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What Are Corrugated Boxes - The Master Guide

 2023-08-09 08:37:44

What Are Corrugated Boxes

The e-commerce business sector demands robust and eco-friendly packaging solutions to fulfill the needs of its consumers. In this regard, the corrugated packaging industry is booming every day. Every industry loves to package and ship their products in corrugated box packaging. But what are corrugated boxes, and why are they gaining so much popularity? 

Here are some stats that explain why these boxes are favorites of every business owner: 

  • In 2023, the volume of corrugated packaging exported from the United States is anticipated to be around 443 billion square feet.
  • The market for corrugated board packaging was worth over $262 billion in 2019 and is projected to be close to $400 billion by 2025.
  • Over 95% of all goods consumed in North America are transported and packaged in corrugated packaging.
  • The United States is home to more than 1,100 corrugated manufacturing plants.

Corrugated boxes provide protection, are economical, and are simple to customize. Who could not love these packaging boxes? Right? 

The article is the master guide to corrugated packaging boxes. It will demonstrate all the essential information you need to know about corrugated boxes.

What are Corrugated Boxes? An Overview

Let's first discuss what are corrugated boxes exactly. 

The conventional corrugated box typically consists of three layers of fiberboard. There are two outer layers, which are known as liner boards. And there is wavy paper between them, known as a flute. The flute creates a sandwich-like structure between the two layers. Moreover, this flute provides the strength to carry heavy items. 

You can double the corrugated sheets by combining different fluting grades to add more protection. The double-fluted corrugated box works best to package and ship extra heavy items. 

The most famous shipping option is a regular corrugated box, which offers excellent protection and is generally affordable.

We hope you got the idea that what are corrugated boxes. Now you might wonder how they differ from cardboard boxes. 

Don't worry; we will clear up all your confusion in this article.

Corrugated vs. Cardboard - What's the Difference?

Corrugated boxes are far different from cardboard boxes

As we have already explained what is corrugated material, let us briefly glance at the definition of a cardboard box to know the difference between them. 

In general, cardboard is made of heavy paper pulp or thick paper stock and offers little protection during shipping. 

Cardboard packaging works well for the packaging and shipment of smaller items. In addition, businesses also use cardboard material inside the packaging as structural support. This helps the product remain intact and in its desired place. 

On the other hand, corrugated packaging is suitable for shipping heavier items without any hassle. The reason for this is the strong and sturdy structure of the corrugated cardboard. 

Read More: What is the difference between cardboard and corrugated shipping boxes 

When selecting suitable corrugated cardboard for your products, there are some crucial factors that you need to consider. Let us explain below;

Factors to Consider While Selecting the Right Corrugated Box 

There are three main factors that businesses need to consider when choosing the appropriate corrugated box for packaging and shipping their products. These factors include:

  • Flute Grades, 
  • Different Types of Corrugated Boxes and 
  • Printing Methods 

Let us discuss them in detail below;

Flute Grades

As we have discussed before, what are corrugated boxes made of (two liners and a flute).

Corrugated flutes are wavy layers of paper. These layers create a sandwich-like structure between two flat sheets of paper. The flutes provide strength and cushioning, making corrugated cardboard ideal for packaging.

There are five different types of corrugated flutes, each with its own unique properties:

  • A Flute:

A flute is the thickest flute and provides the most strength and cushioning. Businesses use it to pack delicate items or items that need to be protected from moisture.

  • B Flute

The B flute is a medium-sized flute that offers a good balance of strength and cushioning. It is a popular choice for general-purpose packaging.

  • C Flute

The C flute is the most common type of flute. This flute works well for a wide variety of applications. It is lightweight and relatively inexpensive. These features make it a good choice for shipping products that do not need a lot of protection.

  • E Flute

The E flute is the thinnest. This flute is helpful for the packaging of lightweight items. It is also a good choice for applications where space is limited.

  • F Flute

The F flute is a very thin flute used for applications where the weight of the packaging is critical. Businesses can use them for shipping electronics or other fragile items.

The type of flute used in a corrugated cardboard package depends on the specific needs of the product being shipped. 

Read More:  Flute Selection 101: Decoding the Best Corrugated Flute for Your Product

Quality Control Tests for Corrugated Packaging

Corrugated boxes protect the products during the storage and shipping processes. These boxes come in different thicknesses. 

Each box with a different thickness resists damage differently. You must do some tests before selecting the correct box for your products. These tests will tell you the strength of corrugated material. 

There are four predominant tests that you can use to check the strength of your corrugated box packaging: 

1. The Edge Crush Test (ECT)

Businesses always wonder what does ect mean in corrugated boxes because they repeatedly hear this term. 

The edge crush test, also known as the ECT, gauges a box's stacking strength and can provide information about things like pallet shipping durability. The board's edge is compressed between two plates as part of the ECT laboratory test method. The maximum compression force that a box can withstand is determined using the unit of measurement, which is pounds per linear inch.

2. The Bursting (Mullen) Test 

This force measures the force necessary to rip or pierce the corrugated cardboard. This test shows how well a box will safeguard the contents during shipping.

