Common Packaging and Shipping Terms


200 lb Test
This is a test certification for a corrugated box made with mullen liners. The test determines the bursting strength of a flat specimen of paper, paperboard, film, foil, plywood, corrugated fiberboard, solid fiberboard or other material. Mullen value is determined by the amount of pressure a box can withstand before bursting or being punctured. The weight of the board’s liner constitutes the bulk of the bursting strength. Mullen values are given as a three-digit number, such as 200 lb, and the higher the value the stronger the board.

32 ECT Edge Crush Test (ECT)
This is a true performance test and is directly related to the stacking strength of a carton. ECT is a measure of the edgewise compressive strength of corrugated board. It is measured by compressing a small segment of board on edge between two rigid platens or plates perpendicular to the direction of the flutes until a peak load is established. This is measured in pounds per lineal inch of load bearing edge (lb/in), but usually reported as an ECT value (for example, 32 ECT).

44 ECT – Edge Crush Test (ECT)
This is a true performance test and is directly related to the stacking strength of a carton. ECT is a measure of the edgewise compressive strength of corrugated board. It is measured by compressing a small segment of board on edge between two rigid platens or plates perpendicular to the direction of the flutes until a peak load is established. This is measured in pounds per lineal inch of load bearing edge (lb/in), but usually reported as an ECT value (for example, 44 ECT).

4G is used to describe common boxes and shipping kits associated with a packaging group that consists of multiple components tested and rated together. All components are tested together as a single unit to arrive at the desired test result; therefore, each component is an integral part of the package and may not be substituted.



Accessorial Charges
Special instructions and/or needs at delivery. Examples include but are not limited to: liftgate, delivery appointment, residential, limited access, delivery inside facility, delivery notification, university location, construction site delivery, pup truck or straight truck etc. Accessorial shares are applied to the base tariff rate or base contract rate.

Preventing or inhibiting the buildup of static electricity. See all ANTI-STATIC Products

When a bill of lading is accepted or signed by a shipper or shipper’s agent without protest, the shipper is said to acquiesce to the
terms, giving a silent form of consent.

Act of God
An act beyond human control, such as lightning, flood or earthquake.

Any material which is applied to form a bond between two surfaces.

Advance Notification
If a carrier needs to notify a consignee before making a delivery, they charge a fee for the extra work.

Air Cargo Shipments/Packaging
Use to safely transfer bulk product from one site to another.

Ambient Temperature
The temperature of a surrounding body. The ambient temperature of a container is the atmospheric temperature to which it is exposed.

A form of protective packaging which combats static discharge to safeguard items stored within.

Assembly (Assembled)
A line/process to put together all the parts and components in order to make the finished product.

A term commonly used in connection with a bill of lading. It involves the transfer of rights, title and interest in order to assign
goods by endorsing the bill of lading.



A preformed, flexible container, generally enclosed on all but one side, which forms an opening that may or may not be sealed after filling. Different types of bags include stock and custom polybags, shrink bags, shipping bags, protective mailing bags, bags with air vent holes, currency bags, anti-static bags, double-wall bags, trash can liners, recycled bags, specimen/bio-hazard bags, ice bags, ziplock bags, vinyl cosmetic bags, garment bags, sports bags, specialty bags, cloth bags, reclosable bags, and bags made with specialty films. Graphics and color printing options are available.

A large bundle or package prepared for shipping, storage, or sale. Usually tightly compressed and secured by wires, hoops, or cords.

Something that binds, ties, or encircles the package or container to secure and maintain unit integrity.

Barrier Material
A packaging material designed to eliminate the passage of gas, moisture and environmental constitutes.

Basis Weight
The weight measured in lbs, of 500 sheets (a ream) of paper cut to a standard size (24×36″).

The degradation of material from naturally occurring microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi or algae over a period of time.

Blind Shipment
When a third party controls the transport of freight but does not want the shipper or consignee to know the name of the thirdparty. Blind delivery is a way to drop-ship products from a seller to a customer without disclosing a third-party or warehouse location. This refers to shipping items without anything identifying PTI.

Back order; out of stock.

Board Grade
A grade given to corrugated board based on three elements; firstly, the weight and type of outer liner, secondly the type of flute and thirdly the weight and type of inner liner.

