Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Cardboard in the news

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Our latest installment of news snippets about the world’s most versatile and affordable packaging material….

Stiff Chinese tariff hikes hit OCC

Just weeks after corrugated packaging and recycling industry groups mulled recommendations for increasing residential recovery of old corrugated containers (OCC), China in early August announced it will impose a 25 percent tariff on OCC and other recovered fiber in retaliation of the latest U.S. tariffs. The tariffs were set to go into effect August 23. According to waste360.com, the U.S. exported nearly $6 billion worth of scrap commodities to China last year. But exports already were headed south to the tune of a 24% drop since 2017, the website reported.

Plastics getting a black eye again

Scores of businesses on the West Coast have recently announced plans to stop providing customers with and otherwise stop selling plastic straws. Seattle and San Francisco, in particular, along with high-profile restaurants like Starbucks, Aramark and American Airlines have led the campaign. But many experts say straws are merely a drop in the ocean of bigger waste issues beginning to catch the attention of environmentalists, according to businessinsider.com. Fewer than 9% of all plastics are even recycled, forcing society’s collective eye toward this otherwise pretty durable packaging material. Companies are now looking even more at eco-friendly alternatives to plastic. Demand for corrugated cardboard packaging here and in Europe is expected to increase more than 4% in the coming year, according to industry reports.

Takeaway…

Even with mixed news like this, it’s an indisputable fact that brown corrugated cardboard is looking greener every day. It wasn’t that long ago that a Corrugated Packaging Alliance report highlighted the continued positive news about corrugated’s sustainability. Among the CPA’s corrugated industry life cycle assessment study findings: Significant per unit reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, due in large part to increased OCC recycling efforts.

Got cardboard? Artists hobbyists limited only by their imaginations

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

The versatility of corrugated cardboard continues to astound. And it shows how blithely we all toss cardboard into the recycling bin, or worse, a trash can, without imagining how amazing this material really is.

To the novice, this popular packaging material is simply stiff, brown, heavy paper most well-suited as a shipping container, file box or book cover.

But consider the following …

FINE ART

Much like origamists of old, artists are now using both the liner and flute components to craft amazing sculptures, as reported by the website Upcyclist, a self-described “place where artistry meets sustainability.” Among those profiled: a New York artist who fashions incredibly lifelike and anatomically accurate sculptures of townsfolk from a Chinese village his ancestors called home; a British artist who recreates scenes inspired by the Bible and classical mythology; or a Parisiam painter and illustrator who recreates scenes from everyday life out of near microscopic shreds of corrugated – all positioned inside cardboard toilet paper rolls.

CRAFTS GALORE

Pinterest is a veritable goldmine chronically literally thousands of things people all over the world have repurposed cardboard with – from puppet theaters, Matchbox® car tracks, playhouses and obstacle courses to nearly endless kinds of home office organization ideas.

SOUNDPROOF MINI-STUDIOS

Musicians have also discovered the remarkable sound dampening qualities of corrugated. Specially designed 7-foot-tall soundproof cardboard boxes are being used as personal recording studios, home office refuge, private “jam” spaces, and more recently, just a place to escape and vent, as in screaming, according to the website Gizmodo. The site reports that a cardboard honeycomb inner layer can dampen sounds by as much as 30 decibels. The boxes sell for about $1,500.

CARDBOARD YACHTS?

Many places across the country now host racing events whose enthusiasts fashion boats out of cardboard. As the Post-Star in Glen Falls, NY, recently reported, an annual cardboard boat race along the Hudson River features nautical human-powered creations fashioned out of carboard and other recycled materials. Across the continent in southern California, the annual Annenberg Community Beach House’s annual Cardboard Yacht Regatta draws big crowds, reports KNBC, Los Angeles. No word yet how long the boats remain seaworthy.

Is the artist in you screaming to be heard? Corrbox makes lots of creations out of this incredibly versatile material. Brainstorm your ideas today with our design staff to bring your artistic visions to life. Call (877) 267-7269.

Oil’s effect on polybag pricing; Occasional volatility, but mostly stable

Friday, June 8th, 2018

Some of you may have noticed recently that polybag pricing has been a bit up and down.