3. A Flat Crush Test

It gauges how well-corrugated paperboard holds the product if the flutes get crushed. Whether you choose digital printing or any other printing method, this test will help you figure out how much pressure you can safely apply to your box during the printing process.

4. Water Absorption Test (COBB)

The water absorption test measures the amount of water that corrugated fiberboard absorbs over a predetermined period under standardized conditions.

Different Types of Corrugated Boxes

Another crucial factor to consider before selecting corrugated packaging is the box style.

Here are some of the most popular box styles available, which come in various sizes:

  • Regular Slotted Container (RSC):

It is a commonly asked question what does rsc mean in corrugated boxes? RSC boxes are also called Regular Slotted Containers. Most industries use this style of corrugated box. 

It is the most classic shipping box. The length of each flap on this box is the same. The two outer-length flaps meet in the middle when you close this box. To keep the flaps in place, you need tape.

  • Full Overlap Container (FOL):

The outer flaps overlap and strengthen the packaged item in this box style. The box's top and bottom become double-layered due to the flaps.

  • One Piece Folder (OPF):

Media materials or books usually come packed in these boxes. These boxes are creased and slotted before being folded into a box shape.

  • Full Telescope Design (FTD):

As its name suggests, this box has a separate top and bottom that slide over one another. It is more robust due to the double walls.

Printing Methods for Corrugated Boxes

There are three main methods for printing on corrugated boxes:

  • Flexographic Printing:

This is the most common method for printing on corrugated boxes. It uses a flexible printing plate to transfer the ink to the cardboard. Flexographic printing is a versatile method that one can use to print a variety of colors and graphics.

  • Digital Printing:

This is a newer method for printing on cardboard boxes. It uses a digital printer to print the image directly onto the cardboard. Digital printing is more flexible than flexographic printing but is also more expensive.

  • Screen Printing:

This is a traditional method for printing on cardboard boxes. It uses a screen to transfer the ink to the cardboard. Screen printing is a more labor-intensive method than flexographic printing or digital printing. However, it can produce high-quality prints.

Read More: How To Print On Cardboard Boxes

Use of Corrugated Boxes in Different Industries

Corrugated boxes are a versatile packaging solution. These boxes find applications in a large number of industries. 

Below, we have discussed what are corrugated boxes used for;

1. Food and Beverage:

Corrugated boxes package food and beverages of all types, from fresh produce to canned goods. They are a versatile and cost-effective way to package these products. The best part is that you can customize these boxes to fit the specific needs of each product.

2. Retail:

The retail industry loves corrugated boxes. This industry uses them to package everything from clothing to electronics. Businesses can print them with custom graphics to promote their products.

3. E-commerce:

Corrugated boxes are used to ship a wide variety of products purchased online. They are a cost-effective and convenient way to ship these products, and they are customizable to fit the specific needs of each e-commerce retailer.

4. Logistics:

The logistics sector uses corrugated boxes to store and transport various products. They are a sturdy and versatile way to store these products. The best part is that they are stackable and save space.

5. Manufacturing:

Manufacturers use corrugated boxes to package a wide variety of products, from raw materials to finished goods. These boxes deliver the products to the end user in their intact state.

6. Construction:

Construction companies use corrugated boxes to package various materials, from lumber to nails. The corrugated box packaging effortlessly transports these heavy items.

Benefits of Corrugated Boxes

Let's discuss below how they are beneficial for businesses:

  • Durability:

This article has deeply analyzed the facts about what is corrugated packaging and why it is so durable. We know that Its structure is ideal for holding heavy and bulky items. So, your fragile and delicate items are safe in these boxes. 

  • Customization:

Businesses can customize corrugated boxes packaging to fit the exact size and shape of their products. This helps protect their products during shipping. In addition, these boxes give brands a unique way to market their products.

  • Sustainability:

Packaging manufacturers make corrugated boxes from recycled materials. It means these boxes are recyclable. Corrugated box packaging is a sustainable option for businesses looking to reduce their environmental impact.

  • Cost-effectiveness:

Corrugated boxes are a cost-effective packaging solution. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase. Moreover, they are reusable in multiple ways.

  • Branding Opportunities:

Corrugated packaging boxes provide the best opportunity to market your product and brand. You can print your company logo, website address, or other marketing materials on the boxes to help promote your business.

Where Can You Get the Best Corrugated Packaging Boxes?

This article covers all the essential information you need to know about corrugated boxes. It demonstrates what does corrugated box mean, what their structure is, and which cardboard box is best for your business. Moreover, we also discussed which industries can benefit from these boxes. 

After knowing all these facts, you might be wondering where you can get top-notch corrugated packaging boxes in the USA. OXO Packaging is your one-stop to get custom corrugated packaging at affordable prices. We design premium packaging solutions and deliver them to your doorstep free of charge. Along with that, we offer free design consultation services. 

So, let's have a deal! Order your corrugated packaging now at OXO Packaging. Our boxes will take care of your items from this century to the next!

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