Optimize your business processes for IBC 

supply chain management challenges in chemical industry

Digitization is leading the innovation in all major industries and the chemical industry is no exception. 

Managing chemical & petrochemical supplies has become more and more challenging and all key players in this industry, from the producer to the end-user, require innovative solutions to transform logistics. Sensors and the Internet of Things can meet this requirement.

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common challenges


Creating insights for stock levels is key to manage the return on working capital. 

Never running out of stock and never facing exceeding stock is today’s largest challenge in stock management. 

Maintaining a high level of responsiveness to stock management issues increases customer satisfaction. 



Sending trucks not fully loaded to deliver goods is creating increased logistics costs.

Not being able to return IBCs on time causes extra fees to be paid.  

Reducing both extra costs blocks is mandatory in today’s competitive environment. 



Complying to REACH regulatory is a time consuming but necessary effort. 

Finding goods that have been delivered to the wrong part of the plant consumes time and prevents employees from doing their day to day job. 

Safety can never be weighed against production effectiveness. 


A smart monitoring solution

Nanolike IBC monitoring creates a real-time insight on the entire value chain and increases the return on working capital.

Knowing the inventory situation of the entire supply chain allows optimizing logistics costs.

Compliance to REACH regulatory can be handled more precisely and efficiently.

Digitizing the supply chain will help to shape sustainable efficiency. 


Nanolike designed an innovative solution using IoT measuring and monitoring the fill level of your IBC tanks.
Nanolike connected smart tanks provide fill level and geolocation information remotely and in real-time.


Know the current level of your IBCs remotely and in real-time.


Prevent damage and financial losses.


Keep an eye on all your IBCs & locate lost or unused IBCs.


Create constant insight via Dashboard.

frequently asked questions

The IBC has earned fame and recognition in fields from food production to construction. The tanks are lighter, more efficient, and often cheaper than other shipping alternatives. 

The Intermediate Bulk Container comes in a variety of designs and litres capacities, each crafted from high-quality materials and optimized for the intended shipping purpose. 

Because each unit is optimized for shape, weight, and recyclability, manufacturers choose IBCs to add value to each shipment and keep prices low at every point in the process. Read on to learn the answers to some frequently-asked-questions regarding these unique shipping containers.

The Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) is a cube-shaped shipping container that is stackable. More efficient than the preceding shipping drums and barrels, the IBC is used in shipping and storage, as the containers pack tightly whether in transit or in a close contact warehouse setting. 

The IBC tank is considered intermediate only if it falls within a certain litre capacity range. To earn the title, a unit must be able to contain more litres of a product than a typical shipping drum (415 litres) and fewer litres than an intermodal tank container (3000 litres). Additionally, most IBCs are between 90×90 cm and 115×115 cm. and can store more goods in less space than the pallet system could.

Beyond the factors of size and capacity, these storage totes come in many different designs, separated by rigidity or flexibility. The Rigid IBC (RIBC) generally has a plastic bottle or tank supported by a metal cage made of a standard or stainless steel, which allows the containers to stack without damage. The Flexible IBC (FIBC) has softer sides reinforced with stitching or other substances to help it hold its cubic shape. The FIBC folds flat when empty, and both types tend to be lightweight.

The rigid intermediate bulk container is made of a plastic bottle liner and a metal mesh cage. Like the typical storage drum, the IBC is ideal for shipping liquids in the industrial context. Some manufacturers alter the materials of the bottle, opting for high-density plastic or metal, while others replace the standard steel cage with stainless steel to add structure and prevent rust. Some even replace the steel mesh with carbon steel, which reduces the overall weight of the highly stackable IBC. All RIBC units have a cap on top for filling and a valve or spout near the bottom for spill-free pouring.

The Flexible IBC tote is made of woven polyethylene fabric and folds when empty. Some models utilize a variety of materials to reinforce the tote or customize the bag for hazardous chemical containment and dust prevention. All are equipped with loops to make it mobile and transferable by pallet jack or forklift. Some models sport custom accessories, such as a duffle top and spout or valve mechanism on the bottom for easy filling and emptying.

The price point of the IBC tank depends on the size and state of the container as well as the product being shipped. Certain specialty containers, such as industrial-strength stainless steel tanks and carbon steel IBCs, sport equally impressive price tags, while others, like the plastic bottle and steel cage RIBC or typical spout bottom FIBC, are more common and affordable for everyday shipping and storage use

Price Point of an RIBC

An RIBC can be purchased in a variety of materials, designs, and capacities, allowing for some specialized and heavy-duty shipping containers. Each model is available in different conditions from new to recycled. The examples of prices below refer to various conditions of the most popular IBC tank litre capacity, the rigid 1000 litres tank with a plastic bottle and steel cage.


