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03 Sep 2021



Corrugated boxes are made of corrugated board that consists of two main components: the linerboard and the medium, both of which are constructed from a heavy paper called containerboard. The flat linerboard is adhered to the wavy, fluted medium to form either a single wall or double wall corrugated board.



Single Wall

In single wall board, one layer of the fluted medium is placed between two sheets of linerboard. The outside liner is generally smoother than the inside liner, which is more rippled.



Double Wall

In double wall board, two layers of the fluted medium are alternately placed between three sheets of linerboard. The outside liner is smoother than the inside liner, and the outside corrugated medium is more compact than the inside corrugated medium. Double wall board is used for packaging heavy items that may require increased protection and box rigidity.


Flute Types

The wavy shapes that give the corrugated medium its strength are known as flutes. When adhered to the linerboard, these flutes resist bending and pressure from all directions. The different flute styles provide a range of cushioning, stacking strength and printability to meet any need. Generally, larger flutes provide greater strength and cushioning, while smaller flutes have better printing surfaces and are easier to fold.


Flute Profile Flutes/foot Thickness Characteristics
A a_fluting.gif 36 1/4″
  • The tallest, thickest and strongest of the flute profiles
  • Offers excellent cushioning and stacking qualities
  • Often used for packaging fragile, delicate items
B b_fluting.gif 49 1/8″
  • Lower arch heights than A and more flutes per foot
  • Provides a stiff, flat surface for high-quality printing
  • Excellent crush and puncture resistance
  • Folds better than A and C flutes
  • Commonly used for die cut boxes and shipping containers
C c_fluting.gif 41 5/32″
  • Thinner than A and thicker than B
  • Offers good cushioning and stacking properties
  • Used to construct an estimated 80 percent of corrugated containers, making it the most widely used flute style
  • Commonly used for shipping containers
E e_fluting.gif 95 1/16″
  • Large number of flutes per foot
  • Has the greatest crush resistance
  • Has the flattest surface for superior printing
  • Thin profile (one fourth the thickness of A) reduces bulk and saves storage space
  • Very lightweight
  • Often used in retail packaging and small die cut boxes
BC bc_fluting.gif NA 1/4″
  • Combines B and C flutes to form a double wall corrugated board
  • Provides extra cushioning and stacking strength
  • Often used for packaging heavy items

03 Sep 2021



Regular Slotted Container (RSC)

The regular slotted container is the most common box style and is often used for shipping and storage. The flap width (the distance from the outer edge of the flap to the folded edge adjoining the box) is the same on all four flaps. The two outer flaps meet at the center when the box is folded, and these containers require glue, tape or staples to close. These boxes are the most economical to produce and create very little manufacturing waste.


Full Overlap Container (FOL)

The full overlap container is similar to the regular slotted container, but has flaps that extend across the width of the box. This overlap provides reinforcement that results in increased stacking strength and offers protection against rough handling. This style is often used when there is a considerable difference between box length and width, creating a large gap between the inner flaps. The overlap helps to keep the outer flaps from pulling apart.


Half Slotted Container (HSC)

The half slotted container is similar to the regular slotted container, but has flaps only on the bottom, leaving the top open. Trays are often used as lids for these containers.


Die Cuts

Die cut containers incorporate special shapes or structural elements that cannot be achieved using the straight lines and right angle cuts of conventional scoring and slotting equipment. The unique designs of die cut boxes often involve angled or curved cuts, slots and scores, or other features, such as perforations and cut-outs. These designs are created using a steel-rule die to cut and crease the container into the final package


These flat scored and slotted sheets have flaps on the sides and ends that fold and fasten to produce trays, which can be used by themselves or as lids for half slotted containers. Trays are often used to ship heavy, flat items and as reusable storage containers.



Pads are sheets of corrugated board that are used to protect or divide the contents of a box. They can be cut into any shape to help separate, cushion, suspend and fill irregular spaces within a container. Pads can also be placed against the inside walls of a box to offer additional stacking strength.

