Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) Market 2023-2033: Emerging Trends and Market Outlook

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According to Future Market Insights, the global intermediate bulk container (IBC) market size is forecast to inflate from US$ 23.8 billion in 2023 to US$ 46.2 billion by 2033. Overall intermediate bulk container demand is expected to surge at 6.9% CAGR throughout the assessment period (202

According to Future Market Insights, the global intermediate bulk container (IBC) market size is forecast to inflate from US$ 23.8 billion in 2023 to US$ 46.2 billion by 2033. Overall intermediate bulk container demand is expected to surge at 6.9% CAGR throughout the assessment period (2023 to 2033).

The USA’s intermediate bulk container (IBC) market is poised for substantial growth, with an expected 86.7% share of the North American market by 2033. In 2022, the country already saw the market reach a substantial valuation of $3.5 billion. Several key factors contribute to this growth, including the rising export of food, chemicals, and pharmaceutical products, a growing demand for safe and convenient bulk packaging solutions, and the strong presence of IBC manufacturers.

Stringent safety regulations, such as those implemented by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ensure sanitary transportation practices for agriculture and medicine products. These regulations drive the demand for durable, hygienic, and safe IBC solutions like plastic flexible intermediate bulk containers and aseptic intermediate bulk containers in the USA.

IBC’s popularity stems from their contamination-free transportation, anti-counterfeit properties, and high impact resistance, making them the preferred choice for exporting chemical, petroleum, and fertilizer products in bulk. As a result, the use of IBCs for bulk commodity transportation is expected to continue its upward trajectory, bolstering IBC sales across the USA in the projected period.

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Increasing import and export of essential commodities such as pharmaceuticals, food & beverages, fertilizers, and petroleum across the world and growing demand for safe and convenient bulk packaging solutions are the key factors driving the global intermediate bulk container (IBC) market forward.

Intermediate bulk containers have emerged as ideal packaging solutions for storing and transporting bulk solid, semi-solid, and liquid materials due to their safer, convenient, and cost-effective nature. Rising usage of these bulk packaging solutions across industries such as food & beverage, pharmaceutical, and chemical is expected to boost intermediate bulk container sales during the forecast period.

Numerous products are not exported or traded to different nations due to the unavailability of convenient and effective packaging types to transport them. Intermediate bulk containers (RBCs and FIBCs) are highly cost-effective packaging solutions, which ensure the product is shipped in its original form to its destination.

Prospecting untapped regions for exports of products will create an abundance of opportunities for the growth of the IBC market during the projection period. Regions such as Europe and North America are witnessing high demand for organic food products. Shipping of these organic products from various regions will require the use of bulk bags, thereby further strong-arming the market in these regions.

Factors such as ever-emerging cross-country trade, increased demand for modern containers to carry large liquid quantities, and reforming of rigid IBCs for reducing packaging scrap will exponentially increase intermediate bulk container sales globally.

FIBCs are the most suitable option for the export of food products. Flexible intermediate container (FIBC) bags are preferred over corrugated boxes, as they have a relatively high shelf-life and are also lightweight.

Key Takeaways from Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC) Market

  • By product type, the flexible IBC segment is likely to hold around 94% market share by the end of 2033.
  • Based on material, plastic segment will continue to dominate the global intermediate bulk container (IBC) market during the next decade.
  • In terms of content, solid & semi-solids segment is forecast to showcase an incremental opportunity of US$ 20.3 billion, during the assessment years.
  • By end use, chemicals sub-segment in RIBCs category is estimated to create an incremental opportunity of US$ 1.2 billion during the projection period while food and agriculture sub-segment of FIBCs category is estimated to create an incremental opportunity of US$ 8.4 billion by the end of 2033.
  • Europe is forecast to remain at the leading position and hold around 1/3rd share of the global market during the assessment period.
  • With increasing manufacturing activities, East Asia and South Asia markets are estimated to witness a gain of 250 bps and 140 bps of current market share respectively by 2033.
  • The U.S. intermediate bulk container (IBC) market reached US$ 3.5 billion in 2022 and it is expected to hold 7% share of North America market by 2033.
  • China’s intermediate bulk container market is forecast to exhibit a CAGR of 5% between 2023 and 2033.

 “Growing demand for flexible and rigid intermediate bulk containers due to their packaging capabilities in storing and transporting liquid, semi-solid and solid contents safely and conveniently is anticipated to provide a strong thrust to the global intermediate bulk container market development,” says an FMI analyst

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Who is Winning?

  • Grief Inc
  • 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
  • HCS Group
  • Transtainer
  • Obal Centrum s.r.o
  • others

Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) Industry by Category

By Product:

  • RIBC
    • Metal
    • Paperboard
    • Plastic
    • Composite
  • FIBC
    • Flexitanks
    • Bags

By Material:

  • Metal & Paperboard
  • Plastic
    • Polyethylene (PE)
    • Polypropylene (PP)
    • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

By Content:

  • Liquid
  • Solid & Semi-Solids

By Capacity:

  • RIBC
    • Up to 1,000 L
    • 1,000 – 1,500 L
    • Above 1,500 L
  • FIBC
    • Up to 500 KG
    • 501 to 1,000 KG
    • 1,001 to 1,500 KG
    • Above 1,500 KG

By End Use:

  • RIBC
    • Chemicals
    • Petroleum & Lubricants
    • Paints, Inks & Dyes
    • Food & Beverage
    • Cosmetic & Personal
    • Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals
    • Others
  • FIBC
    • Chemicals & Fertilizers
    • Food & Agriculture
    • Building & Construction
    • Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals
    • Mining
    • Others