How You Can Use Plastic Containers And Pallets To Transport Liquids
09 Jul 2016
Everyone has become familiar with the wine box – the cardboard outer packaging containing what looks like a foil or plastic bag inside it. These bags are technically known as Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs), but most people in the packaging industry call them “bladders” for short. The foil ones are usually made of metallized film built up in layers.
However, this packaging is not very robust. Unlike plastic boxes, cardboard containers can be damaged by being stacked on top of each other or dropped during loading and loading. The cardboard disintegrates if it becomes wet, and the bladder by itself is not strong enough to withstand handling and shipping stresses. That means that the contents are compromised. And even if the bladder is intact, consumers tend to reject the goods if the cardboard outer packaging is damaged. As do supermarkets and suppliers.
Safety Concerns with IBCs
There is a also a safety concern with IBCs. Once the packaging is damaged, the liquid inside can easily spill or leak, with various consequences. Of prime concern is the potential for fire if the liquid is potentially flammable – for example, some alcoholic drinks. Some packaging areas have rough or uneven floor surfaces that can lead to the IBC being punctured. Even once the packages are loaded for transport and are on the road, a traffic accident can lead to the load being shed, and the lack of a robust packaging can produce a major spill event.
Stresses of Containerised Transport
If the IBCs are being carried in containerised transport, they will subject to the pressure of all the items stacked on top of them. The cardboard boxes at the bottom can bend or buckle. These are static forces, but if the boxes are travelling by sea or overland, they also have to withstand dynamic forces such as vibration, acceleration, jolting and impact.
During a sea voyage, the ship can pitch and roll, causing cargo movements inside the container. The ship’s engine can cause vibration throughout the container. And once the container is on a truck, acceleration forces can also affect the package. And that’s before climate has taken its toll. Many cargoes give out water, while most storage containers (but not plastic ones) will absorb moisture.
Plastic boxes and, in fact, all plastic containers can prevent many of these problems. They provide a much more robust package that can withstand the multiple handling challenges the goods encounter as they are moved from producer to consumer.