03 Sep 2021



Box measurements are always expressed in three dimensions—length, width and depth—and always in that specific sequence. The length and width are the opening dimensions of the box, and the length is always the larger of the two (unless they are equal). The depth is how far you can reach into the box, and is the distance measured perpendicular to the length and width. These measurements always relate to the inside dimensions of the box

08 Jan 2020

Think Green, Buy Brown

Think Green, Buy Brown

Many companies come to 5 Star packaging looking to reduce their carbon footprint through innovative custom packaging, and many times the answer is paper. As the environmental impact of human economic activity becomes clearer, companies are under more and more scrutiny from consumers about their product packaging. Sustainability has become important to many consumers, who are now looking to select brands based on efforts to be more environmentally friendly. With eco-friendly packaging solutions in higher demand than ever before, many brands have already switched to more sustainable paper based packaging. Even large global brands such as Coca-Cola and Amazon have recently undertaken initiatives to reduce the amount of waste created by their product packaging. In the European market, Coca-Cola plans to completely phase out plastic shrink-wrap by 2025 in favor of cardboard sleeves. This decision was made after the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Heidelberg, Germany found that, “cardboard provides the best balance between carbon footprint and recyclability-with the added benefit that we are replacing hard to recycle shrink wrap with 100% recyclable-sic-cardboard from sustainable sources.” If your company is also looking for sustainable, recyclable, and compostable packaging, see what we can design for you using various paper products. The list below offers several reasons why paper packaging might make your products greener.


Corrugated boxes contain both large amounts post-consumer and recycled content.

One advantage of corrugated boxes is that most board tests are made from mostly recycled content, i.e. boxes or newspaper, and can be recycled multiple times. Also, most corrugated packaging is made without dyes or bleaches, meaning it can be composted more easily than other types of materials that contain harsh contaminants. We even offer soy-based inks that are 100% biodegradable, and much less harmful than their oil based alternatives. The high percentage of recycled components also means that paper requires less energy to make. Rather than producing boxes from 100% virgin materials, most paper mills make products from locally sourced recycled content—which also minimizes environmental damage caused by excessive transportation.  See some examples of post-consumer and recycled content of different corrugated board tests from our paper mills.

2013 Percentage of Recycled Fiber Content by Paper Supplier


Paper packaging is renewable and sustainable.

The foundation of paper packaging is the paper pulp, which is sourced from fast growing pine trees in sustainably managed forests located mainly in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The pulp is also composed of manufacturing waste such as wood chips, and leftover material from other paper making processes. This infinite loop of use and reuse makes paper packaging much greener than other packaging alternatives.


Paper based packaging products are also reusable.

Paper based packaging is not only easily recyclable and renewable, it can also be reusable! Many corrugated cases, inserts, and slip-sheets are designed to be easily collapsible, and fully reusable. 

If you have ever taken a trip to Sam’s Club, or Costco you will find that most boxes are not instantly trashed. There are many uses for corrugated packaging, as the material is known for being a solid, sturdy solution that can carry a range of weights—so cases can be reused for many times for many different purposes. For example, consumers can use boxes for storage, insulation, or floor covering. When corrugated finally reaches the end of its life cycle, consumers can simply recycle the material.


Corrugated boxes are the most efficient shipping option.

An interesting butterfly effect occurs when companies use efficient packaging solutions for their products. In fact, increasing efficiency in packaging is so important that Amazon announced last year that it would begin charging sellers a fee for products that do not comply with it’s FFPP guidelines. The goal of Amazon’s packaging program is to minimize cost and waste associated with oversized and unnecessary packaging. This announcement was not only good news for our planet, but it also reduces the energy involved in moving items through the Amazon distribution network. This type of streamlining can go a long way in reducing waste and emissions, especially for a company the size of Amazon. We have already covered how the manufacture of paper products is both environmentally friendly and efficient, now lets examine how their application also reduces waste. Firstly, boxes are usually rectangular, which means they can efficiently stack with little wasted space. This allows businesses to pack more products into a smaller space, reducing emissions and increasing efficiency. Secondly, corrugated boxes and inserts can be easily and cheaply customized to provide sufficient protection during transit. This is extremely important because, from a waste standpoint, there is nothing worse than a product damaged during delivery. A damaged product is sent back to the manufacturer, which now doubles the resources required for shipping, and the energy and materials that went into making the product are now at least a partial loss. Then, more energy and resources are required to rectify a problem, which could have been initially avoided with proper packaging.


