How are Coronavirus and COVID-19 affecting the FIBC industry?

April 16, 2021


For over a year, the global pandemic has disrupted our daily lives and affected manufacturers’ supply chains to a degree, never before seen. This has led many of our customers to ask how the pandemic is continuing to affect the bulk bag category, within our business.

The short answer is lead times on FIBCs have increased 20-30% and are still becoming less predictable.

Factors affecting current lead times:


Plant Closures

The governments of India and China imposed strict lockdowns during the height of the virus outbreak. This eliminated production for nearly 3 months and created a significant backlog of orders.

Labor Availability

As governments begin to ease lockdowns and manufacturing plants are reopening, many workers did not immediately return to work. Health concerns and fear of governmental retribution have continued to dissuade workers from returning to work.

Ocean Shipping

Like the airline industry, the sharp overnight decline in ocean freight volume left many ships sailing nearly empty. Shipping giants including Maersk, MSC, and Hapag-Lloyd have drastically reduced their available ships to improve utilization of their equipment. As a result, ocean transit times have nearly doubled.

New Virus Outbreaks:

The threat of new virus outbreaks are reducing and the potential for reinstitution of lockdowns are as well, however, the previous lockdowns have caused significant angst and uncertainty within the industry. To combat the possibility of supply chain disruptions in 2021, we have doubled down on our available inventory.

How do I avoid extended lead times on bulk bags?

Southern Packaging stocks the largest inventory of on-demand FIBCs in the country. Nearly 1 million FIBCs across 100 SKUs are available for immediate shipment to your plant location. 

We offer vendor managed inventory programs! We invite and encourage our customers to leverage our 400,000 sq.ft. warehouse facilities to store their packaging materials. Our vendor managed inventory programs allow our customers to enjoy the benefits of having their packaging products when they need them, where they need them to be. 

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