This IBC tote is the least expensive because all components have been used previously. Recycling programs help to keep the cost of these units low, and companies can trade used units for washed ones, further lowering the price. The reconditioned IBC bottle units are popular when sterility is not a concern, though washing codes add credibility and ensure that the units are clean upon arrival.


A highly popular choice across all industries, the rebottled IBC tote keeps the original wire mesh but adds a new bottle, ensuring that the interior of the container is sterile and food safe. The rebottled IBC is popular where contamination poses a risk, such as the food and chemical industries.


In the new model, both the bottle and cage come fresh from production. Products shipped in these tanks are free from the risk of contamination and will not spill in transit. This premium quality model is highly popular in the food industry for its guaranteed sterility.

Like the rigid intermediate bulk containers, FIBC totes offer a variety of models and materials. This helps consumers choose the type of bag that best suits the task while preventing excess spending on traits that the consumer doesn’t need. Most models fall between the 90×90 cm and 115×115 cm. The examples of prices below are for the 90×90 cm model per unit, and prices decrease when the units are purchased in bulk.

Open Top

This wide mouth shipping bag is about as basic as it gets, with nothing but reinforced fabric and loops to facilitate lifting. As the bag doesn’t close on top, limiting the potential uses of the bag, this model is best for shipping large items, such as packaging construction debris or firewood. The standard flat bottom bag is less common due to its limitations, and orders must be specially placed ahead of time.

Duffle Top

The duffle bag closes with a drawstring to keep products contained and dry during shipping. The bag has no bottom spout, so items shipped with a standard duffle top should be emptied and used all at once. The bag is emptied by cutting the bottom in an X shape, and this style of bag is uncommon like its open-top relative.

Duffle Top, Spout Bottom

The duffle top tote with a spout bottom provides many of the same features as the standard duffle top flat bottom bag. The duffle top increases the versatility of the bag while the spout has a safety mechanism to prevent product spillage. The packaging innovations of the bag create a cleaner and simpler emptying experience for a slightly higher price per unit.

Lined Bag, Duffle Top, Spout Bottom

This bag is lined with a variety of materials intended to minimize the spill of finely ground product material. Some lining materials make the bag sturdier while others prevent static and minimize the potential for dangerous contact when shipping hazardous chemicals.

The IBC is an effective and optimized shipping container that has become highly valued in several industries. The technology and innovation used in each packaging design make them beneficial to manufacturers and customers alike for several reasons.

IBCs Increase Safety

With sturdy materials and creative designs, IBCs are designed to protect the goods that they ship. Each custom-made container suits the product being shipped, guaranteeing that it will arrive in good condition. Furthermore, some containers, such as the steel tank IBC units, utilize materials for the containment of hazardous chemicals which could hurt the people loading and unloading the tanks in contact. Some totes are also designed for fire prevention, as warehouse fires risk both the goods and the safety of the workers.

IBCs Save Space

Due to its shape and size, the IBC is an optimized and stable shipping container. Each unit packs as much product as possible into space while the rigid cage encourages the stackability and compactibility of the containers. The flexibility of FIBCs allows them to mold to the product inside, saving space when the totes are in full contact with their neighbors. Because of the size and shape, an IBC can pack more goods in less space than the standard pallet shipping can.

IBCs Increase Productivity

Because each load of goods shipped with IBC units instead of the pallet system requires fewer overall units, each trip requires fewer trips with a pallet jack or forklift. This saves time during both loading and unloading of products. Further, the RIBC has a spout that allows for quick and easy disposal of the items inside, saving even more time in the shipping process.

IBCs Decrease Costs

Each IBC load ships more goods than could be shipped in a comparable load of pallets. At the same time, IBC units are sealed with cap and spout and optimized to ensure 100% emptying efficiency, preventing product loss along the way. Though a standard IBC can hold between 500 kg and 1,000 kg, the containers are light for the weight efficiency of each load. Finally, the units themselves are reusable, minimizing product waste and replacement costs to add overall value.

IBC Implications

The IBC is a low cost, lightweight shipping option that helps to solve problems across many industries. From food production and fuel heating to plastic manufacturing, IBC totes are found in nearly every production industry and cut costs across the board. IBCs have even earned the role of a hero during disaster relief situations, with RIBCs storing drinking water while FIBCs restraining flood water. With its low costs, increased safety, reusable tanks, and optimized storage in shipping, the IBC has proven it benefits producers and consumers alike regardless of the product it contains.

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