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Tubes Win, Bottles Lose

  • July 10, 2020
Tubes Win, Bottles Lose

This last week we asked a great, domestic tube manufacturer and supplier for tube prices to compare with bottles. The results are in:

You can have hand sanitizer in tubes with caps from a single supplier, in continuous supply, that also have a printed label, and come with applied metallic safety seal for significantly less than bottles with only 6 – 8 weeks lead-time.



The prices we received were for tubes with pre-applied caps and metallic, induction, pre-applied, safety seals and 4-color print all from a single supplier.  The prices we received are below:

Tube Vol.(fl.oz.) Dimensions $ per 25K Ordered $ per 100K Ordered
1 1″ x 3.5″ $.26 $.22
2 1 3/8″ x 3.75″ $.28 $.23
3 1 3/8″ x 5 1/16″ $.29 $.24
4 1.5″ x 5 7/16″ $.30 $.25
6 2″ x 5.5″ $.33 $.28
8 2″ x 6 13/16″ $.35 $.30

The specifications on these tubes were the following:

Tube Type Co-Ex
Tube Length +/- 1/16″
Outer Layer Blend MDPE
Outer Color White
Head Color White
Cap Style Flip-Top
Cap Color White
Decoration 4-Color Offset
Coating Matte Coating
Safety Seal Metallic

We also purchased an 8 fl.oz. boston round bottle in June and 4 fl.oz. sharp-shoulder with disk-top cap in March for some of our customers.  Note: the pricing for the bottles is at all volume purchases.  The pricing came in at:

8 oz. Clear Boston Round Bottle 24-410 $0.21991 4 oz. Sharp Shoulder LPDE Bottle 24-410 $0.19413
Bottle Shipping $0.02 Bottle Shipping $0.02
Black Saddle Pump Locking $0.245 White PP 24-410 Flip Cap $0.06
Pump Shipping $0.03 Cap Shipping $0.02
Labels $0.13538 Labels $0.12
Labels Shipping $0.01 Labels Shipping $0.01
Total per Unit: $0.6603 Total per Unit: $0.4241

The differences between bottles and tubes are stark:

8 fl.oz. Bottle 8 fl.oz. Tube 4 fl.oz Bottle 4 fl.oz. Tube
Suppliers: 3 1 3 1
Components: $.60029 $.35 $.37413 $.30
Shipping: $.06 $.03 $.05 $.03
Totals: $0.6603 $0.38 $0.42413 $0.33
Percent Difference: / -42% / -22.19%


Are you able to find better pricing?

Even if you are successfully finding better pricing for bottles, you are probably purchasing the cap or pump separately and you are having these bottles either screen-printed or you are paying a manufacturer to print sticky labels.  Only after all the packaging arrives, usually from separate suppliers, BPI Labs must setup a long line of machines to load bottles, fill them, apply a cap, maybe apply a label, apply a screen code, and then feed them onto a collection table where they are boxed.  Our tubing machine does all of this by itself, which would meaningfully reduce your cost of manufacturing hand sanitizer.

If you can have all the packaging you’d want, from a single source, not including case or master pack, for the same price as bottles or for less, then why use bottles that come with the extra supply-chain hassle and manufacturing costs?  Bottles not only make less economic sense, but you can read here the many other reasons that tubes make more sense to manufacture and consume hand sanitizer than bottles.  Speaking of bottles, has anyone got a lead on some available sources for us?  Asking for a friend.

Size Availability

The tube sizes you can purchase include those in the table above, but given a large enough order and lead-time we could have custom parts purchased to fit many different size tubes into our new Norden tube filling machine.

BPI Labs will have the first Norden tube machine customized with additional safety features to make hand sanitizer in tubes a safe and efficient process.  Do you want to see the newly built tube machine in action?


The tubing service for hand sanitizer should become available to BPI Labs’ customers in August.  This means we must begin placing orders for tubes now if you would like to have them when the new service is launched .  We can connect you with one of our tube suppliers to have your packaging priced; just setup a meeting with us here or contact us directly today.

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