Tote Talk Blog

Stainless Steel IBCs Are Better Than Drums

Stainless steel IBCEven in these modern times, the liquid packaging industry maintains its standing as the most efficient and cost effective method of transportation services. With that, proven traditional methods of shipping are hard to change because of the long term success.  Keeping a watchful eye on possible improvements can help you help your customers benefit from newer and better shipping methods.

For regulated liquid shipments, such as chemicals, petrochemical, and pharmaceuticals, the traditional cylindrical drums used in the United States are becoming the second best choice with stainless steel tote tanks, or intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), quickly taking the lead.  This is not without reason. By reducing costs, offering lower liability, providing superior storage utilization, and helping your company’s green status, stainless steel tote tanks can prove to be the best choice for your shipping needs.

Reduced costs

For both the transporter and the end user, IBCs help reduce costs.  In transportation, stainless steel stainless steel totes totes save man hours over traditional loading and unloading because the squared shape offers more versatility than drums. The additional capacity utilized by totes far outweighs the traditional 4 drums on a pallet.  You can fit six 55-gallon drums of product into one 350-gallon tote tank! Labor is reduced in handling because a single worker can handle loading using a forklift. Likewise, the space on the transporting truck is better utilized so that the load itself is more efficient.

For the end user, overall costs are reduced in maintaining the space where the IBC is stored between transports because of the stacking capabilities of totes.  And the ability to fully drain a stainless steel tote tank without the use of a pump means less product is left behind or wasted. Measuring the unused product left behind in drums and multiplying that times the number of drums shipped on a regular basis, will produce a number that’s probably higher than you expect. But rather than having to report that number as a loss per month, the use of IBCs means you can report that number as cost savings.

Lower liability

Using stainless steel totes can immediately improve working conditions for your employees. Available in several capacities, the tote tanks are loaded by forklift, rather than a hand cart, and can be placed in a uniform layout rather than the inefficient layout required for cylinders.

Because of the more efficient shape, IBCs can dramatically cut down on workplace injuries from accidents and carelessness.

Superior storage

Additionally, the rectangular shape is more practical for warehouse storage.  A single 350-gallon stainless steel tote uses less space than six 55-gallon drums and requires much less work to move. The modular shape helps them fit in storage more efficiently, which means they can reduce wasted space. IBCs can also be stacked just as high as drums, but they hold more product within the same height.

Green status

Stainless steel tote tanks provide more environmental benefits than the traditional drums. IBCs are ibc rentalreusable, returnable, and recyclable. By re-using the containers rather than manufacturing new units, a green-wise company can reduce their carbon footprint. Stainless steel is inherently diffusion-free, so properly cleaning the tote tank means that the tank can be effectively used an unlimited number of times.

After a stainless steel tote unit has surpassed its service life, the raw materials can be cleaned and reprocessed into a new product. Stainless steel is one of the few recyclable materials that has a high percentage of re-use, and serves the environment by not populating landfills.

With a lifespan of over 20 years, stainless steel tote tanks can mean cost savings for your company over a long period, saving money on labor, storage, and freight costs.

To learn more about Intermediate Bulk Containers, visit, or feel free to call us at (800) 634-4128.





Topics: intermediate bulk container, stainless steel IBCs

We welcome your comments


Subscribe to Email Updates