Boxes: Let’s Break it Down

Summertime is just around the corner and a big logistics issue is “the box.” Boxes come from all over the world and are part of a shipping solution to bring goods to your neighborhood retailers. However, these boxes and the shipping methods tend to deliver crushed, smashed, ripped, and opened boxes. These boxes lose integrity, expose products to damage and missing products, and increase labor costs to reclaim, refurbish or repack.

One issue that can be addressed is ventilation during transportation. The air movement can relieve some of the heat that distresses the boxes, but it will only help in keeping box integrity.

The Three Most Common Reasons Boxes Break Down:

1. Humidity:

High humidity levels can cause cardboard to absorb moisture from the air. Cardboard is made from paper fibers, which readily absorb water. When cardboard absorbs moisture, it becomes weakened and loses its structural integrity. This can result in the cardboard becoming limp, soft, or even soggy, making it prone to tearing or collapsing under pressure. Additionally, humidity can promote mold and mildew growth on the cardboard surface, further compromising its strength and creating potential health hazards.

2. Closed Quarters:

When a cardboard box is placed in a confined space with limited airflow, such as a closed room or a tightly packed storage area, the effects of humidity and heat can be exacerbated. The lack of ventilation prevents moisture from evaporating away from the cardboard, allowing it to remain damp for extended periods. This prolonged exposure to moisture accelerates the degradation of the cardboard material, leading to faster deterioration.

3. Summertime Heat:

High temperatures can exacerbate the effects of humidity on cardboard. Heat increases the rate of moisture absorption by the cardboard,
causing it to become saturated more quickly. Additionally, heat can directly weaken the bonds within the cardboard material, making it more susceptible to tearing and deformation. In extreme cases, prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause the cardboard to warp, shrink, or even ignite if exposed to sources of ignition.


In combination, humidity, closed quarters, and summertime heat create an environment that accelerates the degradation of cardboard boxes. This can compromise their structural integrity, reduce their lifespan, and diminish their ability to protect the contents stored within. To mitigate these effects, it’s important to store cardboard boxes in well- ventilated areas with controlled humidity levels and to avoid exposing them to excessive heat for prolonged periods. Additionally, using moisture-resistant packaging materials or sealing cardboard boxes with impermeable barriers can help protect them from moisture damage in humid environments.

In a pool distribution or cross dock service, understanding box integrity, product security, and limiting damage, is a big key.
Rebel understands the challenges, prepares, and trains the teams, and knows a successful outcome includes proper OS&D, claims recognition and communication.

Rebel Knows Retail.

If you have any questions please contact Rebel Logistics at sales@go2rebel.com.

 

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Sarah Olmstead

Sarah Olmstead leads the Rebellion. Years of painstaking lessons, long hours, and longer weekends. Polishing skills and building alliances has led Rebel to a leadership position in Retail Logistics.