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- Corrugated boxes are a durable form of packaging commonly used in bulk shipping.
- Corrugated board comes in two main types: board and flute.
- Popular corrugated box types include slotted, telescope and folder-type boxes.
The terms corrugated and cardboard are often used interchangeably when it comes to boxes and packaging. However, they are quite different in structure. When it comes to bulk shipping, corrugated boxes are more versatile.
Cardboard is made from either heavy paper-pulp or very thick paper. It has multiple uses and is often the main component in small containers, packaging and notebooks. Although it is the primary packaging choice for certain products, it is a major risk for shipping. Since it is a relatively brittle material, additional items like bubble wrap or peanuts protect the goods.
Corrugated board consists of multiple layers of materials rather than a single sheet of pulp or paper. This material is durable but lightweight, meaning it is ideal for creating custom shipping boxes for domestic or international transport. There are different types of corrugated boxes, and containers built from corrugated board can withstand harsh conditions such as moisture, temperature changes and travel bumps. Although no containers can guarantee that goods won’t incur any damages during shipping, corrugated boxes are an excellent option.
Corrugated cardboard has a layer of fluting and a minimum of one liner. These can be combined in different ways to create different types of corrugated boxes. The two main types of corrugated board are board and flute.
- Single Face Board: This type of board has one liner and one corrugated layer. It isn’t very durable, but it is useful for interior packaging to give extra protection between items.
- Single Wall Board: As the most common type of corrugated board, single wall board is used for shipping cartons. It consists of two outer liners and one layer of corrugated medium.
Depending on how they are made and the structural makeup, corrugated boxes are categorized by the letters A, B, C, E or F. The higher the letter is in the alphabet, the smaller and denser the flute waves, each suited to particular types of packing. The C flute is the most commonly used corrugated board.
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Types of Corrugated Boxes
Boards and flutes are combined to create different types of corrugated boxes. Although there are many subcategories of boxes, the main types are:
Slotted boxes are usually made from one piece of corrugated board. It has four flaps and the blank central area is scored and slotted to allow for folding. These boxes are generally stored and shipped flat and can be assembled when they’re ready for use. There are different types of slotted boxes, such as:
- Regular Slotted Container (RSC)
- Half Slotted Container (HSC)
- Overlap Slotted Container (OSC)
- Full Overlap Slotted Container (FOL)
- Center Special Slotted Container (CSSC)
- Center Special Overlap Slotted Container (CSO)
- Center Special Full Overlap Slotted Container (SFF)
The main differentiators between these boxes are the sizes and configurations.
Telescopic boxes have separate top and bottom parts that fit on top of each other. This provides additional thickness and protection on each side. They are generally used for transporting fragile goods. The main types are:
- Full Telescope Half Slotted Container (FTHS)
- Full Telescope Design Style Container (FTD)
- Design Style Container with Cover (DSC)
Fold Type Boxes
These are customizable style corrugated boxes that generally comprise multiple pieces of board with a bottom surface that’s scored to fold around an item. They are often used for packaging and transporting food products.
Other Types of Corrugated Boxes
There are several more types of corrugated boxes that serve different functions. Some of the other popular boxes include:
- Rigid boxes
- Self-erecting boxes
- Interior forms
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Niche Product Packaging
Certain products are required by law to be packaged a particular way for transportation. For example, according to the US Department of Transportation (DOT), lithium ion battery packaging falls within the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). Lithium ion batteries, specifically Section I batteries manufactured after 2011, must use specific packaging and be labeled as hazardous using regulation placards. When shipping in bulk, the packaging must protect against short-circuiting, movement and accidental activation.
These batteries may not be packaged in metallic inner packaging. Each battery should be enclosed entirely to ensure they don’t make contact with any other items in the shipment. When deciding on what type of packaging to choose for bulk shipping, refer to the DOT for guidelines for your goods.
Use Air Sea Containers for Bulk Shipping Packaging
Packaging is a crucial component of bulk shipping. As well as protecting goods while they’re in transit, the correct packaging is important from a safety and legal standpoint. Whatever goods you’re transporting, choose Air Sea Containers as your packaging provider.
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