Tote Talk Blog

The 101 on IBCs: Everything You Need To Know About Intermediate Bulk Containers

Stainless steel totes or poly tanks? 350-gallons or 550-gallons? What are the DOT restrictions?

Ultimately, your container selection will depend on the type (and quantity) of liquid you need to move and how often you plan to move it. Need to move paint resins to a long-term client?  Stainless steel tote tanks are the way to go. But for a one-time transport of agricultural pesticides, poly tanks might be the better fit. The IBC shipping pros at Metano can help you find the right container in the correct size for your application. 


Dump the Drums: Reduce Costs with IBC Totes

Traditional methods of moving and storing liquids rely on standard 55-gallon round drums, an antiquated practice that has been proven to be less efficient and not nearly as cost effective as using stainless steel IBC tote tanks, or intermediate bulk contains (IBCs). With their ability to reduce cost via their decades of useful life, provide valuable practical storage capacities, and lower liabilities, IBCs are the modern way to ship liquids in a newer, better way.


Stainless Steel IBC Lid Installation Guidelines

Properly installing the lid on a stainless steel tote tank is crucial to ensuring the tote functions properly and safely. It is important when the stainless steel IBC leaves the shipper’s facility that the lid is installed correctly in order to comply with The Department of Transportation title 49 CFR 178.2. There are two main components to installing the lid on a tote. First the gasket must be  installed properly, and then the clamp ring must be tightened to 30 ft-lbs to comply with UN/DOT specifications.


Bottom Outlet on Stainless Steel IBCs

One of the many benefits of using stainless steel IBCs is that the product can be easily discharged out the bottom of the tote. Every stainless steel tote tank is going to have a bottom outlet assembly. The standard diameter for the outlet assembly is 2”. Our stainless steel tote tanks have a sloped bottom that allows the product to flow freely to the bottom outlet with the use of gravity. This allows for nearly complete product discharge and eliminates 99.5% of product residual in the tank. There are several common questions customers have related to the outlet of the tanks.

Custom Stainless Steel IBCs

For most businesses using stainless steel Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs), a standard tote configuration will suit their needs. Standard totes are the most cost effective and have the shortest lead times. Occasionally, a standard tote design does not meet the requirements of a specific application, and a custom IBC must be fabricated. Custom built IBCs can be configured in many different ways.  Some of the more common customization options include various sanitary fittings, level indicators, and additional fittings in the tank top.


UN/DOT Requirements for Stainless Steel IBCs

When shipping regulated products, as determined by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT),  it is necessary to select a container that is certified to transport regulated materials. A common solution is to ship regulated products using stainless steel tote tanks. Stainless steel totes are compatible with many different types of products, and are often designed to be compliant with DOT requirements. Three key features of UN/DOT certified IBCs are totes with current test dates, a fusible vent installed in the top, and a secondary closure on the outlet. 


Stainless Steel IBC Rental Advantages

Renting stainless steel IBCs is ideal for companies seeking reliable and cost-effective containers for shipping and storing large volumes of liquid products. From the outset, an IBC is a better sustainable choice than a drum because one 350-gallon IBC has more capacity than six drums, meaning fewer resources are used to transport the same volume of liquid. IBC rentals enable companies to utilize the full advantage of tote tanks without the significant investment involved of purchasing totes. 

Choosing a Stainless Steel IBC Size

Intermediate Bulk Container (IBCs) are UN/DOT certified tanks that are available in a variety of sizes and are used for transporting and storing liquids for numerous industries. Before purchasing an IBC, a number of factors need to be considered to determine what the ideal tote size will be for your operation. It’s important to carefully select the optimal tote capacity so that space is efficiently utilized when storing and shipping liquids.


Top Three Benefits of Poly Composite IBCs

Poly Composite IBCs are an alternative to using drums when transporting liquids.  There are a number of advantages to using poly composite IBCs, including low cost, no return freight and ready availability.  The large size and low cost make these intermediate bulk containers a very attractive option for companies looking for an efficient and cost effective method to ship liquids. 


Reconditioned Stainless Steel IBCs

Industry leaders know that stainless steel IBCs (IBCs) are an efficient and cost effective option for the bulk storage and transportation of liquids. Many companies have already reduced costs by switching from drums to IBCs.  Additional value can be gained by choosing qualified reconditioned stainless steel IBCs when available. Reconditioned IBCs offer all the advantages of new tote tanks, but with a significantly reduced cost.



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