How to choose the right shipping box
Taping your box closed is the last and best part when you're preparing a package for shipping. What if the box you choose isn't built to contain the weight of your item? Factors to consider when shipping your item are its weight, size, and breakability. For fragile and oversized items having the right box is extremely important as package insurance may not cover the cost to replace the item if damaged.
Corrugated cardboard boxes are the best for shipping and come in a variety of sizes and construction methods. The corrugated part of their name refers to the wavy cardboard center known as the flute. Flutes are a single layer of cardboard who's wavy form varies in width and height. This difference in design affects its ability to withstand compression and shock strength. Flutes get their rating letter from the flutes per foot and thickness. F-flutes are best for retail packaging, all the way up to A-flutes for large boxes with greater strength and cushioning.
Why are they called corrugated boxes?
Flutes are then layered between flat layers of cardboard when they are constructed. There are four major types of corrugated box constructions:
- Single face corrugated box - One flute glued to one layer of cardboard facing.
- Single wall corrugated box - One flute interposed between two glued facings.
- Double wall corrugated box - Two sheets of flutes interposed between three facings.
- Triple wall corrugated box - Three sheets of flutes interposed between four facings.
Why choose boxes with a "box certificate"?
Single walled corrugated boxes are most widely used for shipping. To pick the ideal box for your item look for manufactures that have their boxes branded with a "Box Certificate".
The "Box Certificate" branding may show all or some of the following:
- Construction type, such as single walled
- Edge-crush test rating (ECT)
- Burst test
- Minimum cone weight facing
- Size limit
- Gross weight limit
These are only required for boxes meant to hold hazardous products or if sold to the government. Manufacturers that are known for producing quality boxes will have this on all their corrugated boxes. National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) establishes the rules and regulations for box certification testing.
The best taping methods will do little in ensuring a successful delivery if the right box isn't used. For peace of mind partner with manufacturers that display a "Box Certificate" mark on their boxes. This is the best way to determine if your package will withstand the rigors of shipping.
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