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IBC Totes

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One of the main concerns for shipping companies is finding containers that are large enough to ship large quantities but flexible enough to fit into a variety of transportation methods. This was a serious issue that seemed irresolvable until the early part of the 1990s when the concept of the intermediate bulk container was conceived. Read More…

IBC Totes One of the main concerns for shipping companies is finding containers that are large enough to ship large quantities but flexible enough to fit into a variety of transportation methods. This was a serious issue that seemed irresolvable until the early part of the 1990s when the concept of the intermediate bulk container was conceived.
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Leading Manufacturers

Mobile, AL  |  800-226-1134

With over 100 years combined experience, All Plastics and Fiberglass has the experience to handle all your plastic and fiberglass needs.

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All Plastics and Fiberglass, Inc. $$$

Fort Wayne, IN  |  800-228-7716

Specializing in fabricated plastic tanks such as water tanks, polypropylene tanks, polyethylene tanks and storage tanks, Park Plastic Products is capable of making your plastic tank in any size or dimension.

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Park Plastic Products $$$

Orange, CA  |  877-768-6585

Roto Dynamics Inc., custom rotational molders serving rotomolding and plastic tank needs nationwide. We are dedicated to our customers manufacturing needs. Building customer relationships based on integrity and communication assists us in developing a competitive advantage within the industry.

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Roto Dynamics Inc. $$$

West Babylon, NY  |  800-275-2436

Chem-Tainer Industries has been manufacturing quality plastic tanks, plastic drums, plastic septic tanks, polyethylene tanks, water storage tanks and double wall tanks for over 40 years. Our polyethylene tanks hold from 2-15,000 gallons and we have hundreds in-stock of standard sizes.

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Chem-Tainer Industries, Inc. $$$

Plymouth, IN  |  574-936-6022

For over 40 years, AK Industries has manufactured rotationally molded plastic septic tanks and residential gravity tanks. Our poly water tanks are popular due to watertight design and ease of handling. If you seek poly sewage basins and sumps, fiberglass basins and covers or accessories, you'll find them here too.

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AK Industries Inc. $$$
placeholder image All Plastics and Fiberglass, Inc. Park Plastic Products Roto Dynamics Inc. Chem-Tainer Industries, Inc. AK Industries Inc.

What is an IBC Tote?

In the abbreviated version, an IBC tote is a shipping container that is larger than a drum but smaller than a tank. It is the ideal size for shipping large amounts of liquid or granular materials but small and adaptable enough to fit a variety of shipping methods.

IBC totes are designed to haul liquids, hazardous and caustic materials, food products, fuel, and granular substances. They are produced in a variety of sizes from ones that can hold 120 gallons, up to ones that are capable of handling over 500 gallons.

There are a wide variety of materials used to produce IBC totes with high density plastic (HDPE) being the most common. Regardless of the raw material, the majority have the same form, which is a pallet, tank, and cage. The storage tank of the tote is enclosed in a metal cage that is attached to a pallet. This design makes it easier to move the tote with a pallet jack or forklift.

Totes are the ideal size to be placed in a storage rack, fit in a railroad car, or shipped in the hold of an air transport. Prior to the development of the tote, materials were shipped in large cylinders that did not easily fit in the many varieties of shipping methods. This was the main motivating factor behind their development.

Materials Used to Produce IBC Totes

When producing IBC totes, the first consideration that manufacturers use to determine the type of raw material to be used to produce the tote is the type of substance that will be stored and shipped in it. Though HDPE plastic is the most common form of raw material, there are other materials such as fiberglass, steel, wood, and aluminum that may better fit a customer’s needs.

Another factor regarding the choice of materials is the number of times the tote will be used since totes may be used one time or continually depending on the materials that are shipped in them. One time use totes have to be made of recyclable materials that will not absorb any hazardous or dangerous substances.

Benefits of IBC Totes

The most critical factor in choosing to use IBC totes is their flexibility and adaptability. They are designed to fit easily on a truck or railroad car as well as be able to be placed for storage in a warehouse. This single feature was the reason for their development.

For convenience of loading and unloading, totes are equipment with drains, valves, and spouts that can be designed to fit any type of substance or material. This particular feature enhances their ability to be used to ship or store a variety of materials.

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