Extra thin micro flute board has been around for years in several large volume industries such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care products. It is also very popular in Europe where it has been used for many years for environmental reasons to reduce the amount of pulp required.
Micro flute board and DTC applications
We have been designing and producing e-commerce DTC packaging from the beginning of that trend, as early as 2007. One of the primary goals has always been to create the retail experience at home with more attractive corrugated designs that are not as “industrial looking” as a typical, thicker B or C flute corrugated box. E flute is now our most popular board thickness, and customers are looking for even thinner, more attractive board grades. However, the challenge for those thinner, lightweight designs is for the packaging design to hold up through a potentially brutal USPS, UPS or FedEx shipment.
Things to keep in mind when considering micro flute board
There are some potential issues and perhaps the biggest risk is product damage by going too light with your board. That is why the structural design is so important. We know how to reinforce the most vulnerable areas of your packaging for e-commerce. As we often say, it is not about your product as much as it is about the twenty-pound box that ends up on top of your box. Your current design may and probably will have to be modified which also means a new cutting die will be necessary. That should be factored that into your cost projections.
It the early days of e-commerce, E-flute was rarely used, so prices were high and lead times were long. As the popularity of E-flute grew, more mills started producing it, improving availability and affordability. The same is happening with F and N flute boards. As the demand grows, more plants are making it, reducing the market price, but for now, micro flutes are typically NOT a cost saving measure. The bigger issues might be the lead times and minimums. At present time, this is probably not an option for low volume box buyers and the MOQ varies depending on board grade, construction and box size. By construction, I mean one side white, two sides white or even triple white will impact minimum and lead time.
Triple white micro flute board
When you closely exam a micro flute cosmetics box, you may notice that sometimes the inner fluted, layer of the board is also white. When the inside, outside and inner layer are all white, the box has a much cleaner, more attractive look. However, it truly sets your packaging apart from all the other e-commerce boxes that are being produced. Most often the value of the product being shipped and the desired unboxing experience will help determine if this is an option that is appropriate for you.
Answers and solutions for e-commerce DTC packaging
The availability of custom, unique materials has changed the e-commerce world. Today if you have the MOQ volume, you can pretty much do anything you want. As the options grow and become more confusing, having a partner you can trust is more important than ever. We invite you to contact us at www.SalazarPackaging.com or call us at 630-551-1700. We will be glad to discuss your specific needs as well as all available options for your products and application.