The advantages of bulky paper
Bulky paper is 1.5 times thicker than uncoated woodfree paper but has the same weight. This makes it possible to produce books that have the same volume or stiffness as books produced with uncoated woodfree papers.
Thanks to its high fiber content, bulky paper is durable enough for textbooks and trade books.
Unlike uncoated woodfree papers, which are produced by processing cellulose-based pulp, bulky paper requires less chemical treatment, is produced from mechanical pulp, consists of a large number of wood fibers, and always comes from sustainably managed forests when purchased from sustainable suppliers.
- Less expensive than equivalent papers
Bulky paper is very similar to uncoated woodfree paper but has a significantly lower cost. Current demand for paper and supply chain issues makes it difficult to purchase 70 or 80gsm uncoated woodfree paper for less than 845$/To. The current price of 52gsm bulky paper is around 1,015$/To. This means that to produce an 80 page A4 book on 80gsm uncoated woodfree paper, the cost of the inner paper will be 0.178$ per book whereas it will be 0.139$ per unit on 52gsm bulky paper. For textbooks that have technical specifications that are otherwise identical, the cost of a textbook printed on 52gsm bulky paper book will be about 22% lower.
The bulky paper also significantly reduces the weight that must be transported by road, air, or sea.
The weight of containers and trailers is regulated limited by local authorities, shipping companies, and port facilities. If a 80-page book weighs 220g in 80gsm when printed on uncoated woodfree paper, it will weigh 150g when printed on 52gsm bulk paper, but both books will have the same thickness. It is therefore possible to load approximately 100,000 books in a 40 feet container in the first case and 143,000 books in the second case, which represents a 30% saving in logistics costs.
Therefore, printing on bulky paper offers considerable savings for large book supply projects. The financial impact can be significant given the explosion in paper prices and transport costs due to the pandemic and related supply chain issues.