Industries rely on corrugated cardboard to build and secure loads for shipping, whether used to stabilize a pallet or protect a bulky bundle. When your standard cardboard covers, wraps and pallet pads fail to protect and secure your highly valuable shipments, the search is on for heavy-duty material handling solutions, which you’ll find when you switch from cardboard to reusable HDPE corrugated plastic.
Cardboard shipping materials: The pros and cons
To identify the best solution to your pallet and shipping headaches, it’s important to account for the strengths and shortcomings of the material you’re replacing.
Corrugated cardboard does have several advantages in shipping and material handling, including being lightweight, inexpensive, readily available to source, and easy to customize. Rolls of corrugated cardboard provide flexible protection for bulk items while providing dunnage to stabilize loads. Sheets provide a versatile solution in everything from pallet pads to disperse weight or as dividers to stabilize the stacks, working together to keep the unit intact and free of damage when it works as designed.
However, cardboard is not without its limitations in its abilities to protect materials in heavy-duty shipments, which can increase occurrences of damage during handling and transport and elevate your operations expenses.
Cardboard tears and punctures easily, leaving the outer layers of a pallet, roll or bulk item vulnerable to impact during handling and transport.
Cardboard breaks down when exposed to moisture, which can destabilize the load or remove any outer layer of protection, making it less suitable for outdoor storage and open freight shipments.
While corrugated cardboard is recyclable, it’s a single-use material that still requires material and resources to produce. Cardboard that gets contaminated by dirt or oil can’t be recycled so it ends up in the landfill.
Sourcing, storing and disposing of cardboard creates ongoing expense for your enterprise, and given the supply chain issues and inflation in the recent past, cardboard can easily become the weakest link in your supply chain.
What are the alternatives to cardboard?
Chipboard can provide a partial solution to your shipping headaches. It’s durable, provides a more rugged barrier against moisture and impact, and it can be used and reused for years. But wood is not a true replacement to cardboard because it lacks the key benefits of cardboard. It’s also heavier, which will nudge up your shipping expenses. The weight also increases your risk profile on the worksite because these heavy boards can easily fall or slide off tall pallet stacks when they’re not assembled or disassembled correctly.
HDPE corrugated plastic
Corrugated high-performance plastic overcomes all the challenges of both cardboard and chipboard. When used as reusable boxes and totes, dunnage, pallet pads, covers and wraps, HDPE corrugate provides a durable long-term solution to provide superior protection of your pallets and bundles, from the first forklift to final loading dock.. Here are just some of the advantages of switching from cardboard to corrugated HDPE plastic.
Durability: HDPE plastic can take a beating, making it an excellent replacement for cardboard as reusable totes and boxes. Its dense polymer structure provides the strength to resist punctures and tears caused by handling, falls and other mishaps. Moisture repelling qualities also protect valuable materials and products against water and humidity. When designed for nestability, these bins and boxes can assemble into stacks to save space and freight costs, making reusable bins and boxes ideal for reverse logistics and closed loop systems.
Stability: Corrugated HDPE is designed around achieving the most strength with the least amount of weight, which is precisely what is needed from a pallet pad. The HDPE plastic material provides long-lasting durability, while fluting provides an ultra-strong core of strength — which can be raised by increasing the board weight without adding thickness.
Cushioning: Keep delicate and breakable materials protected during shipping, whether used as a protective top layer or as dunning. HDPE can be formulated to flex, can be used to encase bulk materials or used as reel covering.
Impact resistance: The superior ruggedness of HDPE starts at the molecular level, which lends the material its ability to stand up to rough handling and hazards during shipping. When used as your heavy-duty pallet and shipping solution, your HDPE wraps, covers and containers arrive without cracks, breaks or even scratches and scrapes.
Reusable: HDPE corrugated plastic is completely reusable, enduring load after load and load. Because it’s a high-quality, high-performance material, its potential lifespan can last for years, drastically reducing the need to source and store replacements and dispose of older materials.
Hygienic: When products and materials demand absolute protection from mold, weather and contaminants during shipping and storage, HDPE corrugated plastic bests cardboard and wood. Its surfaces are stain resistant, stand up to power washing and cleaning solvents, and do not harbor bacteria and pests.
Sustainable: HDPE corrugated plastic can outlast dozens, if not hundreds, of shipping cycles, and is completely recyclable at the end of its useful life, which reduces the burden on landfills.
Let us design your solution
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