When you ship a package across town or across the nation, you want to make sure it arrives intact. What follows is an examination of three different types of shipping cartons along with a description of each and its specialized use.
Standard Corrugated Cardboard Boxes
Cardboard shipping cartons (boxes) are a type of container suitable for storing and protecting a wide range of consumer goods and industrial products while in transit. Shipping cartons can be manufactured from many different materials, but the vast majority of shipping cartons are made of corrugated fiberboard. Most of this type of shipping container are cut from a single sheet of cardboard. Depending on the use, cartons can be coated with wax or other sealant to create a temporary moisture barrier as when needed.
Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, defines corrugated cardboard as a “paper-based material consisting of a fluted corrugated sheet and one or two flat liner boards.” Corrugated shipping cartons are manufactured using a flute lamination process (corrugation) using very thin material consisting mostly of paper and wood pulp fiber.
Corrugated boxes are made by gluing liner sheets on both sides of fluted cardboard making them more rigid. Cardboard boxes were first used for wrapping around bottles and tall glass lantern chimneys to prevent breakage. The corrugated shipping carton we know today was first used to pack glass and pottery containers. Later, in the early 1950s, corrugated boxes were used to ship fruit and produce from farm to market without bruising. Paper used for making liner sheets in cardboard shipping cartons can be any color or bleached white to enable black and white or color printing. According to the Forbes online magazine, “Kraft” is the industry term used to describe the natural brown cardboard coloring of shipping supplies, Kraft cartons make up the vast majority of all cardboard cartons used today.
Shock Mount Packaging
For shipping extremely fragile and expensive items, shock mount packaging is one of the surest options. This type of carton contains built-in shock absorption that protects contents from the negative effects of shock and vibration. Typically used for fragile electronic equipment, or unstable chemicals, shock mount cartons are also resistant to humidity, moisture and dust. Although this premium type of packaging can be constructed of cardboard, shock mount packages are often considerably more complex in design than standard shipping boxes. The use of such elements as poly-film membranes to suspend packaged items means that nothing in the carton ever rests or comes in contact with the bottom or the sides of the carton. This design element substantially limits shipping damage due to dropping, vibration and rough handling.
Fiber and Cardboard Drums
Cardboard shipping drums are useful for shipping and storing dry and solid materials. Quality shipping drums have superior stacking strength and utilize metal tops and bottoms. The easy-on, easy-off lever locks make them easy to open as well as tamper-evident when seals are used. Standard cardboard drums can hold 30 gallons or 500 pounds of dry material. Drums can be stacked up to three units high. The strong fiber materials in them will not contaminate most products they contain, and they can be disposed of in the same manner as recyclable cardboard.
People have been relying on standard cardboard shipping cartons and boxes for generations. Because there are many different ways of packaging and shipping your products, you should evaluate the needs of your organization and its products to decide which options will work best for you.