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What Are Totes In Logistics

December 31, 2021

what are totes in logistics

What Are Totes In Logistics, And Why Are They Important?

Totes in the logistics world are far more critical than you think. A tote is standard practice to carry and store commodities in the logistics industry. A tote is a container used to transport or store a significant amount of liquid, semi-solids, or solids in logistics. Plastic agriculture cases and bulk bins are other names for totes. However, intermediate bulk containers (IBC) are the most frequent solution in the supply chain management business.

Industries need something to carry their products, especially materials in smaller forms. When people hear of a tote, they typically think about the cloth form of a tote sold in retail. However, a tote holds a more important role within the logistics world and is usually more extensive, typically durable plastic used to transport raw materials. They are not limited to just plastic though, in many cases, it is dependent upon the materials needed and the required durability from the container in transportation.


A standard, intermediate bulk container is a plastic. The liquid volume handled varies between 330 and 400 million gallons. The bottom slopes are set at a 33-45 degree angle to facilitate liquid discharge. For liquid level measurement, tank walls are usually kept translucent. Corrosive compounds such as sodium phosphate, calcium hydroxide, alum, potash, and caustic fluoride are measured using several IBC scales. A waterproof case protects these scales.

The following are the standard features of these scales:

An IBC is a cube-shaped container meant to transport and store materials effectively, lowering transportation costs. Because these containers are washable, reusable, and recyclable, they are a versatile solution for various cargoes. For example, forklifts can easily lift IBCs for warehouse storage since they often have built-in pallets beneath them. Totes in logistics can also layer them for a seamless look.

example of ibc tote in logistics

What Is An IBC Tote?

A pallet-mounted, industrial-grade reusable intermediate bulk container (or IBC) stores and transports bulk liquids and powders. The IBC, sometimes known as a tote, can be stacked and transported using a pallet jack or forklift.

Rigid, foldable, and flexible IBCs are the three main types of IBCs now in use.

The term ‘intermediate’ refers to the volume of intermediate bulk containers, which is somewhere between tanks and drums. For example, the rigid IBC comes in two different sizes: 275 gallons and 330 gallons.

Common Uses Of A Tote In Logistics

IBCs typically store the following items:

All intermediate bulk containers are great for various applications, including aquaponics, general bulk storage, and rainwater collection for drinking or harvesting.

What Is An IBC Tote Made Of?

Dependent on several criteria: the totes reusability, the required durability, and legal constraints will determine an IBC’s tote manufacturing process. Polyethylene or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is ideal for the inside containers of cube-shaped rigid IBCs. Other materials, such as aluminum or galvanized iron, are also available. For example, HDPE is used to make TranPak’s IBCs. Galvanized tubular steel or iron is standard for the rigid exterior container or cage. Folding IBCs are robust polyethylene that folds inward when empty without a solid external enclosure. Flexible IBCs or bulk bags are woven polypropylene or polyethylene, among other heavy-duty materials.

bulk sand tote logistics

Not All Totes Are The Same

Totes come in a range of materials to suit their contents. Totes are primarily made of polyethylene plastic or metal by tote container manufacturers. Plastic IBCs usually transport caustic compounds like solvents and detergents. However, other flammable products may be transported in metal containers by distributors.

The shape of a tote container might be stiff or flexible. The stackable rigid tote tank is the sort you’ll see forklifted in warehouses. According to the law, an IBC can carry up to 793 US gallons of liquid. Poorly designed IBCs can lose structural integrity when utilized to store such huge weights. As a result, many stiff plastic IBCs are caged within steel tubing by tote bin manufacturers to make them more stable during transport and storage.




The Manufacturing Process For Totes In Logistics

Totes have an exciting manufacturing process in logistics. Rotational molding, sometimes known as rotomolding, is the most common technology used by tote manufacturers to create IBCs. An interior mold is heated and then filled with a material such as plastic or metal during rotomolding. The softened material coats the inside of the mold as it spins. As a result, the material shapes a tote container when removed from the mold by tote producers.

Choose a rotomolding firm with the equipment and ability to create totes in various sizes and thicknesses when looking for the best rotomolding company. This company will help you choose the best material for your project.

An IBC tank’s container usually comprises high-density polyethylene (HDPE). IBC containers are aluminum, galvanized iron, and other materials when HDPE is absent. An IBC tank’s outside cage is usually built of robust material like steel or iron. If you’re employing an IBC tank as part of an explosion-hazard zone, the outer enclosure will be more like a shell, totally covering the tank with a sheet of steel.

Polypropylene is excellent for fabricating numerous valves and smaller parts used to build an IBC. Another popular material used in some of the smaller pieces is plastic.

are totes food safe logistics

Are Totes In Logistics Food Grade & Safe?

Yes, many IBC totes are FDA compliant and BPA-free for a wide range of food products. Food-grade IBCs have materials of virgin HDPE or corrugated plastic. They are UN certified for storing and carrying chemicals in addition to being ideal for food storage and shipping, making them some of the most flexible and extensively usable containers. They also make unique totes that are typically called “Corrugate.”

Corrugate– Cardboard IBC packaging methods are light and eco-friendly. These come unassembled; however, they can be put together under a minute by one person. In addition, corrugate IBCs are ideal for storing and distributing liquid meals and non-hazardous substances because they are FDA compliant and kosher once built.

Can A Tote Transport Water?

Industrial liquids and hazardous chemicals are perfect for intermediate bulk containers or IBCs. On the other hand, these heavy-duty containers are ideal for keeping water. An IBC water tank can hold a large amount of water, and its adaptable form and portability make it suitable for this job. IBC water tanks are a cost-effective solution to store water because they can be used for various purposes and are reusable. IBC water tanks are commonly found on building sites or in massive warehouses, but they can have a variety of other applications.

People can securely store water in an IBC water tank for a long time, but we must rotate it at least once every six months. Because water can become poisonous if kept in plastic for too long, it’s best to keep it as fresh as possible. Before drinking water left for an extended period, you should do a quality test. Yes, a tote can transport water. Totes are typically made out of strong, durable materials like canvas or nylon that can hold liquids without seeping through and breaking down quickly. This makes them an ideal choice for transporting large amounts of water over short distances where waterproofing isn’t a necessity. Some totes also have extra features like straps or handles that make it easier to move the load – making them an even better option for transporting liquid payloads over short distances.

How Long Does A Tote Last In The World Of Logistics?

The IBC’s ability to pass frequent DOT-shipping inspections, permitting it for continuous use, is highly dependent on its utilization. For example, poly-caged totes are usually in use for more than seven years in various fields, and rigid HDPE IBCs have been in use for over ten years, while IBC tanks made of carbon and stainless steel have been in service for more than 20 years. However, heat, high corrosives/caustics, semi-compatible materials, continuous pressure, and harsh weather exposure can all shorten an IBC’s service life. The life of a tote in the world of logistics can vary depending on many factors, such as its material, carrying capacity, intended use, and storage environment. Generally speaking, totes made of lightweight materials such as plastics can last up to five years with proper maintenance and handling.

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