There are many advantages of the IBC concept:
* They are generally cubic in form and therefore can transport more material in the same area than cylindrically shaped containers and far more than might be shipped in the same space if packaged in consumer quantities.
* They rely on plastic liners that can be filled and discharged with a variety of systems.
* The manufacturer/processor of a product can bulk package a product in one country and ship to many other countries at a reasonably low cost where it is subsequently packaged in final consumer form in accordance with the regulations of that country and in a form and language suitable for that country.
IBCs range in size but are generally between 700 and 2,000 mm (27.6 and 78.7 in) or 46 to 52 in (1,168 to 1,321 mm) in height. The length and width of an IBC is usually dependent on the pallet dimension standard of a given country.
IBCs may have pallet-like bases so that forklifts can move them.
It is common for IBCs to be able to fold down into a compact profile, reducing their height for transportation and storage when empty. IBCs in almost all cases can be stacked vertically.
Depending on the size of the IBC, it can weigh between 90 and 1,200 kg (198 and 2,646 lb).