Cardboard packaging boxes are a key component for protecting your products during storage and transit. But, when your most valued packaging product doesn’t perform as it should, you could be left with wastage or rising damage levels. The cause of which may sometimes be unclear. One common factor I come across regularly is companies unknowingly using the wrong board grade.

So what are the tell-tale signs you’re using the wrong board grade?

1. Box tearing when erecting

If your box tears when it’s being made up by your packer or case erecting machine, it’s an instant sign that the quality of your board is low.

2. Boxes arrive crushed

If your boxes appear crushed when delivered from your supplier, this is often a sign that the flute in your board is weak.

3. Increased damages

When the incorrect board grade for your product or business is used, protection of your item is compromised and can lead to damages.

4. Poor customer feedback 

A weak board grade could mean that your boxes become crushed, misshapen or torn during delivery to your customers. So keep a close eye on customer feedback to see if this is happening.

5. Box appears weak

If your box feels and appears weak, then your board grade is weak.

It’s likely that you could be using the wrong board grade on your boxes without even knowing it. I see a lot of companies now opting for the latest high performance boards. They are popular because at 80gsm-105gsm they offer the same strength as the standard 125gsm, but are much lighter to transport. Having said this, the higher performance boards don’t always perform as expected because of the variation in gsm.

What should you do?

My recommendation would be to test your corrugate boxes to see exactly what you are getting. A simple soak test can help identify if your board grade is, in fact, low performance. The test involves soaking your board to separate the layers and, after drying, the board is cut and each layer weighed to determine the gsm. Tests I have done in the past have revealed a thick outer board with a weak flute.

If you’d like us to take a look at your boxes, request a free audit via the link below.

Are you experiencing any of the above tell-tale signs?