Rules and Regulations for Corrugation: Truck and Rail Rules

Truck and Rail Rules

The rules for shipping products in corrugated boxes by truck or rail are delineated in two publications: the National Motor Freight Traffic Association’s National Motor Freight Classification(NMFC) and the National Railroad Freight Committee’s Uniform Freight Classification (UFC) (see Recommended Reading and Sources, Assocications, Goverment Agencies and Institutions). The publications give comprehensive packaging rules and names of individual carriers applying these rules.
To discover which rules are relevant to the product you desire to ship, use the guidelines in these publications. The various shipping requirements are documented in this list of different articles. For instance, the name of a particular product may have the words “in package” behind it, meaning that the article must be shipped in a specific type of package (crate, barrel, box, etc.) Other articles are followed by the words “in crates,” “in barrels” or “in boxes,” which means that these products must be shipped in the specified container type. There is a rule classifying the container type in the respective category.

Item 222 and Rule 41:

When articles listed in the classifications include the packaging instructions, “in boxes,” they imply corrugated or solid fiberboard boxes as defined in Item 222 of the NMFC and in Rule 41 of the UFC. Both Item 222 and Rule 41 set quality standards that must be met by the box manufacturer. These rules give material specifications that differ depending on the total gross weight and the united dimensions (length, width and depth) of the box and its contents. A box that abides by the rules must carry a circular box manufacturer’s certificate (BMC) that precisely coincides with the instructions in the rule. Without the BMC, damage claims and rates may not be honored (see Markings, Box Manufacturer’s Certificates).
A box, by the carrier’s definitions, is a full, six-sided (or more) enclosure that may have an opening only large enough to insert one’s fingers to rip open a flap. It must be closed by a positive means or be capable of passing recognized transport qualification drop tests. Boxes must be made of combined board (corrugated or solid fiberboard) that meets or exceeds the minimum burst strength and combined basis weight listed in Table A, or the minimum edge crush test listed in Table B per the appropriate gross weight and dimensions listed.

Edge Crush Test (ECT):

In 1990, the trade associations for the corrugated industry sponsored proposals to revise Item 222 and Rule 41, allowing use of edge crush test as an option to the traditional linerboard basis weight and combined board burst requirements. ECT is a feature of the combined board that, along with other aspects, calculates the compression strength of the completed corrugated fiberboard box. Using the alternative requirements in the carrier rules, box manufacturers have more latitude to draft and supply boxes that target the user’s performance requirements. The alternative ECT value can be substituted for the burst strength/basis weight values specified for Numbered Packages (see below), including furniture packages.

Max. weight of boxes and content

Min. Burst Test, Single wall, Double wall or Solid fiberboard(lbs per sq. in.)
Or
Min. puncture test, Triple wall board (in. oz. per in. of tear)

Min. Edge Crush Test (ECT) (lbs. per in. width)

Single Wall Corrugated Fiberboard Boxes

20

40

23

35

50

26

50

60

29

65

75

32

80

85

40

95

95

44

120

105

55

Double Wall Corrugated Fiberboard Boxes

80

85

42

100

95

48

120

105

51

140

110

61

160

115

71

180

120

82

Triple Wall Corrugated Fiberboard Boxes

240

110

67

260

115

80

280

120

90

300

125

112

Solid Fiberboard Boxes

20

40

40

60

65

75

90

90

120

100


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Posted in Boxes/Corrugated Sheets, Packaging Supplies