“Change is the only constant in life.” – Attributed to Greek philosopher Heraclitus.
A question we get asked a lot here at MiniBulk is “where do your bulk bags come from?” As a distributor, we keep those cards pretty close to our chest and therefore our answer is either “Asia” or “overseas”.
Now obviously, Asia is absolutely gigantic and encompasses nearly 50 countries. In fact, Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area. So yeah, somewhere around there!
Pictured: A very large chunk of this planet
In the past few decades, a lot of the manufacturing that was previously done in North America has shifted to Asia. This happened for a myriad of reasons that we are not going to go into now. Suffice to say though, a lot of the everyday items we buy take a very long boat ride before landing here and getting put up for sale.
For items like bulk bags, this can be understandable as they are very labour intensive to manufacture. Just over a decade ago, there was a Canadian bulk bag manufacturer churning out bags for the local market but that era came to an end because of simple economics. A good rule of thumb back then was, “A $10 bag from overseas is a $20 bag from Mexico and a $30 bag from Canada.”
This is a nice segue into talking about what countries are manufacturing bulk bags today and how MiniBulk is constantly looking for new manufacturing partners. For example, one country has stood out from the rest when it comes to being a manufacturing powerhouse.
Their low labour cost, their incredible scalability, and a massive labour force resulted in one of the greatest transfers of wealth in human history. Capital flowed from West to East at levels unheard of in the modern era.
However, like our friend Heraclitus postured long ago, change is inevitable and nothing lasts forever.
We will not delve into anything overly political at this juncture, but it’s fair to say there are a lot of people and companies in the Western world eager to break, or at least weaken their ties to that manufacturing behemoth due to being risk adverse.
That being said, the majority of trade issues arose this past year and caught some people and businesses by surprise. However, savvy companies like MiniBulk have been diversifying their supplier base for the better part of a decade.
Pictured: We're stocked up so you don't stock out
Our strategy has always been to have a diversified supplier base to act as a hedge against unforeseen geopolitical strife and it’s really paying off now. In fact, our management team travels the globe every single year to vet new partners and ensure the current ones are up to our standards.
MiniBulk has always been a company focused on continuous improvement and this has allowed us to guide our clients out of the tempest and into calmer waters. Managing geopolitical risk and pitting our manufacturing partners ensures that we are always putting our customer’s interest first.
Can you say that about your current supplier, or are they just running on auto-pilot?
For example, say a trade war breaks out and suddenly the things you need to run your business has a price increase over-night. In some instances, there is no recourse, you simply have to pay more for something today than what you paid for it yesterday.
If your supplier is running with the proverbial “all eggs in one basket” manufacturing model, we all know what happens when said basket hits the concrete.
That is just part of our dedication to our valued clients and a great example of how we go above and beyond bags every single day. So give us a call today, and found out how you can tap into our established diversified manufacturing program.