England 12/08/2013 – Despite the emergence of new packaging materials, it seems that the corrugated box is still holding its own.
Firms across the world are still choosing corrugated boxes over plastic crates and other more modern packaging materials. Sales of cardboard boxes are at an all time high. Firms are choosing this very old form of packaging over others for many reasons, but the main reason is that even after all these years the corrugated cardboard box is still the best packaging solution for a huge range of products.
The history of corrugated cardboard is an interesting one. It was patented in the UK, in 1856, and was used for years just for top hats. Fortunately, in 1871, Albert Jones realised that this product was perfect for protecting products in transit. He patented a wrap made from corrugated cardboard, which was used to protect bottles while they were in transit. In 1890, the Scotsman, Robert Gair invented the modern cardboard box. At this point, the modern shipping and transport industries were born too. Within a few years, practically everything was packed into cardboard for transport.
The Plastic Crate Has Come and Gone
Things looked set to remain this way until plastic crates were invented. At this point, many predicted the demise of the traditional cardboard box. However, this did not happen.
Plastic crates were expensive to buy, did not fit in with most automatic packaging machines and were harder to maintain and take care of than anyone thought they would be. They had to be kept clean, and there was the problem of storing them once they were empty and getting them back to the manufacturer. Over time, it also became clear that some forms of plastic crates were simply not robust enough to endure the rigours of distribution. The security of products during transport also proved to be an issue.
Today firms like E Corrugated are once again dealing with full order books. They are continually looking for, and finding ways, to improve the corrugated boxes that they make to meet the needs of modern businesses. Improved production techniques allows them to make stronger boxes using less materials, which has helped to keep the cost of this traditiona form of packaging extremely low.