The need to keep the costs down and at the same time give better service to fertilizer dealers and farmers has together with new innovations lead the fertilizer producers to adopt new methods in the distribution of solid fertilizers.
Three main future methods covering distribution and transport within industrial countries are dealt with:
a. Bagged material on pallets, shrink-wrapped
b. Bulk material delivered to the farm
c. Use of disposable big-bags (IBC)
Cost analysis shows that about £3 per tonne can be saved when switching to new methods.
At the farm up to 20 min./tonne can be saved when the farmer abandons the 50 kg bag and chooses bulk of IBCs.
When delivering fertilizer from industrial countries to developing countries bulk transports combined with bagging at port of discharge gives big advantages and savings. £4 per tonne should be saved, but the potential is a lot higher.
The savings come mainly from the big differences in the wage level between the industrial countries and the developing countries, but also from the savings in the sea freight due to shorter time used for loading and discharging the ships. Experience has shown that good economy and quality can be maintained even in primitive discharging ports where the bagging operations are done outdoors almost without technical equipment.
In the future, however, we will probably see simple but effective bagging terminals being built in a lot of ports in developing countries. The fertilizer producers should take an active part in this process.