Gaylord Box vs. FIBC Bulk Bags

Gaylord Boxes vs FIBC Bulk Bags

If your business involves goods that require storing or shipping, you may have been using Gaylord boxes for these purposes. If you haven’t, you may be wondering if Gaylord boxes are the right storage vehicle for you. There are many reasons why it’s better to use a bulk bag vs. a Gaylord box to store and ship your goods. Let’s talk more about Gaylord boxes and how they stack up against bulk bags.

What Is a Gaylord Box?

“Gaylord box” is a shipping industry term that refers to many large cardboard containers. A Gaylord box is a bulk-size corrugated container. They allow you to ship or store a pallet’s worth of product in a single container. They’re sized to fit neatly on top of standard pallets. The original Gaylord boxes came from the North American manufacturer Gaylord Container Company. Today, the term has evolved into a generic name for pallet-sized bulk boxes.

Other words you might hear used for a Gaylord box include:

  • Bulk cargo container.
  • Heavy-duty box.
  • Gaylord tote.
  • Produce bin.
  • Jumbo box.
  • Pallet box.
  • Skid box.
  • Bulk bin.
  • Pallet container.
  • Octagonal bin.

When you hear these terms, they all point to the same thing — a heavy-duty cardboard container that’s large and yet lightweight.

You’ll find Gaylord boxes used for many purposes. They’re quite popular in the warehousing and transportation industry. You’ll also find them filled with produce at your local grocery store. While most are classic rectangular boxes, some have octagonal shapes. They can come with or without lids. Consisting of corrugated cardboard, they resist tearing, splitting and bursting under typical use. However, the material isn’t very durable and is usually meant for single-use only.

Gaylord boxes are quite popular in the warehousing and transportation industries

How Big Is a Gaylord Box?

As a generic term for bulk-sized boxes, Gaylord boxes have many sizes. In general, they’ll fit on top of a pallet. Gaylord box dimensions vary across a few different types, including:

  • D container: D container Gaylord boxes have internal measurements of 58 inches by 42 inches by 45 inches. Their thick corrugated sides make them larger on the outside.
  • E container: E container bulk bins are smaller than D containers. Their internal dimensions are 41 and 1/4 inches by 28 and 1/4 inches by 24 and 1/4 inches.
  • Standard Gaylord: The standard and most popular Gaylord box size measures 48 inches by 40 inches by 36 inches. Another typical size is the 40-inch by 40-inch by 40-inch Gaylord. This size lets the pallet container rest on standard 40-inch by 40-inch pallets or on larger 48-inch by 40-inch pallets.
  • Small Gaylord: Gaylord boxes can also come in smaller sizes for specific applications. The smaller sizes range from 40 inches by 30 inches by 30 inches to 36-inch cubes.

Besides the Gaylord container’s measurements, the container wall thickness also varies. Single-wall boxes are excellent for lighter-duty applications. Some Gaylord boxes have as many as four or five layers and can contain scrap metal and other heavy-duty materials.

Capacity of Gaylord Boxes

Besides a Gaylord box’s size, it’s essential to consider its capacity. Generally, a larger box will support more weight. However, the construction and number of layers affect the box’s strength. Gaylords vary in weight capacity, with some D containers holding up to 1,200 pounds, while others can handle more or less.

Standard pallet boxes measuring 48 inches by 40 inches by 36 inches may have weight capacities ranging from 4,000 to 5,000 pounds. The smaller 40-inch cubes and octagonal boxes can hold around 3,000 pounds. Smaller Gaylord boxes can hold different weight capacities, too. The 40-inch by 30-inch by 30-inch containers can hold 1,200 to 1,500 pounds, while the smaller 36-inch square boxes can hold 1,000 to 1,200 pounds. Each Gaylord box’s exact weight capacity depends on the dimensions, number of wall layers and the manufacturer’s specifications.

Why Switch to FIBCs Over Gaylord Boxes?

Gaylord boxes are multi-layered corrugated cardboard boxes many companies use for warehousing and shipping because they are durable and fit nicely on a standard pallet. While those responsible for loading and storing goods often find this to be quite convenient, there’s more to the story. Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers — also known as flexible bulk bags or FIBCs — give you an edge over Gaylord boxes in several areas.

Switching from Gaylord boxes to FIBCs will save you time, space, and money

FIBCs are bulk bags made of flexible, woven material — usually polypropylene plastic. Like Gaylord boxes, they fit easily on pallets, so forklifts can move them. They also have lift loops or sleeves on the top, allowing them to be mechanically lifted from the top side. 

They’re intended for shipping solid, flowable materials such as powder, flakes and granules, and they have a range of other storage uses. These features make them excellent for agricultural, chemical and pharmaceutical applications. They also have many advantages for other industries since nearly 212 million FIBCs were sold in 2016 to users outside of these three sectors.

FIBCs are often the better choice for applications where you’re considering Gaylord boxes. They offer many advantages, including:

  • Time: FIBCs are faster because they are bigger and stronger. An FIBC can hold a load of anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 pounds of goods. You might need up to 100 Gaylord boxes to hold as much as one FIBC. That means more containers to pack, load and unload, which can take a lot more time. Meanwhile, FIBCs offer convenient lift loops, straps or sleeves, which provide more ways to handle them with mechanical lifting devices.
  • Space: Although Gaylord boxes are durable, they usually aren’t strong enough to start stacking them one on top of the other. To stack Gaylord boxes, you need pallets, which can be cumbersome and wasteful. On the other hand, by using a supported stacking or pyramid stacking method, you are free to stack up lots of FIBCs without pallets, giving you plenty of space savings. When not in use, FIBCs can be folded and stowed away to take up minimal space.
  • Money: While an FIBC is more expensive than a Gaylord box, it’s important to remember how much more an FIBC can hold. Since you can fill, load, unload and empty FIBCs much more quickly and efficiently than a comparable amount of Gaylord boxes, you can see a financial benefit in gained productivity and a reduced number of employees needed for the task. You’ll reduce your shipping expenses alongside your storage and staffing costs. Plus, since FIBCs are reusable, you can save money by reusing them and buying refurbished ones.

bulk bag save money

Learn All the Benefits of FIBCs and Order Yours From Bulk Bag Reclamation Today

At Bulk Bag Reclamation, we know how incredible our used FIBCs can be to safely and efficiently store, transport and unload all your goods. Because these high-quality bulk bags are recycled, you save money and protect the environment while you use them.

We’re happy to tell you all about them and help you find out which of our bulk bags will be the best choice to take the place of your time-consuming, unwieldy Gaylord boxes. If you’d like to discuss replacing your Gaylord boxes with efficient and affordable used FIBCs, please call us today at 515-444-7243.

If you’re ready to order bulk bags, we can help you right now. Simply contact us online for a free quote on your recycled FIBCs.