Box Styles


Many Styles Available

Some box styles are applicable to only certain products and have highly specialized features; others are more general.

Later in this page, illustrations are given of various styles of boxes. No attempt has been made to show every style of box - only those in most common use. Although all of the drawings are of corrugated boxes and products, most styles can be, and are, also made of solid fibreboard.

Slotted Style Most Commonly Used

The slotted box is usually made from a single piece of fibreboard and is shipped flat to the user's plant where it requires a minimum of storage space and is easily set up, filled and closed. It is in more general use than any other style because it is adapted to the shipment of many commodities. Generally speaking, all the different styles of slotted boxes illustrated on this page may be used to carry the same articles. Often, however, one particular style is used in preference to another because it affords additional protection to the contents.

International Box Code

In the United States, a set of letters such as RSC has a real meaning because it relates to the term being defined - RSC stands for Regular Slotted Container. On the other hand, in Europe and other areas of the world where a diversity of languages is spoken, a term such as RSC has no real meaning because it has a relationship in only one language - English. Facing a language barrier and needing a simple means of communication among all the box makers in the European community, the European Federation of Manufacturers of Corrugated Board(FEFCO) adopted a universal code system. Under this system, various styles of boxes have been given numerical code designations, and these are being used throughout Europe irrespective of the language in the particular country.

The International Corrugated Case Association (of which the Fibre Box Association is a member) has also adopted the code system, which is designated as the International Fibreboard Case Code. Although this code is not intended for use within the United States, box manufacturers and box users, because of the growth of international trade, will undoubtedly have occasion to utilize it. For this reason, where a code designation is available, it is given alongside the illustration of the box. However, not all the styles have code numbers. Copies of the International Fibreboard Case Code are available from the European Federation of Manufacturers of Corrugated Board, 37, Rue d'Amsterdam, 75008 Paris, France.

Closure Requirements

If boxes are improperly or carelessly closed, their carrying qualities are lessened - an invitation to pilferage and to other loss or damage. The regulations governing closure for rail shipment are given in Rule 41 of the Fibre Box Handbook. The motor common carriers publish a requirement in Section 7 of Item 222 in the same handbook that "all box closures must be securely fastened."

Methods of closure authorized in Rule 41 are illustrated below.


Closed with metal stiches

Closed with wide crown staples

Closed with adhesive

Closed with paper sealing tape

Closed with reinforced tape
or pressure sensitive tape

Box Dimensions

Box dimensions are always inside dimensions and must be stated in the sequence of length, width, and depth.

The length is the larger of the two dimensions of the open face(flap opening); the width is the smaller. The depth is always the distance measured perpendicular to the length and width between the innermost surfaces of the box.

Even so-called 'end-opening' or 'end-loading' boxes follow the above principles. Thus, the depth is still the dimension between the innermost surfaces of the box measured perpendicular to the length and width.

A tight fit is important for safe transportation. In establishing dimensions, the box manufacturer is better able to design a box of the proper size if he is furnished with a sample of the article to be packed.

If it is not practicable to submit a sample, a complete description of the article, including drawings when available, the quantity to be packed, and the weight to be shipped in the box should be supplied to insure that the box which is designed will comply with the carriers' specifications.

Box dimensions are particularly critical when the product is to be packed with auromatic equipment. The dimensions established for the box should give consideration to the maximum tolerances acceptable on such equipment.


Top Opening Style

End Loading Style

Five Panel Folder
and Wrap-Around

Tubes and folders follow the same sequence used for boxes in determining dimensions. Length, width and depth are listed, in that order, with length being the larger of the two dimensions of the open face, and width the smaller.

Pads, liners, partition pieces, die-cut pads, scored blanks and sheets of corrugated or solid fibreboard, with only two dimensions, have their size specified with the first dimension parallel to the corrugations, or perpendicular to the grain of solid fibreboard.

In the Fibre Box Handbook there is a stipulation for a regular slotted container. All rules mentioned below are contained in that handbook.

Regular Slotted Container-RSC

All flaps same length. Outer flaps meet.

Description: Rule 41, Section 6(a) and Item 22-5(a)

Closure: Rule 41, Section 7

International Box Code: 0201

All of the flaps of a regular slotted container are the same length, and the lengthwise (normally outer) flaps meet at the center of the box. The space between the inner flaps varies depending upon the relation of the length to the width of the box.

Regular slotted boxes are in more general use than any other style because they are the most economical to manufacture and use and are adapted to the shipment of most commodities. Where the article requires the protection of two thicknesses of corrugated fibreboard over the entire top or bottom, fill-in pads may be provided between the inner flaps.