From the large and bulky to the small and fragile, your product can be shipped safely and arrive without damage if you use the right industrial packaging supplies. Using customized industrial packaging can even reduce your total costs.
What is Industrial Packaging?
Industrial packaging, also called tertiary packaging or transit packaging, are brown
(and sometimes white) corrugated boxes used to ship and store a product or several units of a product. Generally, industrial packaging is not the product’s primary packaging.
Although it is possible to buy standard off-the-shelf industrial packaging supplies, optimized packaging is preferred for the best outcome. Corrugated industrial packaging is a preferred choice for many reasons:
• Highly customizable
• Reduce wasted materials
• Reduce transportation costs
• Provide better protection
• Marketing impact
Strength to Withstand Tough Shipping Environments
Industrial packaging must endure a lot of rough handling. Individual packages shipping via FedEx, UPS, USPS, or another method can be dropped, be tossed around, or have heavier packages placed on top of them. And Palleted boxes must have the strength to support those stacked on top of them.
Two tests used to determine the strength of the corrugated board are the Mullen burst test and edge crush test. Both are useful in determining how well the box will stand up to shipping.
The Mullen test measures the pressure the corrugated can withstand before bursting. It is indirectly related to a carton’s ability to withstand internal or external pressure, such as an item puncturing the box.
The edge crush test is directly related to stacking strength and how much weight can be applied to the corrugated per square inch. This test helps determine if a box can withstand other loaded boxes’ weight when shipped on a pallet.
For companies interested in learning how their packaged product will behave in transit, there are a series of tests developed by the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA). They offer different levels of tests depending on your need and the weight of the package. ISTA also has test methods specific to Amazon, Sam’s Club®, and FEDEX air, ground, and express. Products are typically sent to a third-party lab for testing.
Linerboard and Medium Combinations Add Strength
Industrial packaging supplies rely heavily on corrugated board to make up the box and the inner dividers and other elements needed to secure products in place. A corrugated board is constructed of a combination of linerboard and medium glued together.
Liner board is the flat outer surface, and the medium is the fluted inner paper. Linerboard is available in various basis weights and surface treatments to suit specific applications.
Many factors account for the corrugated board’s strength, including the quality of the fibers that make up the paper, the liner’s and medium’s mechanical properties, and the combined board structural makeup — the number of layers, flute sizes, and adhesive.
Linerboard and medium are available in several combinations:
• Single-face — one linerboard with one medium
• Single-wall — the medium is sandwiched between two linerboards
• Double-wall — combines a single wall and single-face: three linerboards interleaved with two sheets of corrugated medium.
• Triple wall — combines double wall with single-face: four linerboards interleaved with three sheets of corrugated medium.
The flutes of the medium provide the cushioning for the corrugated board. Flutes are available in a variety of sizes.
The most commonly used for industrial packaging are B-flute, C-Flute, and E-Flute.
• B-flute was developed originally to protect canned goods and provides excellent puncture and crush resistance.
• C-flute is the most widely used flute and offers good burst resistance, stacking strength, and printing properties.
• E-flute offers great crush resistance and provides a flat surface for high-quality printing.
Double-wall and triple-wall combinations can be created using a combination of linerboards and flute sizes to provide a highly customizable solution.
Working with the Experts
Choosing the right industrial packaging supplies for products can be overwhelming because of all the decisions to be made to ensure it meets all of your needs:
• Board combinations
• Coating or special treatments
• Box style (e.g., Gaylord, regular slotted containers)
• Box size – optimized for a product, pallet/truck
• Printing – litho, flexo, digital
• And more
Tap into the knowledge and experience of professionals who have seen it all and done it all when it comes to packaging. Progress Container has been meeting the industrial packaging needs of customers for more than 50 years.
Our experience spans across industries, including building and construction, chemical and pharmaceutical, metal products, engineering, and automotive parts.
In addition, we can offer a supply chain assessment that can save you money by assessing a number of factors:
• Pallet utilization
• Supply chain utilization
• SKU management
• Packaging optimization
• Total landed cost related to assembly time with your packaging
Ready to save money on your industrial packaging? Contact us to get started.