Types of Corrugated Boxes, Benefits and Drawbacks

Different types of corrugated boxes provide different levels of protection and durability. Because shipping and packaging needs are varied, it’s important to understand what types of corrugated boxes are available so you can make the best choice for your products. Read this post for more about corrugated box types, their construction, benefits and drawbacks.

Definition of Corrugated Boxes

Corrugated boxes are made of containerboard, which is a material composed of two or more flat sheets and one or more wavy sheets glued together. The wavy layer is usually made of recycled board, while flat outer layers can be either Kraft or linerboard.

When these two materials are glued together, they create an air cushion that helps absorb shock and protect items during shipping.

Corrugated box manufacturers, depending on various packaging requirements, produce these boxes in different strengths, which are reflected by their type of board. That means one box will have different characteristics than another box, even if they’re the same size.

Corrugated Boxes
Corrugated Boxes

Types of Corrugated Boxes

Corrugated boxes, whether meant for storage, packaging, or shipping, are basically classed based on the type of corrugated board used in their construction. The types of boards include single-wall, double-wall, and triple-wall. Here’s detailed look at each of these types of corrugated boxes:

Types of Corrugated Boxes
Types of Corrugated Boxes

1. Single-Face Corrugated Board

Although not technically a type of box, single-face corrugated board is often used in packaging. It consists of one layer of fluted paper glued to one layer of linerboard.

Single-face corrugated board is used to make trays, pads and partitions. Because of its fluted paper layer, the single-face corrugated board provides some cushioning and crush resistance properties.

The cushioning natured of the single faced board makes it a popular choice for packaging delicate items such as eggs, china and glassware. However, because it only has one layer of fluting, single-face board is not as strong as other types of the corrugated box board.

Benefits:

  • Lightweight and easy to produce, ship, or use
  • Less expensive than other types of corrugated box boards
  • Highly recyclable
  • Excellent cushioning and crush resistance

Drawbacks:

  • Not as strong as other types of corrugated box board
  • Cannot be used to make boxes

2. Single-Wall Corrugated Box

As the name suggests, single-wall corrugated boxes are made of one layer of corrugated board. They’re the most common and versatile type of box and can be used for everything from storing items to packaging them for shipment. These boxes are also the least expensive to produce.

For the fluting, the single walled corrugated board will mostly use B and C flutes. The B flute is thicker and provides more crush resistance, while the C flute is thinner and offers more stacking strength. However, both types of fluting will provide some cushioning.

Benefits:

  • They’re lightweight, making them easy and inexpensive to ship.
  • They’re easy to assemble.
  • They can be customized with high-quality printing, colors, and other features.

Drawbacks:

  • They offer little protection and are not as durable as other types of corrugated boxes.
  • They’re not as sturdy as other types of boxes, which means they can’t support as much weight.

3. Double-Wall Corrugated Boxes

As the name implies, double-wall corrugated boxes are made from two layers of corrugated material. The flutes on the inner layer run perpendicular to the flutes on the outer layer. Double-wall boxes are stronger and more durable than single-wall boxes, making them a good choice for heavier or more fragile products.

The fluting in these types of corrugated boxes often follows these schemes: AC, BC, or EB. AC is the most common fluting for double-wall corrugated board as it offers a good combination of crush resistance and stacking strength.

Benefits

  • They’re stronger and more durable than single-wall types of corrugated boxes.
  • They offer more protection for items during shipping.
  • They can support more weight than single-wall boxes.

Drawbacks:

  • They’re more expensive to produce than single-wall boxes.
  • They’re heavier, which makes them more expensive to ship or store.

4. Triple-Wall Corrugated Boxes

Triple-wall corrugated boxes are made from three layers of corrugated material. Like double-wall boxes, the flutes on the inner layer run perpendicular to the flutes on the outer layer. Triple-wall boxes are even stronger and more durable than double-wall boxes, making them the best choice for very heavy or very fragile products.

The triple-walled corrugated board may use the same type of fluting in all layers, or the flutes may be different types and sizes. It mostly depends on the box application requirements or, if a custom product, on the customer’s preferences.

Benefits:

  • Strongest and most durable types of corrugated boxes
  • Ideal for very heavy or very fragile products

Drawbacks:

  • Most expensive type of corrugated box
  • Heaviest type of corrugated packaging board
  • Most difficult to assemble of all types of corrugated boxes

Single vs. Multi Wall Corrugated Boxes

Now that you know the main types of corrugated boxes, you might be wondering which one is right for your needs. The answer largely depends on what you’ll be using the box for. It also depends on how much protection your product needs.

  • If you’re looking for a versatile, all-purpose box, single-wall corrugated boxes are a good choice. These are strong enough for most purposes, plus they’re the most economical option.
  • If you need a stronger box, double- or triple-wall corrugated boxes might be a better choice. These boxes are more durable and offer more protection, but they’re also more expensive.

When choosing your box, consider the weight and fragility of the items to be shipped as well as the cost of production and shipping.

Make sure, too, to choose a box that’s the right size for the items to be shipped; using a box that’s too large will increase shipping costs, while using a box that’s too small could result in damage to the items.

Single vs. Multi Wall Corrugated Boxes
Single vs. Multi Wall Corrugated Boxes

Conclusion

Different types of corrugated boxes are available to meet different packaging needs. Single-wall boxes are the most common and versatile type of box, while double-wall, triple-wall, and quadruple-wall boxes offer more protection and support for heavier items.

No matter what type of box you choose, make sure it’s the right size for your product. A box that’s too small won’t offer enough protection, and a box that’s too large will be more expensive to ship

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