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General Information

Questions And Answers

General Information

What is the significance of a Box Manufacturer’s Certificate (BMC)?

The rules for shipping products in corrugated boxes by truck or rail are outlined in two publications, the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) and the National Railroad Freight Committee’s Uniform Freight Classification (UFC).  Item 222 of the NMFC and Rule 41 of the UFC set standards for the box manufacturer.  These rules give material specifications that vary depending on the total gross weight and the united dimensions (length, width and depth) of the box and its contents.  A box that follows the rules must carry a Box Manufacturer’s Certificate (BMC).  Without the BMC damage claims and rates may not be honored. 

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What is the difference between ECT and Mullen?

In 1991, Item 222 of the NMFC and Rule 41 of the UFC were changed to allow the use of edge crush test (ECT) as an option to linerboard basis weight and combined burst requirements (Mullen) used traditionally.  This was done primarily because:

  • Mullen was not found to be a good predictor of box performance
  • Warehousing costs encouraged higher stacking
  • Green movement encouraged efficient use of fiber
  • Papermaking advances yield more strength per pound of paper
  • ECT provides options for cost savings because it considers basis weight, the weight of paper for a given area

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How do I most accurately determine the size of my carton?

The measurements of a corrugated box are typically given in the sequence of Length x Width x Height (or Depth).  The dimensions are described based on the opening of the assembled box, which can be located on the top or the side, depending on how it is to be filled.  The opening of a box is a rectangle, that is, it has two sets of parallel sides.  The longer of the two sides is considered its length, the shorter considered its width.  The side perpendicular to length and width is considered the depth of the box.  Dimensions can be specified for either inside or outside of the box.  Accurate inside dimensions ensure proper fit of the product being shipped or stored.  The outside dimensions are important for determining palletizing and distributing. 

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