In sum, companies that want to “go green,” should consider buying brown. It may seem like the humble brown box has become old hat in the 21st century, but they continue to prove their relevance as an efficient and ecological source of sustainable packaging.

Contact 5 Star packaging today to see what paper packaging options are available for your unique product needs.





24 Sep 2019

Amazon, the final frontier!

Welcome to the Jungle
There is no question that Amazon has changed the game for many small businesses looking to expand to a wider audience. But the question worth asking is: at what cost?

Just as recently as September 3, 2019 Amazon has begun charging sellers a fee for products that do not comply to the Frustration Free Packaging Program guidelines. The end goal being to minimize costs and waste associated with oversized and unnecessary packaging. This is not only good news for the planet, but by reducing oversized packaging, Amazon can also reduce the cost of moving items through its distribution network.

In the recent announcement, Amazon stated that their expanded packaging requirements include transitioning smaller items from corrugated boxes to flexible mailers, optimizing boxes for a specific product’s size and weight, and implementing fully recyclable mailers. Amazon also stated that they are working with vendors to develop more “ready-to-ship” packaging.

From September 3, 2019, very item larger than 18″x14″x8″ sold through Amazon must have a design certified as ready-to-ship Tier 1 – FFP or Tier 2- SIOC. This means that the packaging must be right-sized; ensure damage protection, ready-to-ship without additional packaging needed, recyclable, and easy to open.

To gain this certification, packages must pass Amazon’s tests that are geared at simulating the conditions a package faces while in the distribution process.

These tests include; ISTA 6-Over Boxing, which tests the package’s ability to withstand environments that could cause damage; forces, motions, and various conditions of transportation. ISTA 6-SIOC Type A, B, C, D, E, F; with each type dealing with packaging of different weight categories.

Type A meant for packaging weighing less than fifty pounds, Type B for those that weighing above fifty but are not more than a hundred pounds, and Type C meant for packaging whose weight is more than a hundred pounds.

Failure to comply with the requirements by then will see suppliers incur chargeback costs of $1.99 for every package that does not meet the new standards.

More about Frustration Free Packaging here

The Packaging Problem
Have you ever bought something as basic as a USB stick, and wondered why anyone thought it was a good idea to use an oversized non-biodegradable, indestructible, plastic clamshell?

Well, the reason is fairly simple. In a retail environment, packaging often serves the dual purpose of both product branding and theft deterrent. Small products are placed in packages that might seem oversized, when in reality the goal is to make the product more difficult to steal. However, the online marketplace is different than your local Walmart. Online, there is no need for beautiful eye-catching packaging, and no need to worry about thieves walking out of the browser with your headphones. So Amazon wants to know, why not downsize and simplify?

Remember that the primary cost faced by online retailers is in shipping. Larger packaging equals greater shipping costs, and Amazon wants its suppliers to help cut those costs.

Giving Up Control
Amazon’s requirements might seem reasonable at first glance– until you consider the risks involved with retooling your business to fit one platform.

This strategy is similar to the strict packaging requirements instituted by other large retailers. For example, both Walmart and Sam’s Club have long required vendors to provide exclusive sizes and quantities for their membership club, which makes price comparison more difficult.

That is not an issue if you are company the size of Nabisco and Coca Cola, but it can be a huge financial commitment from smaller brands looking to break into the big box stores.

New packaging also changes the branding and overall unboxing experience for customers. This might seem inconsequential, but in fact it isn’t. The association between a product and its packaging is often more powerful than one might think. Can you imagine if Coca Cola was sold in a Tetrapak?

The Lesson for Entrepreneurs
The real lesson is this: be wary of building your business around someone else’s platform. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sell on Amazon, or advertise on social media, but you should certainly assess the risk of pigeonholing your brand into one avenue of distribution.

It certainly can be tempting for driven small businesses to want to dive head first into a marketplace that puts their brand on the world stage. But it is also worth pausing to consider what risks might be associated with kowtowing to Amazon’s ever changing requirements.

5 Star Packaging can help your brand navigate the treacherous waters of online retail packaging, and serve as a one-stop shop for custom flexible packaging, corrugated, and chipboard boxes. Feel free to request a quote on our homepage, and a representative will contact you shortly to help.