If you are responsible for the shipping of products from your company to customers, chances are you have noted differences in the types of corrugated boxes available.  How do you know if the type of box you are using is best for your shipping needs?  This article answers some of the questions we hear the most often from our clients and provides insight into how to choose the best boxes for your business.

Corrugated boxes are a very popular shipping container choice and can be used to package almost anything safely. Invented in the 1800s, these containers are still hugely popular today. Notably, 95% of all products in the United States are shipped in these sturdy containers.

Are Corrugated Boxes Made From Cardboard?

The short answer to that question is – no.  Cardboard is a durable, heavy-duty paper stock used in many types of consumer goods packaging materials.  Products such as crackers and cereal use boxes made from cardboard.  As you can imagine, cardboard would not fare well during the shipping and handling process!

How is it Made?

Corrugated board has two primary components:  the medium and the liner.  The liner is the smooth part of the board usually found on the outside surfaces. Sometimes, this liner is included on the inside of heavier corrugated board products.  The medium makes up the flutes that are between the liners.  The flutes (or medium) gives the board its strength.  The layers of liners and medium are glued together to create the corrugated board, which is used to construct containers designed for the rigors of shipping, including long journeys, falls, and bumps.

The corrugated board material is engineered utilizing advanced systems for design and manufacturing.  The corrugated boxes can be customized based on specific shipping needs.

Why Corrugated Boxes are a Good Shipping Choice

        • Protective Packaging During Shipping.  The sturdy and stable design of corrugated boxes protects and cushions products during transportation and frequent handling.  These popular shipping containers in thicknesses and sizes to provide the level of protection needed for most items.   You can rely upon the strength of corrugated containers to protect glassware, liquids, electronics, food, and more.
        • Corrugated Boxes Are Cost-Effective. Corrugated boxes are among the least expensive containers. Many companies choose these containers to the low costs related to manufacture and fill. Additionally, shipping costs are less than other heavier shipping container options.
        • Environmentally Friendly. Recyclable materials such as old newspapers and used corrugated cartons are included in the manufacture of these types of shipping cartons.  It is estimated that in the United States, 67% of cardboard is recycled.  Another plus is the ability to easily fold and store to be used again for shipping, moving, storage, and other uses around the home or office.
        • These boxes offer your business the ability to brand your business on the exterior of the container.  The costs of customization are relevantly low. Studies show that 66% of consumers ordering premium products online appreciate branded shipping supplies.
        • Right Sizes For the Shipping. Corrugated boxes come in a wide range of sizes, thicknesses, and durability.  You can also custom order boxes to specs to fit your products for optimum protection during the shipping process.

      Who Invented Corrugated Board?

      Before the invention of corrugated board, a New York City resident, Albert Jones, produced the first commercial paperboard box in 1817 in England.  He created the original box using pleated paper with a liner on one side of the materials.  Over sixty years later, in 1874, Oliver Long improved upon the original design by adding an additional liner and patented the new product.  This patented design is the corrugated box, which is still in use today.

      Innovations in Corrugated Shipping Containers

      The manufacture of corrugated materials is a $28 billion industry in the United States.  There is a lot at stake in the industry, and the need to stay ahead of trends and innovate is key to its continued success.

      As an example, in 2014, fluting papers that have a lower basis weight and are more tamper-resistant were introduced to the marketplace.  This innovative new paper reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 10% and water consumption by 61%.

      Premium Packaging

      Sometimes, it all about the packaging.  Consumers prefer to see high value items arrive in packaging the reflects the luxury inside.  As a result, vendors in the US are driving increased demand for premium packaging for use to ship premium products, including household items and luxury branded cosmetics.

      How to Choose the Right Shipping Containers

      Measure your product and keep the following in mind.

      1. How spacious or tight should your shipping container be for your product?
      2. Evaluate the interior dimensions along with the exterior dimensions of your container. Choose the container that best fits your product and shipping needs.
      3. Do you need a heavy-duty corrugated box or a standard option? If you are shipping lightweight items, a standard box may be a perfect choice for your business’ needs.  If your items are more dense and heavy, make certain that you choose a heavyweight corrugated container designed to withstand the weight and the handling of your products during shipping.
      4. If you are shipping breakable items, you need a snug fit but not too tight. You need several layers of protection to reduce or eliminate the likelihood of breakage.
      5. Perishable items such as food or medicine require protection from humidity and temperature changes. Using insulated containers with cold packs are beneficial for shipping these types of items.

      Fairway Packaging offers all sizes, weights, and types of corrugated shipping containers.  We also offer warehousing storage solutions and just in time delivery so that you can keep your warehouse space devoted to inventory and packing.  Contact us today for a customized plan for your business.

Fairway Packaging has been our packaging supply partner for over 10 years. We have been able to reduce our costs by 20% since working with them. Our favorite thing is that they warehouse our supplies, so we can keep our space free for inventory.

Mary M.

Shipping Supervisor

I highly recommend Tim and the team at Fairway Packaging. They are always responsive to our needs . They also consult with us to offer ideas that have helped us streamline our packaging and shipping processes.

Jack R.


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