Four Things to Keep in Mind When Transporting Liquids in an IBC Tote

ibc container closeup

When it comes to transporting liquids, few containers are as effective as the IBC tote. These reliable containers are designed specifically for storing and transporting liquids, including flammable or hazardous materials. They’re easy to use, cost efficient and take up less space than plastic drums. If your facility uses IBC totes, keep these tips in mind to keep your liquids safe.

Why You Should Use IBC Totes for Liquids

  • Less Space, More Volume

IBC totes help you simplify your liquid storage needs. Totes can store anywhere from 119 to 703 gallons while taking up much less space than a series of 55-gallon drums — and you only have to move one container. Just slide a pallet under the tote and you can move hundreds of gallons in a fraction of the time it would take you to move all those barrels.

  • Perfect Container for Flammable Liquids

Made with a special lining, IBC totes are your best bet when it comes to moving and storing flammable liquids. When transporting flammable liquids in a chemical tote, you won’t have to worry about a container that rolls around, creating the potential for exploding the entire shipment. IBC totes have a cube shape that keeps them firmly rooted in one place for more peace of mind.

  • Easy Transfer

Picking up and moving these containers doesn’t take a lot of effort. With a wood or plastic pallet at your side, you can move these containers around with a forklift without a lot of trouble. They also come with a spout in front that lets you release the contents just by turning a knob.

chemical storage in warehouse

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Correct Labeling

All your IBC totes need to be properly labeled, including what they contain, when there were filled and how they should be stored. This is especially important if you run a large facility that stores or handles dozens or hundreds of totes. Your staff members should be able to know what’s inside without a lot of effort. Some totes may contain hazardous materials, so the person handling the container should always know what’s inside.

  • Inspect Beforehand

While many people are used to refilling IBC totes over and over again, don’t forget to inspect the container before each use. Be on the lookout for tiny imperfections such as holes, scrapes, missing labels and debris from your last shipment. If you’re filling a container with a different liquid, make sure you wash it out thoroughly to prevent cross-contamination. You also shouldn’t use totes that previously contained hazardous materials to store drinking water.

  • Don’t Overfill

Just like every other container, IBC totes come with strict capacity restrictions to make sure you don’t overfill them. If you pour too much liquid into one of these containers, all that excess weight could make the container unstable as it sways back and forth. The overfilled liquid could spill onto the floor or one of your employees, turning your work environment into a hazard. Staying under these capacity restrictions becomes even more important when you’re transporting flammable liquids.

used large plastic ibc containers

  • Keep It Secure

As easy as moving one of these totes can be, every tote is different. Some of these containers might throw you for a loop, so brush up on the container’s safe handling instructions. It’s usually best to lift these totes from the bottom using a pallet but be careful when operating a forklift to make sure you don’t accidentally puncture the plastic coating.

Use caution when sealing and unsealing the cover of the tote. Some liquids can create a great deal of pressure that may be released when you unseal the cover. Staff members should wear goggles and safety masks to protect themselves.

  • Check the Label

Not all IBC totes are designed for every type of liquid. Read the user manual to make sure your tote is up to the task at hand. The manual should have information regarding what you can store in the container. Some containers come with gaskets that can corrode over time, leading to product contamination or a chemical leak. Use caution and keep these user guidelines in mind when filling your IBC tote.

Using IBC Totes for Future Shipments

IBC totes are some of the most useful and reliable liquid storage containers on the planet. They come with everything you need to keep your liquids safe and sound. Remember to read the user manual or product label for more information, always lift and move these totes with care, and inspect your totes after every use. Follow these tips and your totes will be in great shape for years to come.