Intermediate bulk container  
  Definition: Intermediate bulk container

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Type: Glossary & Dictionary

Category: Container

Dictionary Definition

An Intermediate bulk container (IBC) is a container used for transport and storage of fluids and bulk materials. The construction of the IBC container and the materials used are chosen depending on the application, i.e. there are various types available in the market.

- foldable (collapsable) IBC Container
- Plastic composite IBC Container
- Steel IBC Container
- Stainless steel IBC Container

There are many advantages to the IBC concept. They are generally cubic in form and therefore can transport more material in the same area than cylindrically shaped containers and far more than might be shipped in the same space if packaged in consumer quantities. They rely on plastic liners that can be filled and discharged with a variety of systems. The manufacturer/processor of a product can bulk package a product in one country and ship to many other countries at a reasonably low cost where it is subsequently packaged in final consumer form in accordance with the regulations of that country and in a form and language suitable for that country. IBCs range in size but are generally between 700 mm and 2000 mm in height. The length and width of an IBC is usually dependent on the country's pallet dimension standard.

IBCs may have pallet-like bases so that forklifts can move them.

It is common for IBCs to be able to fold down into a compact profile, reducing their height for transportation and storage when empty. IBCs in almost all cases can be stacked vertically.

Depending on the size of the IBC, it can weigh between 90 kg and 1200 kg.

IBCs may ship and store:

Bulk chemicals including hazardous materials or dangerous goods if the IBC is proven suitable
Some liquid food products, such as sugar
soap, glue, ...

Intermediate bulk containers may be purchased or leased. Bar code and RFID tracking systems are available with associated software.

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