As a packaging company, we pride ourselves in offering a large variety of these very versatile and widely used products. Some are heat-sealed, while others are “stitched” or adhesive bonded. Some incorporate zip closures while others are self-sealing. Some have handles. Any can be customized with logos, messages, warnings, etc.

As you know, the price you pay for finished goods is most profoundly affected by the cost of the raw materials used in their manufacture. With plastics, the resins used in polybag production are petroleum-based polypropylene, and as such are tied closely to crude oil prices. Most finished goods pricing remains stable when there is a minor blip here and there in oil. Enough of a rise or fall typically results in slightly higher or lower finished goods prices.

As one apparel manufacturer notes on its website, costing out polybags isn’t always a cut-and-dried exercise. Factors such as quantity, styles, sealing and customization all factor into the price of the finished good.

Raw material volatility is a normal occurrence in any industry. For example, in the first month of 2017 alone, prices for polypropylene jumped about 10 cents a pound, according to industry reports. The three months before, polypropylene prices had fallen by almost the same amount.

As of April 2018, prices are very favorable for buyers and industry sources expect them to remain fairly stable the remainder of this year.

To discuss pricing, contact your Corrbox representative today at (877) 267-7269.

That muscular packaging miracle called corrugated

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

How is it that something as lightweight as paper can safely act as a receptacle for something more than 500 times its own weight?

How is it that something made to ship a small printer ink cartridge from Amazon be the very same thing suitable to live and die in? After all, tiny houses and coffins have been made of it.

The corrugated box is, in large part, an engineering marvel. Its strength originates from the pulp of nature’s giants – trees – and the small tube-like material call flute, which not only provides stability and strength, but a sophisticated shock absorber sandwiched between pieces of wafer-thin fiberboard.

Even after it’s tossed and dropped, punched and stepped on, stacked and stored diagonally, it still manages to somehow protect its contents as it travels from maker to factory to truck, rail and air, and on to its destination – across town and country and world. It can withstand well over 126 pounds per square inch, yet cut easily with a small knife. Ninety five percent of its square area is thin air.

It’s far more than just paper and glue.

The site, How Stuff Works, describes corrugated’s “truss”– its flute innards and fiberboard skin – this way: “a series of paper I-beams lying next to each other,” not unlike the skeletal structure of an iron bridge.

Corrbox provides myriad sizes and certified strengths of corrugated to meet every conceivable need. Contact us today or call (949) 248-5880.

Think ‘outside the [corrugated] box’

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Remember the days of childhood, when a chance nab of a large empty furniture or appliance box became a playhouse, a castle, or a pretend car? Or when we stacked lots of big boxes of various sizes to make different rooms? Some of you may even remember a company designing a Gemini space capsule out of cardboard for millions of American kids wowed by a fledgling space program called NASA.

Corrugated’s long-heralded qualities of durability and strength make it an extremely popular and smart choice for shipping and storage.

But scores of “thinking outside the box” entrepreneurs have begun exploiting this versatile material for thousands of applications, many of them incredibly creative and utilitarian – and profitable.

Check out websites like Pinterest and LifeHack, which are rife with amazing ways people are putting corrugated to inventive uses. Its applications in works of art are eye-popping and nearly endless. One artist is even recreating art masterpiece paintings out of corrugated cardboard. Want more?

  • Fashioning recycled corrugated into earth-friendly packaging for anything from gift boxes and consumables like fresh cookies.
  • Toys like sailboats, playhouses, musical instruments like drums and guitars. Even apparel!
  • Furnishings. The level of innovation in this area is staggering – everything from lamp shades, picture frames and shadow boxes, chairs and shelving to complete bedrooms. The American Institute of Architecture Students and the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation has actually hosted a corrugated board chair design competition.
  • Toilets and coffins. Yes, Japanese entrepreneurs have created completely functioning ones.
  • Weed barriers and forms for building raised gardens and compost.
  • Cardboard has been used for temporary housing in disasters. Some clever folks are actually designing bridges and small modular cardboard homes said to stand the test of time for 100 years or more, according to TreeHugger.

