Bitumen is highly viscous; therefore, packaging means crucial in the aspects of cost, environment, storage, and shipping. Bitumen packaging includes bulk, new steel drums, jumbo bag. New steel drums, as they sound, are made of steel while jumbo bags are plastic and Polypropylene. Bitubags and polybags are other alternative names for Jumbo bags. They are produced in various weights on the customer’s request, yet the most popular types are 1 ton and 300 kg.
Transportation of Bulk Bitumen vs Jumbo Bags
In the picture below, you can see a general scenario of bulk bitumen transportation versus jumbo bags.
In bulk trade, you require bitumen trucks to pick up the cargo from the refinery and convey it to the bulk vessel, the bitumen tanker, at the port. At the destination, another bitumen truck will pick up the cargo and deliver it to the construction site or specific bitumen warehouses. In the bulk shipment, bitumen is always in the liquid state. Hence constant heating leads to a fixed charge during shipping.
Despite all bulk cargo inconveniences and requirements, jumbo bags and new steel drums get loaded in standard trucks. Later, they are transferred to an ordinary vessel and shipped to the harbor without any specific infrastructure. Now they are ready to go on another standard truck to get to the construction site or a standard warehouse.
Cost of Bulk Bitumen vs Jumbo Bags
Bulk cargo faces additional costs comparing to jumbo bags. First, it requires a particular type of tanker, vessel, and truck. In addition to high freight, these vehicles can only load bitumen afterward because the containers have exposed to the bitumen, and it is not possible to wash and clean. Storing bitumen in bulk orders means reserving bitumen warehouses as well. So, you cannot use the site for any other purposes but bitumen.
Jumbo bags and new steel drums are more economical. They do not pollute the container; therefore, ordinary trucks and vessels will do the delivery then they can pick up other parcels. Moreover, storing is much cheaper because any standard warehouse is suitable.
Although new steel drums are preferred to bulk trade, they are still more expensive comparing to jumbo bags. Steel is more expensive than plastic. Moreover, after cutting the drum, some small amount of bitumen sticks to the inner layer. Besides, this 3-5% waste, the leftover can cause contamination in the subsequent uses.
Environmental Impact of Bulk Bitumen, Steel Drums, and Jumbo Bags
In bulk shipping, we face a massive amount of greenhouse gas emissions for the constant heating of the bitumen all through the process.
Furthermore, some countries have enacted serious regulations for bitumen import. In Australia, for instance, it is forbidden to import the bitumen in new steel drum packaging. The steel drums can leave serious environmental footprints. While cutting the drum open, some bitumen residue will inevitably pollute the area. Take a 1000 MT project as an example. At the end of the project, almost 5500 empty drums remain which you need to dispose of.
Fortunately, jumbo bags are environment friendly. The outer layer of the jumbo bags is recyclable, and the inner layer is consumable. The inner layer is melted by the bitumen and applied to roads.
What Bitumen packaging is suitable?
Infinity Galaxy provides the bitumen in various packaging at the client’s request. When you are buying bitumen, consider the cost, logistics, and environment. We generally suggest jumbo bags because they are more economical than new steel drums and bulk shipments. Regardless of expenses, jumbo bags are more convenient in shipment and storage and compatible with regulations.