The Ultimate Guide to the Weight Limits of Corrugated Boxes


The following is an overview of the different weights available for corrugated boxes when shipping, from the lightest options to the heaviest options. 

For comparison purposes, we include both Mullen burst test and edge crush test (ECT) figures. The burst test represents how much pressure can be applied before the wall of a box will rupture.

The edge crush test is an indicator of the top-to-bottom pressure needed before a box will be crushed. This is important if you will need to stack a number of boxes, especially in a warehouse environment, and is the most popular box standard. 

Extreme Lightweight

Boxes for very basic items where you are not worried about crushing or stacking damage can be made from single face board. Singleface board includes one corrugated medium glued to one flat sheet of linerboard, leaving the flutes visible on the inside and making the material easy to wrap around items. 

If you are looking for a lightweight box between singleface wrap and the standard single wall 32 ECT box, a 26 ECT box can hold up to 35lbs. 

Up to 65 Pounds 

Once you start to have concerns about box strength, or plan to ship your boxes to other businesses and consumers, 32 ECT comes into play. 32 ECT and 200# Mullen single wall boxes are the most standard corrugated boxes, able to hold up to 65 lbs. Constructed from one corrugated medium which is glued between two sheets of linerboard for added strength, they come in a variety of sizes to meet your packing and shipping needs. 

From 66-95 Pounds

Here at 66-95 pounds you are starting to get a little more serious about the weight of the product inside your box. You want a heavy duty single wall box that is able to withstand the added weight while being handled, shipped and stored. That means you’ll want to begin using a 275# Mullen or 44 ECT box. 

From 86-100 Pounds

Although some single wall corrugated boxes can capably hold up 120 pounds, this range is generally considered the tipping point where you want to start thinking about double wall construction for added durability. Double wall means that there are three sheets of linerboard with two mediums in between, making two “walls” and greatly increasing the box strength. 

Standard entry-level double wall boxes are 48 ECT or 275# Mullen.

From 101 to 120 Pounds

The next strongest box is 51 ECT or 350# Mullen double wall, using stronger linerboard to hold up to 120 pounds. 

From 121 to 280 Pounds

As the weight of your shipment increases, the chances are that its value will increase immensely as well. This is no time to scrimp on packaging; instead it is the time to call in the big guns – the triple wall. 

Here four sheets of linerboard are constructed with three mediums in between, making 3 “walls” for maximum toughness. With their triple layer of protection, these corrugated boxes are rated 400# up to 1100# on the burst test and from 61 ECT up to 90 ECT.

From 281 to 300 Pounds

The largest and heaviest of corrugated boxes can withstand up to 1300# on the bursting test and carry an ECT of 155. Extra reinforcements may be used such as the carton being stapled shut rather than glued shut, or adding wood to the floor of the carton. 

The possibilities are endless, from the lightest to the heaviest of items there is a corrugated box that will cradle your product safely from start to finish! 

For more information and packaging solutions, contact us at CS Packaging today!

Bob Janik