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Intermediate Bulk Containers 101

What are IBCs?

IBCs or intermediate bulk containers are closed shipping vessels typically used for the storage and transportation of liquids referenced in the Code of Federal Regulations and the Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods from the United Nations. If your company handles combustible and flammable liquids, then these containers are ideal for your packaging solutions.

Different types

There are only three types of intermediate bulk containers permitted inside an industrial space building: metal, rigid plastic, and composite. Keep this in mind if this is similar to your work environment. However, only liquids that have a closed cup flash point that amounts to 38 C or greater may be stored in these containers.

Fire hazards

Before you check out composite intermediate bulk containers, make sure you’re well aware of the dangers they pose. Pool fires can result when these containers are put in a warehouse. Extreme heat can be a possible trigger. Also, composite intermediate bulk containers are often easy to breach which can be a factor in the situation. Make sure you put in measures to keep pool fires from happening.


It’s important to note that improper storage can also lead to devastating consequences. It would be best to make sure the intermediate bulk containers you use are properly handled and stored. Train your team to recognize situations and risks. Address them as soon as possible.

Reduce risks

Increase the levels of sprinklers at the facility that will house your intermediate bulk containers. You’ll want to add other possible ways to protect the facility against hazards, the NFPA says.


Find a reliable and trustworthy supplier of IBCs. Quality products are designed to last longer and perform better, ensuring better safety levels at your facility as well. That’s one reason you should never compromise on quality when you look for a supplier.