What is a Tote?

A tote, in its most basic form, is a type of container utilized to store and transport various items. The term ‘tote’ has a broad application in the field of logistics, where it can refer to various types of storage containers. These can range from small, handheld containers to larger, industrial-sized bins. Notable types of totes include Gaylords, bins, and IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container) containers.

Key Characteristics of a Tote

Typically, totes are designed with functionality and durability in mind. They are often made from sturdy materials like plastic or metal to withstand the rigors of transport and storage. Furthermore, totes are usually designed to be stackable, making them efficient for space utilization.

A tote’s size and shape can vary depending on its intended use. For instance, a tote used for transporting liquids may be designed differently from one used for storing solid items. The specific design features of a tote are typically determined by the nature of the materials it is intended to hold.

Types of Totes


Gaylords are a type of tote often used in the shipping and warehousing industries. They are large, pallet-sized boxes made from sturdy materials like corrugated fiberboard or wood. Gaylords are typically used to store and transport large quantities of goods. They are especially useful for items that need to be kept together, such as bulk quantities of raw materials or assembled products.


Bins are smaller and more versatile than Gaylords, making them suitable for a wider range of applications. They come in a variety of sizes and can be used to store anything from small parts and tools to larger items.

IBC Containers

Intermediate Bulk Containers, or IBCs, are a type of tote designed specifically for storing and transporting bulk liquids and semi-solids. They are typically cube-shaped and made from durable materials like plastic or metal. IBCs are often mounted on pallets for easy transport and can hold up to several thousand liters of liquid.

Application of Totes in Logistics

In the logistics sector, totes play a crucial role in ensuring the efficient and safe transport of goods. They allow for the organized storage of items, making it easier to keep track of inventory. Furthermore, the durability of totes protects items during transport, reducing the risk of damage.

In conclusion, a tote is a versatile and essential tool in logistics, with various types designed to accommodate different storage and transport needs. Whether it’s a Gaylord used for bulk transport, a bin for organizing smaller items, or an IBC for liquid storage, totes help streamline operations and improve efficiency in the logistics sector.