What Is an IBC Tote? Where to Buy Them and More: Your Ultimate Guide

Definition of IBC Tote

An IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container) tote is a large, reusable industrial container designed for the storage and transportation of liquids, chemicals, and bulk materials. These totes are typically constructed from sturdy materials like plastic or metal and are known for their durability and efficiency in handling and shipping various types of substances.

Understanding the Basics of IBC Totes

Key features of an IBC tote

  • Size: IBC totes come in various sizes, but they typically have a capacity ranging from 275 gallons (1,040 liters) to 330 gallons (1,250 liters). The standardized design allows them to be handled with forklifts or pallet jacks.
  • Structure: They consist of a pallet-like base with a cage or frame that surrounds a flexible or rigid inner container (bladder or bottle) to hold the liquid or material. The outer frame provides protection and support.
  • Fill and Discharge Ports: IBC totes have designated ports for filling and discharging the contents. These ports are equipped with various types of valves and fittings to facilitate efficient loading and unloading.
  • Stackability: IBC totes are designed to be stackable, which saves storage space when they are empty and makes them easier to transport.
  • Reusability: One of the key advantages of IBC totes is their reusability. They can be cleaned and refilled multiple times, making them a cost-effective and environmentally friendly choice for bulk material handling.
  • UN/DOT Certification: Many IBC totes are certified to meet international regulations for the transport of hazardous materials. This certification ensures that they are suitable for transporting a wide range of liquids, including chemicals and hazardous substances.
  • Versatility: IBC totes are used in various industries, including agriculture, food and beverage, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing, for storing and transporting liquids, powders, and granular materials.

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Types of IBC totes

There are several types of IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container) totes available, each designed to meet specific requirements and applications. The choice of IBC tote type depends on factors such as the type of material being stored or transported, the level of protection needed, and regulatory compliance. Here are some common types of IBC totes:

Standard IBC Totes

These are the most common type of IBC totes and are used for a wide range of non-hazardous liquids and bulk materials. They typically have a rigid plastic or metal cage surrounding a flexible inner liner or bottle.

Composite IBC Totes

Composite IBC totes are designed for more demanding applications and are constructed with a combination of materials. They often have a metal cage and a plastic bottle. This combination provides additional protection and durability, making them suitable for transporting hazardous materials.

Stainless Steel IBC Totes

These totes are made entirely of stainless steel and are ideal for storing and transporting corrosive materials or substances that need to be kept in a contamination-free environment, such as pharmaceuticals or food-grade liquids.

Collapsible IBC Totes

Collapsible IBC totes are designed for easy storage when not in use. The collapsible design reduces their volume, allowing for more efficient return shipping or storage of empty containers.

UN/DOT Certified IBC Totes

These totes meet specific regulations and certifications for the transportation of hazardous materials. They are designed with features like pressure relief valves and are rigorously tested to ensure compliance with safety standards.

Tote Bins

These are a variation of IBC totes that have a more solid construction with a hinged lid, making them suitable for the storage and transportation of dry or semi-dry materials, such as grains, powders, or small parts.

Hybrid IBC Totes

Hybrid IBC totes combine the features of different types of IBCs to meet specific requirements. For example, they might have a stainless steel frame and a plastic bottle, offering the benefits of both materials.

Food-Grade IBC Totes

These totes are specifically designed for storing and transporting food products. They are made from materials that meet food-grade standards and are often used in the food and beverage industry.

Aseptic IBC Totes

Aseptic IBC totes are designed for maintaining sterile or aseptic conditions during the transportation and storage of sensitive materials like pharmaceuticals and certain food products.

Specialty IBC Totes

These totes are customized or specially designed to meet unique requirements. They may include additional features like insulation, heating or cooling elements, and specialized fittings.


It’s essential to select the appropriate type of IBC tote for your specific application to ensure the safe and efficient handling of the materials you are working with while complying with relevant regulations and safety standards.

In the vast online market of IBC tote bags, iBourg stands as the unrivaled leader. With a diverse range of products, exceptional durability, and a keen eye for detail, iBourg consistently delivers excellence. Whether you require IBC totes for industrial, agricultural, or commercial purposes, iBourg’s offerings cater to all needs. Make the smart choice with iBourg, where quality meets affordability.

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