Published: Feb, 2018

The global metal intermediate bulk containers (IBC) market features an extremely fragmented landscape as the top ten players account for a meagre shares of less than 5.0% of the global market in 2017, finds Transparency Market Research (TMR). Companies holding a position of strength include Syspal Ltd., Plymouth Industries, Brookeson Material Handling Ltd., Obal Centrum s.r.o., SCHÄFER WERKE GmbH, CLA CONTAINERS LTD, Acura Group, Transtainer, Hawman Container Services, and Titan IBC. Some other prominent players are Pensteel Ltd., Automationstechnik GmbH, Sharpsville Container Corporation, Yenchen Machinery Co., Ltd., Metano IBC Services, Inc., Snyder Industries, Inc., Custom Metalcraft, Precision IBC, Inc., Hoover Ferguson Group, Thielmann US LLC, and Time Technoplast Ltd. Of note, Time Technoplast collected a revenue of US$372.8 mn in 2017, globally.

Leading players are expanding their capabilities, in a move to strengthen their product portfolio and expand their production capacities. In addition, a number of top players are focused on upgrading intermediate bulk containers with advanced track and trace technologies. Several players are offering IBCs furnished with radio-frequency identification (RFID) notably for the transportation of industrial chemicals, in order to gain a competitive edge over others, TMR observes. Furthermore, they are actively engaged in improving customer service and reduce the overall cost, with an aim to consolidate their positions. 

The global metal intermediate bulk containers market stood at US$ 1,334.4 Million and is projected to rise at a CAGR of 4.1% from 2017 to 2027. By the end of the forecast period, the market is anticipated to reach a valuation of US$ 1,995.0 Million.

The various types of content transported by metal IBC can be categorized into solids and semi solids and liquids. Of the two, the liquid segment led the market in 2017 and is estimated to account for a revenue share exceeding 85% by 2027 end. The growth is attributed to the widespread application of metal IBCs in transporting a variety of liquid materials.

On geographical front, North America led the global market in 2017 and is expected to hold its sway in the coming years as well. The burgeoning demand for meeting modern and robust containerization needs among several emerging end-use industries, notably waste disposal and food industries accounts for the dominance. The regional market will reach a worth of US$621.7 million by the end of 2022. However, Asia Pacific is prognosticated to rise at a higher CAGR supported by rapid rise in cross-border trade and economic activities in the region. 

metal ibc market

Demand For Advanced Containerization Solutions for Bulk Transportation of Liquid to Boost Market

The drive for metal IBCs stems from the robust need for containerization of a wide range of consumer products. The substantially rising demand for metal IBCs to meet the transportation and storage needs of a variety of solid and liquid substances, including industrial chemicals, is a key factor boosting the market. The rising demand for advanced containerization solutions for the bulk transportation of liquid across borders in various parts of the globe is a crucial factor accentuating the market. The rising economic activities in developing regions and the burgeoning cross-border trade are expected to bolster the uptake. In several emerging nations, the intensifying government initiatives to boost the volume of trades across neighboring countries is likely to aid in the rapid expansion of the metal IBC market. The growing adoption of containerization in the shipping industry world over for the safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation of products is a noteworthy trend propelling the demand for IBCs. The salient role played by IBCs in improving the warehouse management is a significant factor catalyzing the market’s growth.

The low cost of manufacturing prevalent in various parts of emerging regions, notably Asia Pacific, is providing a robust fillip to the IBC market.

Burgeoning use of Metal IBCs in Safe Transportation of Hazardous Chemicals Presents Lucrative Prospects

However, the availability of low cost alternate transportation solutions, such as those of plastic IBCs, and the substantial demand for flexible IBCs are crucial factors crippling the growth of the overall market. On the other hand, the demand for metal IBCs is expected to gather pace in the safe transportation of hazardous chemicals in various parts of the world. The market is also likely to benefit from the boost offered by intermodal transportation.

Furthermore, the advent of tailor-made customized solutions, underpinned by growing popularity of customized containerization of consumer products, is likely to provide a robust thrust to the growth of the market. These specialty containers provide enhanced security, improved by the adoption of approved standard systems. The rising demand for tailor-made containerization in sectors such as industrial chemicals is expected to unlock lucrative prospects in developed regions in the coming years.  

Key Takeaways

  • The rising demand for metal IBCs in order to meet the transportation and storage needs of a variety of solid and liquid substances is driving the market.
  • The advent of tailor-made customized solutions for containerization of consumer products is creating lucrative avenues in the market.

The study presented here is based on a report by Transparency Market Research (TMR) titled “Metal IBC Market (Material Type - Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel; Capacity - Up to 500 L, 500 to 1000 L, 1000 to 1500 L, 1500 to 2000 L, Above 2000 L; Design - Cubic, Cylindrical; Content - Liquids, Solids and Semi Solids; Technology – Aseptic and Non-aseptic; End Use - Industrial Chemicals (Hazardous and Non-hazardous), Petroleum and Lubricants, Food and Food Ingredients, Building and Construction, Waste Disposal/Recycling and Silage, Pharmaceutical, Paints, Inks, and Dyes) - Global Industry Analysis and Forecast 2017 - 2027.”

The metal IBC market is segmented based on:

Material Type

  • Stainless Steel
  • Carbon Steel

Capacity Type

  • Upto 500 liters
  • 500-1000 liters
  • 1000-1500 liters
  • 1500-2000 liters
  • Above 2000 liters

Design Type

  • Cubical
    • Flat Bottom
    • Conical Bottom
  • Cylindrical
    • Flat Bottom
    • Conical Bottom

Content Type

  • Liquid
  • Solids & Semi Solids


  • Aseptic
  • Non Aseptic

End Use

  • Industrial Chemicals
    • Hazardous Chemicals
    • Non-Hazardous Chemicals
  • Petroleum & Lubricants
  • Paints, inks & dyes
  • Food & Beverages
  • Waste Disposal/Recycling & Silage
  • Building & Construction
  • Pharmaceutical & Others


  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa

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