Do you need to source out the best paper bags for your business needs? With thousands of suppliers out there, it can be cumbersome to find the right one according to your requirements like size, type, and purpose.
That said, China remains one of the world’s top paper producers, followed by the United States and Japan. The second-largest economy globally is known for its cost-efficient mass production and low labor costs, yet is armed with robust manufacturing facilities. In this post, you’ll know more about the paper industry in China, an overview of paper bag suppliers, how to source them, test the quality of paper, and more.
Overview of the Paper Bag Suppliers in China
Most of the paper bag manufacturers and suppliers are in the southern and eastern regions. These regions are often the central hubs of production and manufacturing facilities with ideal locations not far from the seaports and airports. Shandong, Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu are located in the eastern part, while Guangzhou, Guangxi, and Hainan are in the southern area.
However, don’t limit yourself in these places, but keep in mind that your supplier’s location is also relatively dependent on labor and shipping costs.
Labor costs, Location, and Equipment of Suppliers
For example, if your supplier is in first-tier cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, the labor fees are higher than those in second-tier cities. Costs may vary per city, and other manufacturers are already using high-caliber machines and automated equipment, but it’s worth noting these factors as you filter your options.
Paper bag suppliers provide a wide range of paper bags in different forms, types, and functions, whether you need paper bags for your grocery store, baking shop, cafe, or restaurant. What’s more, you may request a custom-made design with a printed logo and size solely for your brand when you buy from direct manufacturers.
4 Ways to Source the Best Quality Paper Bag Suppliers
There are a variety of ways to narrow down your search for suppliers. Here are some of the platforms and sites to explore, but make sure you’re discerning enough to know if the company is legit or a fraud.
Google, Bing, and Baidu provide millions of search results, depending on the keywords and phrases you are using. That said, to get targeted results, you may type your phrase along with the city to narrow down the results.
Keep in mind that even if the manufacturer is on top of the search results, it’s legitimate. If you come across the company name, you may also search along with the phrase ‘is company A, a scam’ to check its legitimacy and what other customers say on the web.
Alibaba and other B2B Platforms
You’ll find thousands of paper bags of different types on these websites. Suppliers post the items on these portals, offering wholesale prices. You may filter the options to check the costs per paper bag, keeping in mind the reviews of other previous clients.
Do your homework for a background check as not all suppliers with 5-star reviews can meet your expectations. It’s easy to fake user reviews these days, so as you navigate these platforms, look for the red flags in the product items’ comments section.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site where you can connect with sales managers of your vetted suppliers. You can have private conversations via chats, making the communication more personal.
This is one of the most overlooked platforms when sourcing suppliers because if you have an account, you can join groups and discussions related to your paper bag needs. On top of that, with the right keywords and phrases on job titles and locations, you can expand your network and add connections.
Facebook Groups and other Third-party Forums
Join groups where manufacturers and suppliers post online. Some of the groups are private, whereas others are public. Just make sure you follow the rules by posting related content.
Moderators will flag you as a spammer and might delete you. You may ask for referrals or recommendations while you hang around in these private groups. But keep in mind that there’s a higher risk associated with connecting with paper bag manufacturers without websites, links, and official pages. So, search and use this method at your own risk.
How to Test the Quality of Paper Bags?
Countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, Bangladesh, Taiwan, and China have banned plastic bags from lessening harmful environmental pollution. However, cracking down on illegal trade and use in establishments is an ongoing process.
While plastic bags are useful and cheap in carrying out groceries and other items, paper bags are environment-friendly. The growth of paper bags is expected to grow by 4% CAGR from 2019-2029.
As you source out suppliers and paper bag types, make sure you discuss this with your manufacturer so they can meet your expectations.
- The bursting strength test evaluates the physical strength and fiber bond of paper, foils, and paper boards, to name a few. Testing companies use digital hydraulic paper or hydraulic boards to conduct bursting strength tests. The burst index (kPa.m2/g) is equal to burst strength/basis weight.
- Tear resistance strength evaluates the tear resistance of plastic film, paper, and textile products.
- Peel strength assesses the power of the bond or adhesiveness of the paper. It’s the average load per unit width of the bond line required to separate bonded materials. Testing companies use syringe blister packs to conduct a 180-degree peel test.
- Cobb sizing test evaluates the water absorption and retention capacity of the paper bag. When a paper bag is exposed to water or moisture, it can reduce its strength to hold items.
So, for instance, if you’re going to use brown paper bags for your grocery store, make sure you source out bags that went through the cobb sizing test to know the capacity of how much weight they can handle.
Other Factors to Consider When Sourcing Paper Bags from China
Assuming you have shortlisted your manufacturers or suppliers of paper bags, don’t forget to consider the following before signing the deal or depositing your initial payment.
Most manufacturers and suppliers require a minimum number of bags for mass production. Read the terms and conditions before making the deal.
Paper bag suppliers can arrange land, air, or sea cargo for shipments. You may choose your couriers like UPS, DHL, FedEx, and more. You can visit the official website of your courier to calculate your estimated costs and time of delivery.
Most manufacturers offer paper bag samples, especially for customized paper bags. They can send you a few options in different sizes and designs, but the price could be anywhere around $100 to $200 or more depending on the requirements.
However, the shipping fee isn’t yet included here. So check the estimated costs on your courier’s site. Asking for sample making is a smart step before mass production, so you can ask for adjustments and see the actual product.
Paper bag manufacturers ask for a downpayment of about 20% up to 50% for mass production. You can use PayPal, Transferwise, or bank transfer when sending payments, but keep in mind the transfer fees these payment channels charge you as a sender.
If possible, to save more on fees, you can pay Chinese suppliers via WeChatPay or AliPay, which is convenient for them. However, you must have a Chinese bank account to send money to this method. If you use Alibaba and B2B platforms, you can also pay them directly to these sites.
Choosing a paper bag supplier manufacturer is vital in your business operation. Make sure you do your research and take the time to do some background checks on your shortlisted companies.
Labor costs, location, and facilities of paper bag manufacturers should also be considered as a buyer, aside from the purpose and type of paper bags you wish to source out. From the four ways to finding the best suppliers, there are pros and cons involved in communicating with your leads. Other than that, as you discuss the requirements with your suppliers, don’t forget to ask for the paper bag test results to check the quality. As you’ll be investing for the long-term, work with a paper bag manufacturing company that has proven and tested methods and credibility.