If you need to ship your products, then you need to know about corrugated boxes.
These sturdy cartons are the number one choice for shipping around the world. When you need to make certain that your goods will arrive at their destination safe and unharmed, then corrugated boxes are nearly always the way to go.
What makes corrugated boxes such a great choice? They are:
- Strong enough to handle heavy items.
- Ideal protection for delicate objects.
- Available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
- A financially responsible choice.
Whether you are shipping groceries, workout gear, or the latest fashions, corrugated just might be the way to go.
Let’s learn more about it.
The Features of Corrugated Cardboard
Because it is made out of a trio of layers of kraft paper, this is an exceptionally durable packaging material. The interior layer has a wavy pattern, and this is the corrugated material from which these boxes get their name. Similarly, this is the feature that makes this cardboard extra strong.
Corrugated cardboard is specially manufactured to add these stiff folds or flutes to the kraft paper. This corrugated sheet is then glued in between two sheets of paper that are the material’s exterior liners. It is this three-layer structure that makes corrugated much tougher than ordinary cardboard.
Three-layer sheets of corrugated material may then be scored, trimmed, folded, and cut to create boxes. Secured with powerful glue, these boxes are incredibly stable. Because they are available in an astonishing array of sizes, shapes, and styles, corrugated boxes are capable of helping you to ship just about anything.
Why Choose Corrugated Boxes?
The ridged flutes that are placed between the two flat pieces of kraft paper are the secret to what makes corrugated boxes so different from the competition. They are what enables the box to support items that are very heavy.
In addition to making cardboard stronger, corrugated also protects the box’s contents during shipping, which helps to prevent damage. The curved arches in the flutes help the box to resist pressure no matter what angle it comes from. Plus, the open spaces between the flutes provides a helpful layer of cushioning and insulation. This means that delicate items do not get broken, nor are temperature-sensitive items susceptible to damage from hot and cold fluctuations.
Different Types of Corrugated Cardboard
Several types of corrugated cardboard are available. The most common is the option that has a fluted sheet between two flat liners. However, if you start browsing the available corrugated box styles, you’ll soon discover that there is much more to choose from.
For instance, you’ll be asked to choose the perfect board style for your products. These board styles include:
- Single face, which features the fluted layer and a single liner on one side.
- Single wall, which is the traditional design with a fluted paper between two flat papers.
- Double wall, a stronger option with two fluted layers and three flat panels.
- Triple wall, an even stronger choice that has three fluted layers and four flat panels.
In these options, the single face style is the least sturdy while the triple wall gives ultimate protection to even the heaviest or most delicate of items.
However, that is not the end of the choices. You will also be able to choose the type of flute that you would like to use. The “F” flute is 1/32 of an inch while the “E” flute is one size up at 1/16 of an inch. Larger flutes are the “C” at 11/64 of an inch, the “B” flute at 1/8 of an inch, and the “A” flute at one-quarter of an inch.
By far the most popular flute option is the “C” flute. Experts estimate that about 80 percent of corrugated boxes use this size of flute.
How do you choose which flute size is appropriate for your goods? The A flute is great for cushioning and compression. Its stacking strength is excellent, and many companies choose this packaging for fragile products. If you need an option that provides structural strength, this may be the right choice for you.
Alternatively, B flute is made to resist punctures and crushing forces. It also gives you a particularly good surface for printing, so if you want your shipping boxes to have plenty of colors, graphics, or text, this may be the way to go. Many businesses use B flute for partitions and pads as well.
C flute also gives you a suitable printing surface as well as admirable crush resistance and compression protection. Securing food, furniture, glass, and many other items is a snap with C flute.
E flute has a thin construction that serves to maximize storage space. If your warehouse square footage is limited, give E flute some serious consideration. Moreover, its printing surface is first-rate and it has some of the best crush resistance when compared to other options. You might see E flute being used for pizza boxes and displays as well as for packaging for consumer goods like cosmetics, ceramics, and other glass items.
Type F flute has similar properties when compared to E flute. Thanks to its thin profile, F flute uses less fiber but still produces stiff boxes. You might see this flute size being used in clamshell containers for fast food or as packaging for shoes and jewelry among other items.
Corrugated Box Styles
Corrugated boxes come in many styles such as half-slotted containers that are made of one piece of cardboard with glued, taped, or stitched joints. These boxes are shipped flat for ease and convenience.
Another option is regular slotted containers. These also are formed from one piece of glued or taped corrugated, and they also are shipped flat. Assemblers must close the provided flaps before finishing.
You also may select a telescope-type box that involves at least two pieces, like a lid and a bottom that telescopes over the box’s body.
One popular option is the folder type box. Usually, a single piece of corrugated is used to make these, and the bottom is hinged so that it forms two or more side walls as well as a cover. These may have display panels, handles, locking tabs, and other incorporated features.
Slide-type boxes may be made from several individual pieces that include liners and sleeves. These may slide into each other from different directions.
Rigid-type boxes have two individual end pieces as well as a body. Gluing or stitching of the corrugated is necessary to finish this style.
If you would like, partitions can be added to almost any style of corrugated cardboard box. These may take the form of dividers, separators, liners, or pads. No matter which you choose, these partitions are designed to protect the items you are shipping so that they arrive without breakage.
Are Corrugated Boxes Recyclable?
Whether you are shipping or receiving, corrugated cardboard boxes can accumulate very quickly. The good news is that corrugated tends to be readily recyclable in almost all jurisdictions. If you want to make certain that you’ll be able to recycle corrugated when you need to, it makes sense to check with your local recycling facility to ensure that it has the ability to recycle this type of material.
Preparation for recycling is key as well. Make certain that all packaging materials are removed and that the corrugated boxes are completely flattened before they are delivered to the recycling facility. If any of the boxes are damaged by grease spots, then they cannot be recycled. Many businesses simply cut out the soiled portion and recycle the remaining parts of the box. Most recycling facilities allow you to keep any labels, tape, or stickers to stay in place as these are dealt with on-site.
If you will be shipping corrugated boxes to many customers, it might be helpful to encourage them to reuse these boxes and to provide instructions on how to ensure successful recycling.
Mid-Atlantic Packaging Has Corrugated Boxes
If you want to know more about the options you have when it comes to corrugated cardboard boxes, just call Mid-Atlantic Packaging. We have ready-made corrugated packaging for you to consider. Alternatively, ask us about our design services. We can help you make corrugated cardboard boxes that are made to your exact specifications.
Learn more today by contacting Mid-Atlantic Packaging, your friendly experts in the shipping and packaging business.