Corrbox designers are always thinking outside the box with innovative ideas for customized corrugated. Contact us today or call (949) 248-5880 today with your project or new idea.

A case of expensive “air”

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Vast amounts of money are wasted each year shipping air in corrugated boxes. Even two years after major commercial shippers implemented game-changing “dimensional weight pricing” across the board, many companies still inexplicably ship products in oversized boxes.

What? You say? Most consumers, particularly those not in the freight or e-commerce business, likely have never heard of dimensional weight pricing, but they probably are starting to notice the boxes coming from Amazon and other online merchants filled with less “packing material.” That’s because many of the items they’re buying online are close to the size of the container they’re shipped in.

For those who may not fully understand dimensional weight pricing, it’s basically this: Before dimensional weight pricing, you could ship a brick in a microwave-sized box and another in a brick-shaped box for basically the same price. That’s because freight costs were mostly calculated on weight, not size.

Put another way, “dimensional weight is a pricing technique used by the transportation industry that measures the amount of space a package occupies compared to the actual weight to determine billable weight,” according to National Fulfillment Services (NFS).

UPS representatives told Small Business Trends that U.S. DIM weights are essentially calculated by multiplying the container’s length by height by width and dividing by 166 if the result is greater than 5,184. The billable weight would then be the greater of the DIM weight or the box and its content’s actual scale weight, according to Small Business Trends.

The reasons for the change weren’t as simple as most thought. Some said the freight industry did it to cut down on fuel costs, which doesn’t entirely make sense because DIM pricing would lead to more products of identical weight in each truckload. Others held DIM made shipping more efficient, which is indisputable.

While retailers and wholesalers didn’t embrace the new pricing methodology at first, it didn’t take long for most to understand how wasteful prior practices were. Yet today, many companies still are paying good money to ship air, as well as the additional weight for things like the air pillows and foam pellets used to fill the void inside corrugated boxes and other containers. It adds up. Big time.

Dealing with DIM

There are several steps you can take.

National Fulfillment Services offers a few tips, including consolidating your shipments with carriers to leverage the greater volume and gain better pricing. Regional providers or consolidators are another option, according to NFS.

Most importantly, implement right-sized packaging. Yes, there’s always a need for padding materials, but choose boxes that most closely resemble the dimensions of the content you’re shipping. The best solution is custom packaging, which virtually eliminates costly dead space (air).

Custom sizing, high quality printing latest box trends

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

It’s no secret corrugated boxes are among the most versatile containers on the planet. Beige Market Intelligence, for example, reports they are the most popular “secondary” packaging type because of their relative low cost and weight, strength and rigidity, durability and flexibility.

Processed foods and beverages and electronics are among the fastest growing applications for board and corrugated packaging, and it’s most prominent in developing Asia-Pacific regions where consumer spending is exploding, Beige and Persistence Market Research recently reported.

But two exciting emerging trends worth noting include the growth in demand for high impact graphics and custom-sized boxes to serve multiple purposes. Both are being fueled largely by big box retailers and the Internet.

As we discussed in our previous blog, retailers are increasingly asking companies to provide large dual-purpose boxes for both shipping and dispensing products. Through high quality printing and size customization, this provides additional opportunities to display features and benefits to consumers while minimizing stocking time for workers.

As Persistence notes in a recent report, growing and emerging industrial activity is fueling the need for better packaging techniques to protect and transport goods. But e-commerce is what’s really exploding the demand for and innovation in corrugated and solid fiber packaging, according to Cleveland-based Freedonia Group.

Internet sites like Amazon are among the biggest consumers of corrugated. Globally, e-commerce packaging demand is expected to boom by 10% or more to a $1.1 billion market by 2020, according to Freedonia. In 2015 alone, boxes accounted for nearly a third of all e-commerce packaging. Another industry – third-party logistics – will likely post the “fastest gains” given the edge they already have from serving the e-commerce markets, Freedonia adds.

Set-up boxes, also called “subscription” boxes, make up only 5% of current box demand, but are fueling new innovations in corrugated applications. Such containers are used to ship specialty items like pet food samples on a monthly basis, and companies are seeking innovative ways to distinguish them with imaginative graphics, according to Freedonia.

