Greif’s Intermediate Bulk Container Products
As a leader in the industrial packaging industry, Greif takes pride in crafting high-quality intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) to facilitate the storage, handling, and transport of various materials and substances. Due to their efficiency and versatility, these cube-shaped containers are in high demand for producers and manufacturers of all kinds.
To meet this demand, Greif has released a line of IBCs meant to serve clients in all industries. The basic Greif IBC – the GCUBE – comes with a variety of pallet choices, and the company also offers specific versions of the GCUBE to meet the needs of certain industries, such as food producers. Greif also supplements its IBCs with services that include industrial recycling, environmental impact management, and packaging inventory management.
The following article focuses solely on Greif’s line of IBC products and services. For Greif’s other offerings, see this general analysis of the company’s products and services.
What are Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs)?
Intermediate bulk containers, or IBCs, are multi-use containers meant to facilitate the handling, transport, and storage of industrial materials and substances.
A typical IBC is cube-shaped and fits on a standard pallet. IBCs are designed to be reusable, and they can hold a variety of substances, including bulk chemicals, raw materials, food production ingredients, and water.
IBCs first emerged as a more efficient alternative to traditional cylindrical containers. Their large size enables them to hold more material per pallet, and their cubic shape makes them easier to pack and store in warehouses or shipping containers.
Typically, IBCs fall into one of two categories – rigid or flexible. Rigid IBCs are made of hard plastic, composite, or steel, and they are meant to retain their shape during storage, shipping, and use. Flexible IBCs, on the other hand, are meant to collapse when the unit is empty, so they are typically made of wood, fiberboard, aluminum, or plastic. In general, rigid IBCs are more commonly used than flexible ones.
Greif’s IBC Products
To meet its customers’ demands for high-quality IBCs, Greif has developed a core product called the GCUBE – a durable plastic container meant to withstand the demands of industrial storage and transit.
However, Greif’s GCUBE is not a one-size-fits-all solution. While it provides a strong basis for Greif’s IBC products, Greif offers various versions of the GCUBE to fit different customers’ needs.
GCUBE IBC – Wooden Pallet
The GCUBE IBC – Wooden Pallet is Greif’s take on the classic palletized IBC. This sturdy product consists of a GCUBE IBC contained in a reinforced metal cage and affixed to a wooden pallet, and Greif recommends it for products that must be shipped over long distances.
This particular IBC is meant to withstand long journeys in shipping containers. The reinforced cage prevents damage during transit while the wooden pallet ensures that the product remains stable throughout the shipping process. The pallet is also optimized for packing and unpacking using forklifts and pallet jacks.
All GCUBE IBCs have custom options such as color, lids, and nameplates, and the wooden pallet can come in both standard and low sizes.
GCUBE IBC – Plastic Pallet
The Plastic Pallet GCUBE IBC contains the standard GCUBE and reinforced cage attached to a plastic pallet that meets food industry cleanliness standards. The pallet is strong yet flexible, and the metal cage offers resistance to damage.
This product comes with the standard custom features offered by Greif, such as valve selection, as well as optional features tailored to food industry clients, including slip resistance.
In general, this product is only recommended for clients who need packaging that meets rigorous cleanliness standards. Although Greif’s plastic pallet is high-performing, plastic is simply more prone to damage than wood.
GCUBE IBC – Hybrid Pallet
Greif’s Hybrid Pallet IBC offers customers the best of both worlds – low cost with moderate flexibility and high durability. This line of IBCs are designed for multi-way shipments and frequent storage.
Like other GCUBE units, the Hybrid Pallet model offers various custom features, and clients can choose between a sturdier frame design and a transportable easy-way design.
GCUBE IBC Shield
The GCUBE IBC Shield is an enhanced version of the GCUBE that offers extra protection for sensitive goods.
Greif’s Shield line of IBCs utilizes three-layer high-density polyethylene technology to protect stored goods from gas permeation. This technology ensures that sensitive chemicals will not lose potency through leakage or negatively react to external gases that may leech into the container.
In addition to this three-layer technology, the GCUBE IBC Shield offers valves with an over-coated HDPE layer that ensures only one material can come into contact with the contents of the container. The Shield line also has a variety of other specifications, such as the option to choose among wooden, plastic, or hybrid pallets.
GCUBE IBC Elektron
Like the IBC Shield, the GCUBE IBC Elektron is an enhanced version of Greif’s classic GCUBE. However, this model is meant for use in high-EX zones where flammable substances are produced.
The Elektron uses special additives to create an anti-static surface layer on the IBC, and all other features are modified for use in high-EX environments. The product also omits steel covers to avoid static creation and ensure that the product fill level is clearly visible.
Customers may order the Elektron IBC on either a wooden or hybrid pallet, and they may choose from most of Greif’s standard custom features when ordering the product.
GCUBE IBC Food
Greif also offers an IBC specifically designed to hold food products. To design this IBC, Greif partnered with food manufacturers to ensure that this container meets all applicable food storage standards, and it is manufactured in a “clean” environment to avoid food contamination.
The GCUBE IBC Food comes with a variety of customizable features, including pallet choice, a variety of food-grade valves, and color choice.
Greif’s IBC Services
In addition to its line of IBC products, Greif offers three services to enhance its customers’ ability to use their IBCs to their fullest potential while promoting sustainable practices.
EarthMinded Life Cycle Services
EarthMinded Life Cycle Services is Greif’s recycling program for IBCs and other industrial containers.
With EarthMinded, a company can schedule a pickup of its used IBCs, which are then reused responsibly. IBCs in good condition are reconditioned or remanufactured, and those recycled containers can be purchased through EarthMinded at a discount. The program recycles those containers that have reached the end of their life cycles and cannot be reused.
EarthMinded offers two tiers of collection services for businesses. The first, called Ecollect, simply offers businesses the opportunity to responsibly dispose of their IBCs at a small fee. Companies that frequently dispose of IBCs can opt for Ecollect+, which offers a customized program tailored to the client’s needs. EarthMinded also offers companies the option to reuse their own products by training businesses to recondition and reuse their own IBCs.
Greif’s Green Tool enables companies to better manage their environmental impact by providing insights into their packaging footprint.
The Green Tool has three primary functions. First, it enables Greif to provide companies with full sustainability reports that allow them to evaluate how their packaging practices impact the environment. The tool secondly assists companies with filing regulatory reports with their national and local governments, and it allows them to monitor whether they are on track to fulfill those requirements. Finally, the Green Tool contains features that help companies view and understand the environmental impacts of different types of packaging, allowing them to make informed decisions about their packaging purchases.
Vendor Inventory Management
Companies that purchase Greif IBCs can add a service called Vendor Inventory Management to further enhance their packaging logistics. With this program, Greif offers companies the ability to outsource their packaging, which can lower administrative costs and allow companies to focus more intently on their core business.
Vendor Inventory Management permits Greif to externally manage a company’s packaging needs through services such as automatic reordering and handling. Greif offers multiple levels of this service, which range from consignment to full Vendor Inventory Management, and the company tailors this service individually to each of its clients.
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