Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC) Market Segmentation, Size, Analysis, Key Players and Forecast

Research conducted by Future Market Insights (FMI) shows that the intermediate bulk container market is expected to register positive growth, with the overall valuation forecast to reach US$ 21 Bn in 2021. Sales registered in the market is expected to rise at 6.8% CAGR between 2021 and 2031.

FMI Research report on Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC) Market provides analysis and insights regarding the various factors expected to be prevalent throughout the forecasted period while providing their impacts on the market’s growth.

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“Intermediate bulk containers have emerged as an efficient and relatively economical alternative in bulk packaging applications, over conventional drums. As the packaging industry is accelerating its shift away from plastics and plastic-based composites, the report points to spectacularly increasing demand for paper and paperboard-based intermediate bulk containers,” says the report by FMI.

Strong growth in the preference for flexible packaging solutions over rigid counterparts is driving FIBCs (flexible IBCs) to hold a larger value share over RIBCs (rigid IBCs) in intermediate bulk container market

Accounting for an approximate value share of 80%, collectively, food & beverages, industrial chemicals, and building & construction industries remain predominant consumers of intermediate bulk container market

High suitability for transportation and storage of corrosive chemicals is accounting for towering sales of HDPE-bottled RIBCs in intermediate bulk container market

Environmental stress cracking resistance is emerging a vital QA measure for manufacturers of intermediate bulk containers

Top Key Players Covered-

  • Thielmann US LLC
  • Schafer Werke Gmbh
  • Time Technoplast Ltd
  • International Paper Company
  • DS Smith Plc
  • Mondi Plc
  • SCHÜTZ GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Mauser Packaging Solutions
  • Berry Global, Inc
  • Hoover Ferguson Group
  • Snyder Industries, Inc
  • Bulk Lift International, Inc
  • Environment Packaging Technology Inc
  • HCS Group
  • Transtainer
  • Obal Centrum s.r.o
  • Pensteel Ltd
  • SYSPAL Ltd
  • SIA Flexitanks Limited

Paper Intermediate Bulk Containers Gaining Traction in F&B Industry

A majority of intermediate bulk container demand remains concentrated in food & beverages, industrial chemicals, and building & construction industries, as indicated by the study. IBC adoption in F&B industry is however witnessing a higher annual growth rate, says the report.

Paper and paperboard intermediate bulk containers are recently gathering traction in the food and beverages vertical. In addition to economical handling costs, a significantly less filling and discharging time associated with paper intermediate bulk containers is positioning them as an ideal IBC candidate for the F&B industry.

An additional benefit in terms of transporting and warehousing space consumption is also cited as an important factor pushing adoption of paper intermediate bulk containers among food and beverages industry operators.

A variety of RIBCs remain the preferred standard choice for packaging and transportation of bulk chemicals, and paints & dyes, whereas emerging application opportunities in non-hazardous bulk fluid transportation are projected to provide a strong push to the demand for FIBCs – especially flexitanks. The report spots substantial applicability of flexitanks to be arising in segments such as juices, syrups, & other food-grade liquids, wines, and oils.

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Key Segment

By Product:









By Material:

Metal & Paperboard





By Content:


Solid & Semi-Solid

By Capacity:


Up to 1,000 Ltr.

1,000 – 1,500 Ltr.

Above 1,500 Ltr.


Up to 500 Kg

501 to 1,000 Kg

1,001 to 1,500 Kg

Above 1,500 Kg

By End Use:



Petroleum & Lubricants

Paints, Inks & Dyes

Food & Beverage

Cosmetic & Personal

Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals



Chemicals & Fertilizers

Food & Agriculture

Building & Construction

Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals



By Region:

North America

Latin America



East Asia

South Asia


Maturity of Western European Market to Prevail

According to the study, a majority of Europe’s intermediate bulk containers demand relies on imports from South Asia. While Western Europe’s demand for intermediate bulk containers is on the brink of maturity, the impressively growing acceptance of non-plastic IBC alternatives is posing a significant impact on the growth of Eastern Europe’s intermediate bulk container market.

Holding a prominent position in the intermediate bulk containers export scene, South Asian countries – especially India, are projected for an impressive growth outlook in global landscape over the course of coming years. Expanding manufacturing industries, rampant growth of the building & construction vertical, and strong presence of major F&B industry operators are favoring the demand growth of industrial bulk containers market within the region.

India, the world’s largest flexible intermediate bulk containers exporter, is poised for over 11% yearly growth in the revenue in 2019. China’s nearly US$ 1.4 billion market for intermediate bulk container also continues to demonstrate robust expansion, pushing prospects of East Asia further.

Intermediate bulk container manufacturers are likely to collaborate with shipping companies over the development of tracking-enabled intermediate bulk containers that update precise status of packaged products directly to customers. A few prominent players currently involved in R&D of RFID enabled IBCs include Metano IBC Services, Inc., CHEP (U.S.A.) Inc., and Hoyer Group.

Driven by rapid growth of small scale manufacturing sector worldwide, economic opportunities residing in renting, reconditioning, and refurbishing of RIBCs are projected to attract leading companies as well as retailers and distributors active in intermediate bulk containers market.

Industry giants such as Mondi Group, BP Polymers, Schoeller Allibert, and others continue to augment investments in IBC material innovations and new product launches in intermediate bulk container market.

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