The term Totes has multiple meanings depending on context in which it is referenced. If you work in retail, you probably envision a tote to look like a simple, fabric or leather bag that has two handles. In the world of logistics, the term “tote” refers to a different type of product. Supply chain managers in the logistics industry rely on totes to keep distribution lines running smoothly.
It is important to make the distinction between a tote in the field of logistics and in the retail market. There are numerous forms and applications used in supply chain management and rotomolding companies such as Roto Dynamics are able to manufacture them.
What Is a Tote?
Totes are used in industry for transporting or storing materials. In logistics, a tote is a container that’s used to transport or store a large volume of liquid, semi-solids, or solids. Other names for a tote include plastic agricultural cases and bulk bins. Intermediate bulk containers (IBC) are the most common solution utilized in the supply chain management industry.
An IBC is a cube shaped unit and is designed to efficiently carry and store material to help reduce logistics costs. These containers are washable, reusable and recyclable making them a versatile option for all types of cargo. IBCs are frequently made with built-in pallets beneath them that allow forklifts to easily lift them for warehouse storage. They are also designed to be stacked for seamless, safe transport.
How Tote Bins Are Used
Industrial manufacturing plants need large volumes of raw materials to make today’s consumable goods. Distributors get and send petroleum, detergents, and paints via IBCs. Food ingredients such as syrups, seeds, and vegetable oils are also transported and stored in IBCs. When manufacturing facilities receive these goods, they stack the IBCs in their warehouses for easy access. By using a tote bin, a supplier can ship a bulk product to a manufacturer in a cost-efficient way. The manufacturer then profitably repackages the product for individual sale to consumers.
Large amounts of liquid wastes and flammable materials are by-products of many industrial plant operations. Companies that run these facilities must properly dispose of the materials in accordance with state and local laws. IBCs help them to get these dangerous substances safely to disposal sites. After hazardous material transport, the IBCs are washed and quality tested before reuse.
Common Tote Materials and Specifications
Totes are made from a variety of materials to match their cargo. Tote container makers mostly use polyethylene plastic or metal to construct totes. Caustic materials such as solvents and detergents are transported in plastic IBCs. Distributors may transport other flammable materials in metal containers.
A tote container can be either rigid or flexible in form. The rigid tote tank is the stackable type that you’ll see forklifted in warehouses. By law, an IBC can be made to hold a volume of up to 793 U.S. gallons. When used to store such heavy weights, poorly constructed IBCs can lose their structural integrity. Tote bin makers cage many rigid plastic IBCs within steel tubing to make them more stable during transport and storage. Manufacturers design flexible IBCs to fold or collapse as users empty their contents.
How Tote Containers Are Made
After finding out what are totes in logistics, you’ll want to know how they are made. Rotational molding or rotomolding is the technique that tote makers most often use to construct IBCs. During rotomolding, the interior of a heated mold is filled with a material such as plastic or metal. As the mold rotates, the softened material coats the inside of the mold. When tote makers remove the material from the mold, it has the shape of a tote container.
When searching for the best rotomolding company, choose one that has the equipment and capacity to make totes in a variety of sizes and to different thicknesses. This company will allow you to select the right material for your application. It’ll likely offer to customize your containers with additives to resist corrosion or foam filling for extra insulation.
Uncommon Uses for Tote Bins and Tanks
Totes aren’t just used for industrial manufacturing purposes anymore. You’ll find them in commercial and residential settings. Today’s facility managers and homeowners seek to make their daily operations more sustainable by conserving energy and water resources. They use IBCs to collect and store rainwater for use in gardens and landscaping. Rural land owners mitigate fire hazard risks by collecting rainwater in IBCs for firefighting activities.
Who Makes Totes Plastic Containers?
There are many companies across the world that make totes plastic containers. The best rotomolding company is the one that makes products to your specifications. If you do business within the United States, this means partnering with a company that makes tanks according to U.S. regulations. Your best choice is to use containers that have the Made in USA label. Roto Dynamics is a U.S.-based company that understands the national standards for IBC design and construction. We are located in California and are at the center of the action for supply chain logistics. Our totes are made on state-of-the-art rotomolding equipment using premium materials. The results are industrial-grade assets that last.
Manufacturers make the tanks that transport high-volume liquid, semi-solid, and solid cargo to exacting standards for safety reasons. If your company regularly makes these types of hauls, you’ll want tanks that are built to last. Roto Dynamics delivers high-quality tote packaging that’s Made in USA. Located in California, Roto Dynamics supplies tote bins and tanks to some of the most insightful companies in the nation. As a leader in rotational molding, we have the capacity to fill large standard orders as well as custom ones. Contact us today for a consultation.