Intermediate bulk containers, also commonly called IBC containers or IBC totes, are one of today's most popular options for shipping liquid goods in bulk. These versatile containers consist of a high-density polyethylene “bottle” that holds hundreds of gallons of liquid with a built-in tap system for easy dispensing, surrounded by a metal cage that protects the bottle and allows it to be moved by forklift.
Why are IBC totes so popular among shippers in all kinds of industries? The unique design of IBC containers gives them a variety of advantages that shippers love and makes great use in moving liquid goods around the world. We'll look at six of the top benefits of IBC containers.
Shipping materials are often a significant expenditure for bulk shipping businesses, so the cost savings that IBCs can provide can be a difference-maker. Their large capacity makes them effective for shipping huge amounts of goods at once, which allows for efficient shipping strategies. They're especially good for transporting bulk liquids that need to be portioned out later into smaller containers for end users, as businesses can ship just one container rather than several smaller ones.
On top of that,Ekhurlendi Drums goes further than other container companies to ensure that our customers get the best price on IBC containers, sourcing both new and used IBC containers. And as we'll talk about in a minute, we even recondition previously used containers.
IBC containers are ideal for storing and shipping many different kinds of cargo. Their universal design means that all kinds of materials, from industrial chemicals to food products, can be stored and transported inside them. They're especially great for hazardous materials shipping thanks to their durable design. A double valve design makes both filling and draining a snap—just open the top valve for filling and then use the bottom valve to dispense the product as needed into your vessel of choice.
Another big advantage of IBC containers is that they're easy to stack, handle and maneuver. IBC containers are designed to be easily picked up and moved by a standard pallet jack or forklift, and they can be moved directly rather than needing to be placed on a pallet. IBC containers also stack securely and stably on top of one another, facilitating efficient storage. These design features make them simple for warehouse workers to handle, creating efficiency and safety every day on the warehouse floor.
The “bottle,” or the inner portion of the IBC container, can be washed out and reused. Ekhurleni Drums offers professionally reconditioned IBC totes, cleaned using our intensive deep-cleaning process to remove all residue of previous materials. These reconditioned totes offer great cost savings and help improve the sustainability of your business's packing materials. Note that when shipping food and beverage items in an IBC container, you'll need to use a new IBC tote rather than a reconditioned one for food safety reasons.
HDPE, which IBC tote bottles are made from, is a strong, sturdy and lightweight plastic that's used in many different kinds of shipping materials. It's designed to stand up to all kinds of weather conditions, and it weighs much less than some other options, making it easier to handle and transport. HDPE is watertight and prevents potentially dangerous leaks from occurring while cargo is in transit, and it's also considered one of the most food-safe plastics that consumers use every day to store goods like water and dairy products.
Product waste is something no business wants, and many businesses love IBC containers because they can help reduce that waste. Other shipping methods, such as shipping drums, may not always make it easy to drain the container completely and can leave the product trapped inside. The easy-to-clean design of an IBC container simplifies the process of retrieving every bit of product in the container, helping businesses stretch their dollars farther and contributing to a more sustainable business model.