Corrugated boxes can be used to ship and store almost any product, both consumer and industrial. As with folding cartons, there are seemingly endless corrugated box styles available.
Before you read this article, it may be helpful to read about what corrugated boxes actually are first: click here.
If you need clarification concerning the basic differences between the three main types of boxes used in packaging – corrugated boxes, folding cartons and rigid boxes – check out this popular article
OK, if you read the previous articles I mentioned above, you are now an expert on corrugated boxes. So let’s get cracking on all those corrugated box styles!
The different corrugated box styles can be organized into three main categories:
- Slotted Boxes
- Telescope Boxes
The Three Corrugated Box Styles:
1. Slotted Box Style
This style is usually made from one piece of corrugated or fiberboard called a “blank”.
These blanks are scored and slotted for easy folding.
These boxes conveniently ship flat to the user and are easy to erect, usually only requiring staples or tape to secure the top and bottom.
The major differences between the various slotted style boxes that you will see below are the varying lengths of the inner and outer flaps.
Regular Slotted Container (RSC)
This is the most common of all the corrugated box styles. The outer flaps (lengthwise flaps) are one-half the boxes width. This allows for the outer flaps to meet in the middle when folded into a box.
This corrugated box style is highly efficient to manufacture resulting in very little waste.
Half Slotted Container (HSC)
This is the same as the Regular Slotted Container (RSC) except that one set of flaps is excluded.
Overlap Slotted Container (OSC)
As with the RSC, all the flaps are the same length. However, the outer flaps overlap by at least one inch minimum when folded, instead of meeting in the middle as with the RSC.
These boxes are commonly sealed by staples inserted in the overlap area.
This style substantially improves box integrity especially in those cases where the dimensions of length are significantly greater than the width.
Full Overlap Slotted Container (FOL)
Similar to the OSC, the Full Overlap is exactly what the name suggests – the outer flaps almost completely overlap (just shy by one inch) when closed.
This corrugated box style provides enhanced cushioning and stacking potential.
The next 3 corrugated boxes styles are very closely related with only minor, but important, differences. They use the term “center special” in their names because the inner flaps meet in the center of the box when closed (unlike the previously mentioned styles where the inner flaps create a gap because they are shorter in length).
Center Special Slotted Container (CSSC)
Both the inner and outer flaps are cut to different lengths. This enables the inner flaps to meet in the center (“Center Special” as the name suggests), thus creating no gaps when closed. The lack of a gap between the inner flaps also furnishes the box with a more stable and level base and top.
It is also similar in strength to the Full Overlap Slotted Container (FOL) because of the double layers of corrugated provided by the inner and outer flaps.
Center Special Overlap Slotted Container (CSO)
The inner flaps meet in the center just as in the CSSC mentioned above, providing a nice level base. However, the length of this style of box cannot be more than twice the width. This results in, depending on length/width ratio, outer flaps that will overlap to varying amounts up to a full overlap.
Center Special Full Overlap Slotted Container (SFF)
The outer flaps fully overlap and the inner flaps, characteristic of all the center special styles, meet in the center when closed.
Just like with the Full Overlap Slotted Container (FOL), the cushioning and stacking potential of this style of corrugated boxes is increased due to the three full layers of corrugated over the whole top and bottom.
Snap Lock or 1-2-3 Bottom (with Top Tuck closure or Regular Slotted Container (RSC) style flaps)
This corrugated box style mimics the folding carton box style of the same name; see this post for further details.
This style allows for faster box set-up which is ideal for smaller companies that may not have automated box set-up equipment.
These boxes may not be great for heavy products.
Bellow Style Top and Bottom Container
Easily folding closed, the Bellows Style provides a more secure top than the standard inner and outer flaps.
Integral Divider Container (RSC with Internal Divider or Self Divider Box)
This box style is designed with a convenient built-in divider.
2. Telescope Boxes
Full Telescope Design Style Container (FTD)
These corrugated boxes usually consist of two separate pieces – a top piece which acts as a lid, and a bottom piece.
True telescope boxes have the lid or cover extending past at least two-thirds the depth of the bottom piece. “Boxes with Covers” is what they are referred to if the lid extends less than two-thirds the depth (see below).
Design Style Container with Cover (DSC)
Unlike a Full Telescope Box (FTD), this corrugated box consists of a lid or cover that extends less than 2/3 the depth of the bottom portion and is, therefore, considered a “Box with Cover”.
Double Cover Container (DC)
The body of the box is a simple tube style. The two covers are interchangeable, one on the bottom and one on the top.
This corrugated box style is great for heavy objects that are difficult or awkward to lower into a conventional box. So the product is sat on one of the covers and the tube body is placed over it; the other cover is then, obviously, used as the lid.
Interlocking Double Cover Container (IC)
This box is the same as the Double Cover Container (DC) (see above) except that the covers and tube style body of the box interlock to ensure that the covers don’t become separated from the box body in transit.
This corrugated box style provides the same easy loading that the Double Cover Container (DC) is great for, and the interlocking covers make it ideal for large and heavy appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators etc. as well as other heavy equipment and even some hazardous materials.
Octagonal Double Cover Container
Again, this corrugated box style is similar to the Double Cover Container (DC) except that is has more panels which makes it octagonal in shape. It is great to accommodate products that require a more round box shape rather than rectangular or square.
Full Telescope Half Slotted Container (FTHS)
Remember the Half Slotted Container? – It was the second box discussed in this article. It was simply a Regular Slotted Container (RSC) without one set of flaps.
Now, remember the Full Telescope Design Style (FTD)?
Well this corrugated box style is both of those styles combined.
Two Half Slotted Containers that fit over one another in a Full Telescope Design Style.
Folders or Folder-Type Boxes are made of one or more pieces of corrugated board that provides a solid, unbroken bottom where the product sits; the rest of the corrugated is scored for folding around the product.
One Piece Folder (OPF)
With this corrugated box style, a single piece of corrugated board creates a flat, unbroken bottom. The extended flaps are scored so that they fold and create sides for the box. One set of flaps meet in the center to form the top of the box.
One Piece Folder with *Air Cell* (also called *Protect All*, *End Buffers* or *Bookwrap*)
This is the same as the One Piece Folder (OPF) (see above) except that the short set of flaps are a little longer and fold over on themselves creating protective side blocks.
Five Panel Folder (FPF) (or Harness Style Five Panel Folder)
This Five Panel Folder (FPF), also called a Harness Style Five Panel Folder has a fifth panel that covers the entire top of the box. When sealed, three of the sides have several layers of corrugated which provides extra cushioning and stacking capability.
This corrugated box style is basically just a Regular Slotted Container (RSC) that automated machinery wraps around a product.
One Piece Folder with Dust Flaps and Tuck Flaps
Just as the name indicates – tuck flaps for easy closure.
Roll End Tray (Walker Lock Tray or Tray with Self Locking Ends)
This corrugated box style is made of one layer of corrugated board that provides an unbroken bottom. The ends fold over and lock into place delivering multiple layers of corrugated that enforce both ends of the box.
Display Tray or High Wall Tray
Display Trays are used extensively in club stores like Costco. They are strong, stackable and even great for carrying your groceries home in.
There are so many corrugated box styles; it is impossible to include an example of each. But these are a good start and represent common corrugated box styles in wide use.
Corrugated board is also used to make bulk bins, retail packaging (similar to folding cartons) and even furniture. There seems to be no end of applications for this amazingly simple but incredibly versatile use of paper.