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How to Read a Box Maker’s Certificate in Under 3 Minutes

Have you ever been intrigued by the circular stamp you found on a cardboard box? It’s a small seal that’s mostly letters and numbers. You’d be right to think it offers you some details about the box. In fact, it’s actually a quality indicator, known as the “Box Maker’s Certificate” or BMC.

What is a Box Maker’s Certificate? 

Box Maker’s Certificate  - Where to Find?
Image Curtesy: Rand-Whitney

A Box Maker’s Certificate is a stamp that’s printed on the box to tell you or a freight carrier that the box meets certain requirements. The certificate identifies the box’s manufacturer, contains specifications about the box, and serves as a mark of compliance. The Box Maker’s Certificate also mentions how much stress a box can bear, based on the amount of material used.

Is a Box Maker’s Certificate Required? If yes, Why?

Indian regulations do not necessitate a maker’s certificate on corrugated boxes. But having one let’s shipping companies, handlers, and buyers know the box’s strength, size, and weight limits. It indicates the box’s capability to adequately contain and protect its contents. 

In certain cases, a BMC is a must. Logistic companies require a certificate for compliance with palletized freight shipment regulations. For example, UPS requires a Box Certificate for packages over 31.5kgs or 70lbs.

Without the BMC, a freight carrier may refuse to accept a shipment, or your damage claims might not be honoured. Hence, always consider having the box makers certificate to make freight shipping a stress-free process.

What Information Does the Box Certificate Indicate?

Box Maker’s Certificate  - Closer Look
Image Courtesy: Packaging Company
  • Manufacturer Details
  • Board Construction
  • Strength of the Box
  • Weight and Size Limits

Manufacturer Details

A standard circular BMC contains the manufacturer’s name and location, which includes the state name, country name, and the zip or postal code. It is located on the external circumference of the stamp.

Box Construction

Below the manufacturer’s name, the BMC contains the number of walls used in construction; the number of corrugated boards used in making the box— “Single Wall”, “Double Wall”, or “Triple Wall”. The higher the number of boards used, the stronger the walls of the box. But, the more the weight and cost.

Strength of the Box

The strength of the box is generally denoted as the maximum force that can be applied to the box before it gets crushed or punctured. Manufacturers various corrugated box testing methods, but primarily the Edge Crush Test or the Mullen Bursting Test to measure the strength of the corrugated board.

The Edge Crush Test, also known as ECT shows how much force the edge of the corrugated board can take before it gets crushed. It is expressed as lbs/in, that is, force per unit length. A standard corrugated board comes with a 32 lbs/in rating.

The Bursting Strength Test measures how much internal or external pressure the box can withstand before it is impaled. The Bursting test results are recorded as lbs/sq. inch, the unit, force per unit area or pressure. Standard boxes are rated 200 lbs/sq. in.

Weight and Size Limits

Finally, the BMC indicates the maximum weight a box can contain and the size of the box. The weight signifies the tolerance of the box. Whereas, the size is a measure of the external dimensions of the corrugated board.

What Information does the BMC Not Contain?

Although the BMC contains details about the box’s capabilities, it does not suffice the information needed for practical real-world shipping. For example, moisture resistance isn’t mentioned. 

In cases where additional regulations come into the picture, like during the shipping of glassware, hazardous material or food additional stamps or indicators will be needed.

The Takeaway

A Box Maker’s Certificate indicates the quality and capability of the box but is not the final decider when picking the right box for your shipping needs. 

The strength, weight, and size give you a good indication of the box’s ability to sufficiently contain and protect your products, and the cost involved. However, you might need additional testing to see how the box would fare in cases of varying temperature when subjected to moisture, abrasion, and more.

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