the safety of stored items. Take the appropriate precautions to protect bulk bags from extreme weather conditions.

Custom Bulk Bags is your ideal partner for bulk packaging solutions in South Africa. We offer free consultations to gain an understanding of your products and needs before designing the right bulk bags for your company. For more information about our bulk bags or to get advice on the ideal design specifications, 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 2 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, LinkedIn and Instagram for our latest news and industry insights.