Industrial Bulk Containers, or IBCs, are large-capacity containers for storing and transporting bulk liquids and other materials. IBC totes come in various shapes and sizes, but one of the most popular types is the rigid IBC tote. Many different industries rely on the strength and durability of intermediate bulk containers, for example, the food and beverage industry, oil, pharmaceuticals, and more. In this blog post, we'll look at some of the pros and cons of rigid IBC totes so that you can decide if they're the right choice for your business.
Rigid and flexible IBCs
IBC tanks come in two main classes: rigid and flexible. Rigid containers can be made either in plastic, metal cardboard, composite plastic, or metal. Typically, flexible IBCs have a plastic outer shell with reinforced plastic material to support them. The two versions include integrated platform mounts that are easy to maneuver or stack on an automatic forklift. Folding IBCs are the subset of flexible IBC tanks that are molded in durable plastic that folds outward at their bottom.
Pros of Rigid IBC Totes:
- Increased Strength and Stability - Because rigid IBC tanks are made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), they're much stronger and more stable than traditional metal or glass containers. This makes them ideal for storing and transporting liquids and other materials that need to be kept safe and secure.
- Improved Efficiency - Rigid IBC tanks are also more efficient than traditional containers because they're stackable. This means that you can store more material in less space, which can save you money on transportation and storage costs.
- Safer to Use - Rigid intermediate bulk containers are safer than traditional containers because they're designed with safety in mind. For example, many IBC tanks have built-in spill containment systems that prevent accidents and injuries. They also are more easily stacked vertically than other containers saving on space while also remaining more stable and safe.
- Smaller carbon footprint - Rigid tanks are advantageous to logistics. Using cubic or rectangle-shaped totes stackable allows increased packing efficiency, and the product is also more cost-effective for transport and storage. In addition, environmental advantages have emerged since the use of the container can provide fewer emissions by reducing carbon emissions compared to cylindrical shaped containers and, in particular, consumer packages or smaller containers.
- Built for demanding conditions - IBC tanks come in various dimensions and many different sizes ranging from 120 - 550 gallons. They aren't only built just to hold bulk liquids or transport liquids, but even more specifically, at times to hold and transport chemicals or flammable liquids that need to meet federal regulations for safety.
Cons of Rigid IBC Totes:
- Increased Cost - One of the main disadvantages of rigid IBCs is that they're more expensive than traditional containers. This is due to the increased strength and stability that high-density polyethylene (HDPE) provides. However, the long-term savings on transportation and storage costs may offset the initial investment.
- Limited Availability - Another downside of rigid IBCs is that they're not always readily available when you need them. This is because they're typically made to order, which can take weeks or even months, depending on the manufacturer's schedule.
- Heavy Weight - Rigid IBCs are also much heavier than traditional containers, making them difficult to move around. This is especially true if you need to empty a tank that's stored in an elevated position. Though a pallet jack can make a difference with moveability.
Is a Rigid Intermediate Bulk Container Right for You?
Overall, rigid intermediate bulk containers have many advantages over traditional containers. They're stronger, more stable, more efficient, and safer to use. However, they also have disadvantages, such as increased cost and limited availability. If you're considering using rigid intermediate bulk containers for your business, weigh the pros and cons carefully to decide if they're right for you.