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Understanding the BRC (British Retail Consortium) Packaging and Packaging Materials Standard

11 January 2024 by
Hannah Smith

Understanding the BRC (British Retail Consortium) Packaging and Packaging Materials Standard

While many of us don’t put much thought into the boxes that we use for shipping, there are some important reasons that you should. It might be easy to package your products and ship it out as affordably as possible in the cheapest boxes possible, but that doesn’t mean it will always arrive at its destination safe and sound. That inexpensive box might just have cost you money having to replace a damaged product, or worse, a lost customer.

Just as there are many different shapes and sizes of boxes, there are also many other factors that make up the boxes construction and that determine how durable it will be when shipping items around the world. These factors are displayed as numbers either on the box itself, or on the box maker’s certification. In the UK, this certification comes from the BRC (British Retail Consortium) Packaging and Packaging Materials Standard and it provides some important information that can help you choose the right box for your shipping needs.

Let’s take a look at these factors and see just what they mean and how they work together to create durable custom boxes that can hold everything from feather pillows to bowling balls without falling apart.

BRC Packaging Standards 

Construction: The construction of the box states whether it was made with single, double or triple wall corrugated fibreboard. Triple wall construction is obviously the strongest, but it is also the heaviest and could cost more in shipping rates.

Basis Weight: The basis weight is the total weight of the linerboard portion of a box in single, double, and triple wall corrugated fibreboard. This total is listed in pounds per thousand square feet and it gives an indication of the boxes bursting strength.

Burst strength – a boxes burst strength is the measurement of the resistance of the box to tear or burst. This total is listed in pounds per square inch.

Edge crush – The edge crush rate of a box is a measure of how strong the box is and how well it can resist an edgewise-compressive force. Expressed in pounds per square inch, edge crush, is an important factor to consider when choosing any box for shipping.

Size Limit: A boxes size limit is important because as a box size increases, it typically becomes weaker even though the same high strength material is used. The BRC Packaging and Packaging Materials Standard box size limit refers to “the maximum outside dimensions of a finished box when the length, width and depth of the box are added together.”

Box Gross Weight Limit: A boxes gross weight limit is the maximum allowable weight and contents that the box was manufactured to hold. A higher gross weight limit usually means the box and its contents will arrive undamaged regardless of the weight of your product.

Hannah Smith 11 January 2024

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