At Corrbox, our design and sample rooms have large-scale capability to develop an integrated packaging system to protect your product completely during shipping, and design it in a way that also maximizes your product’s marketing exposure. There are countless examples here at Corrbox of clever designs that serve highly practical purposes while reinforcing your company’s logo and corporate branding.

Contact us today at for more information at (949) 248-5880 or drop us a note at info@corrbox.com.

Unwrapping the business of boxes

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Boxes come in an almost infinite array of sizes, shapes, colors and materials. Companies like yours depend on these inexpensive containers to be sturdy and stand up to the demands of shipping and the multiple handoffs that typically occur from your plants to customer loading docks.
While their primary function is the ability to transport mass quantities of identical products (usually in smaller boxes), boxes also can serve a number of other equally important purposes like advertising and display.
Big box retailers (pardon the pun) like Wal-Mart, Costco, Lowe’s and Home Depot often rely on companies to provide large dual-purpose boxes – first serving as a shipping container for large quantities of their product while later allowing a means to dispense individual units directly to consumers. This provides additional opportunities to display features and benefits to consumers while minimizing stocking time for workers.
There are countless examples of clever designs that serve highly practical purposes while reinforcing a company’s logo and corporate branding.

At CorrBox, we’re passionate about containers. Our buyers are constantly sourcing the highest quality raw materials while striving to keep our prices as competitive as possible. Our teams of engineers work around-the-clock to ensure we have the latest state-of-the art machines to not only streamline and constantly improve the speed of production, but also ensure our boxes are made to withstand the rigors of shipping. And our design teams work tirelessly to create customized, innovative and colorful packaging to meet the growing demands of retailing and branding. No project is too great or too big. See more about all we have to offer here.
Indeed, everyone here at CorrBox is constantly challenged to think “outside the box.”
We thought you’d enjoy watching this brief video that shows how simple sheets of heavy-duty paper are transformed into basic boxes and in some cases, works of art.

Keep an eye out for our next blog, which will explore increasing demands for custom-designed boxes.

Wishing all of you a Happy New Year!

 

Good news keeps coming

Friday, July 29th, 2016

Emerging research continues with positive news about the American corrugated box market. All in all, the $63 billion global corrugated box market is expected to soar to nearly $77 billion over the next five years, reports MarketsAndMarkets. Primary growth factors include surging recycled content demand, electronics and food and beverage industry growth, and consumer demand. According to a report by IndexBox Marketing, the U.S. is the global leader in corrugated and solid fiber box commerce. Its 17% world market share is followed by Germany (14%) and China (11%), according to a published news release. Most of the U.S. exports of corrugated boxes are going to so-called “traditional” North America trading partners. Meanwhile, researcher Technavio reports that compostable box demand is surging in the $105 billion global e-commerce packaging market and will continue over the next four years. Box suppliers are answering the call through better ways of paper pulp extraction and enhanced graphics, the firm noted.

A new report paints an optimistic future for corrugated boxes over the next five years

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

A new report by market researcher IBIS World paints an optimistic future for corrugated boxes over the next five years. Sales as a percentage of industry revenues are forecast to rise nearly 64% largely because of overall improved economic conditions and manufacturing output, according to the report. Another market researcher, Report Buyer, is forecasting the global corrugated packaging market to have a compound annual growth rate of 4.6% through the year 2020.

It’s likely a good chunk of those sales will come from Wal-Mart. According to circulatenews.org, the world’s largest retailer uses close to 3 million tons of cardboard annually.

Which brings to mind the ever-growing interest in sustainable materials used in corrugated boxes and other packaging. (WalMart’s annual consumption represents about 6% of the country’s total amount of recycled cardboard, according to circulatenews.org.) The website reports in a recent article that a new material called “ECOR” is rapidly gaining traction among interested buyers in global brands and retailers. The material, developed in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Products Lab, is described as “a diverse collection of high performance building materials and products that are made from 100% recycled waste sources and is free of the toxic glues and chemical binding agents.”