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Monday, February 22, 2010


Dear (s)

This is a common sight as one travels on road. – cargo in bags transported from place to place

When goods are transported from place, a primary aspect is of packing or placing goods inside something to enable them transportable. Though there are various functions of packaging – broadly Primary, secondary and tertiary. In a way the protective function is of utmost importance as also the ease of handling. Packaging must protect the goods from loss, damage and theft and should be convenient to handle.

In day to day life, we come across so many such things – simply think of the rice in bags, the conventional ones. As you could easily discern, they are conventionally standardized ones – i.e., 50 kg bags when bought in rice market and in small quantities of 5/10/15/20 kgs for invidiuals.

The major problem involved when goods are to be transported to a far off place involving multiple handling, is that there have to be loaded individually unlike the intermodal containers or when in bulk. These would fall under the genre of breakbulk i.e., extraction of a portion of cargo from the ship or from other carrying modes.

Whilst material of value sold in exact quantities are packed in a standardized manner with precision, items of lesser value are put in to bags and then weighted. Occasionally you could also come across jumbo bags – big bags where material is kept inside. In these one bag might differ in weight and volume from the other but materially would be traded in total – price for all the bags put together.

This is a lorry carrying such cargo in jumbo bags. Here the material is barite, a mineral consisting of barium sulfate. This is mostly used as a weighting agent for drilling fluids in oil and gas exploration. Other uses are in car, electronics, TV screen, rubber and glass ceramics and paint industry. Although baryte contains a "heavy" metal (barium), it is not considered to be a toxic chemical by most governments because of its extreme insolubility.

With regards - S Sampathkumar


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