Tote Talk Blog

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.

Tote Tank Dimensions

350-gal ss ibcStainless steel IBCs are available from 180 to 550 gallons, with 350-gallons being by far the most commonly used size. A standard tote has base dimensions of 42” x 48”, with the height varying depending on the capacity. 350-gallon totes, for example, have an approximate overall height of 47". Having IBCs with the same base dimensions allows the totes to stack, even when they are different capacities. Stacking is crucial in optimizing space both in transit and in the plant. Due to their rectangular shape, one 350-gallon IBC fits more liquid than six 55-gallon drums, yet it only takes up as much space as four drums.

Tote Capacity and Batch Sizes

Often the best tote size is determined by the production run of the company or their customer.  It is beneficial to match the tote capacity to the size of the batch.  This allows for production to easily schedule the number of totes required to be filled .  There are no leftover totes or half-filled totes.  For the customer, having the tote capacity equal their batch size makes it simple for them to place an order with their supplier.

Tote Capacity in a Warehouse

stacked stainless steel IBCsIt is also important to consider how the totes will fit at the facility they will be used at.  Whether the totes are being stored in a warehouse or on the floor in the production facility, economical movement and storage of the totes should be considered. As long as the base dimensions are the same, the ability for the totes to stack makes the use of totes a tremendous asset.  Stainless steel 350-gallon totes can be stacked up to four high.

Another consideration for capacity is weight.  While the 550-gallon stainless steel IBC has the largest capacity, it is also the heaviest when full.  The ss550 has a tare weight of 630 lbs. plus 550-gallons of product.  Be sure to consider total weight when looking at various capacities.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Stainless steel tote tanks come in a variety of sizes, ranging in capacity from 180 to 550 gallons. The wide range of sizes enables all companies to find the right IBC for their operation. Whether specializing in small-batches or manufacturing large quantities, there is a tote tank that is the right capacity for your liquid transportation and storage needs. 

To get all your intermediate bulk container questions answered, send us an email, or call us at 1-800-634-4128.

drums vs ibcs

Topics: IBC totes

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