what are fefco codes

What are FEFCO codes? PLUS the difference between cardboard boxes & postal boxes

You’ve probably spent a considerable amount of time sitting at at home wondering what on earth FEFCO codes are. Luckily, you don’t need to spend any more brainpower on this little mystery; we’re here to explain everything and, even more thrillingly, we’ll explain the difference between postal boxes and cardboard boxes.

Nobody can accuse us of not keeping you on the edge of your seats here at Lil Packaging!

FEFCO codes were devised – not surprisingly - by FEFCO, which is the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers, a non-profit organisation founded to represent the corrugated cardboard industry across Europe, including the U.K.  Such was the number of styles of customisable corrugated cardboard cartons and so copious were their corresponding descriptions, that FEFCO came up with a simple, yet effective system to categorise them.

A FEFCO box style code comprises a four-digit code; this is made up of the style category (first two digits) and the unique box style within this category (second two digits).  To give an example, 0201 is the 01 style of the box belonging in the 02 category (02 being slotted-type boxes).  It’s worth bearing in mind that you won’t know the size of a box from looking at a FEFCO code; these would be stipulated by or agreed with the manufacturer in order to suit your exact requirements.

So, here are the FEFCO categories.  Some of the descriptions are the same; it’s the net shape that varies:

0201

  • Slotted-type cartons made up of one single piece with a glued, stitched or taped manufacturer’s joint and top and bottom flaps.
  • Can be shipped flat, ready to use, but will require closing.
  • Normally flaps are held together with adhesive tape.

0203

  • As above, but slotted-type boxes rather than cartons. 

0300

  • Telescope-type box made up of more than one piece.
  • Has a lid and/or a bottom telescoping over the body of the box.

0409

  • Folder-type boxes and trays usually consisting of one piece of board.
  • Bottom of the box is hinged to form two or all sidewalls and the cover.
  • Possible to incorporate locking tabs, handles, display panels etc. into some of the designs.

0411

  • Folder-type boxes and trays usually consisting of one piece of board.
  • Bottom of the box is hinged to form two or all sidewalls and the cover.
  • Possible to incorporate locking tabs, handles, display panels etc. into some of the designs.

0421

  • Folder-type boxes and trays usually consisting of one piece of board.
  • Bottom of the box is hinged to form two or all sidewalls and the cover.
  • Possible to incorporate locking tabs, handles, display panels etc. into some of the designs.

0422

  • Folder-type boxes and trays usually consisting of one piece of board.
  • Bottom of the box is hinged to form two or all sidewalls and the cover.
  • Possible to incorporate locking tabs, handles, display panels etc. into some of the designs.

0426

  • Folder-type boxes and trays usually consisting of one piece of board.
  • Bottom of the box is hinged to form two or all sidewalls and the cover.
  • Possible to incorporate locking tabs, handles, display panels etc. into some of the designs.

0427

  • Folder-type boxes and trays usually consisting of one piece of board.
  • Bottom of the box is hinged to form two or all sidewalls and the cover.
  • Possible to incorporate locking tabs, handles, display panels etc. into some of the designs.

0914

  • An interior fitment such as an inside liner, pad, partition or divider.
  • Could be tied to Case Design or be a singular item.
  • Could have as many panels as necessary.

0933

  • As above.

 

The two most commonly used boxes in eCommerce are the 0201 (cardboard box) and the 0427 (postal box) and the one thing that these two common boxes have in common is that they are both FSC certified, being biodegradable as well as easily recyclable.  You’ll also be pleased to know that any glue used at Lil Packaging has the highest possible bio-based material content making our cardboard boxes amongst the most eco-friendly on the market even if you do use tape to seal them shut (check out our kraft paper tape).  Plus, customisation isn’t an issue; all our inks are vegetable based.

Immensely environmentally friendly then these boxes may be, but how does their practicality stack up?

0201 Cardboard Boxes

The 0201 cardboard box is good for mixed orders.  Requiring quite a bit of tape to seal, it can be slow to pack and does take up more pallet space, but it’s simple, functional and incredibly reasonably priced.  It’s a classic cardboard box, no frills, no frippery but useful to send a multitude of items and it can be the best product for small businesses who can take their time packing orders and customising their own boxes.

0427 Cardboard Boxes

0427 cardboard postal packaging, on the other hand, takes eCommerce by the hand and runs with it.  Supplied flat, it’s ideal for businesses with limited storage space.  This type of packaging requires minimal tape to seal it shut - a small sticker may even suffice – so it’s especially efficient when it comes to getting orders out fast.  It isn’t manufactured using any glue at all, so there’s zero plastic content.  And when you add to its credentials the fact that it has a hinged lid, you’ve got your pleasant unboxing experience thrown in as well. 

This type of cardboard postal packaging can also save you a fortune in fillers and void packing as – depending on the shape of the box and your product – there’s a good chance you won’t need either.

If you want to know more about the differences between the 0201 cardboard box and the 0427 eCommerce postal box, you can read this article on our website: 

If you want to know more about FEFCO, then check them out at http://www.fefco.org

If you want to know more about packaging in general or just want to chat to one of our team to see how we can help your business, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.  We’ve got those FEFCO codes memorised so we know exactly which cardboard box will be your perfect fit.

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