BOL (Bill of Lading)
The official legal document representing ownership of cargo. It is a negotiable document confirming the receipt of cargoes, and the contract for the carriage of cargoes between the shipper and the carrier.

Booking Number
A reference number for bookings registered with a carrier. It should be unique without duplication for a three-year period.

Break Strength
The amount of force required to break an item; generally given in pounds or pounds per square inch.

An individual, partnership or corporation which arranges transportation service for client companies. An individual, partnership or corporation which arranges transportation service for client companies.

Sold in large quantities.

Product that is tied, banded or wrapped together.


To adjust scale so accurate weight or count is displayed.

Camera Ready Artwork
Original artwork which is ready for photography; or artwork prepared on computer with all necessary details and colors; to scale, black and white copy. Must be crisp and clear. If more than one color, it needs to be color separated… Camera Ready Art

The volume of space inside a container provided for a given amount of product.

Freight loaded into a ship.

Any individual, company or corporation contracted in transporting cargoes by carriage rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway or by a combination of such modes.

Box or container usually made of cardboard, in which product is packaged.

The price per master pack or over pack containing multiple units of the same product

In plastic shape molding, the parts of the mold that combine to provide the container body shape.

Shrink film is folded in half and wound on the roll. When unfolded, the width listed is doubled.

Certificate of Origin
Document certifying the country of origin of goods which is normally issued or signed by a the relevant Government Department of the exporting country, or Chamber of Commerce or Embassy.

Cert Stamp
Required by packing regulations to be printed on the bottom outside flap of each corrugated box. Signifies the make up of the box.

CFC’s (Chloro-Floro Carbons)
Ozone depleting chemical, very harmful to environment. Mainly found in spray cans.

A low quality non-test paperboard made of waste paper for use where specified strength or quality is not necessary. May be bending or non-bending, used for corrugated pads or as dividers, or as filler in thicker paperboards.

A piece of wood or other material placed at the side of cargo to prevent rolling or moving sideways.

Consignor and consignee – consignor is the sender and the consignee is the recipient.

A demand for payment, credit, or replacement on account of a loss sustained through its alleged negligence.

Clamshell packaging is a rigid container that features a hinged lid with a positive snap closure so the package can be opened and resealed.

A device or technique used to seal the packaging, in corrugated packaging a box can be taped, stapled, glued, strapped or be selflocking (see crash lock boxes).

Acronym for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black – subtractive primary colors. Printing colors for “4-color process” color reproduction.

Special coatings used on corrugated board for a variety of reasons. These coatings include; waterproof, anti-abrasion, anticorrosive and pantone color matching.

Commercial Invoice
Represents a complete record of the transaction between exporter and importer with regard to the goods sold. Also reports the content of the shipment and serves as the basis for all other documents about the shipment.

Article shipped. For dangerous and hazardous cargo, the correct commodity identification is critical.

Common Carrier
A transportation company which provides service to the general public at published rates.

A person or company to whom commodities are shipped.

A person or company shown on the bill of lading as the shipper.

Container Load
A load sufficient in size to fill a container either by cubic measurement or by weight.

Container Seal Number
A number embossed on high-security seals for closing up freight containers which will serve identification purposes.

Container Size
The length of a freight container i.e. 20′, 40′ and 45′ (feet).

Container Type
Freight containers are classified under different types, e.g., dry cargo, reefer, open top, flat-rack, open-side, etc.

Concealed Damage
Damage that is not evident from viewing the unopened package.

Corner Reinforcement
Material or components attached to adjacent panels to add support or prevent crushing or separation.

Cost Insurance Freight
A term of sale. The shipper is responsible for those factors up to that point.

Class 3 rating
Legal for trade. NTEP (National Type Evaluation Program) approved.

Collect (cash) on Delivery.

Convoluted Foam
Egg carton shaped foam.

Corner Boards
Edge protectors

Corrugated Board
A packaging material consisting of a central member (medium) which has been fluted on a corrugator and to which one or two flat sheets of paperboard have been glued to form single-faced corrugated board or double-faced (single wall) corrugated fiberboard. The combination of two mediums and three facings is called double wall and the combination of three mediums and four facings is called triple wall. Corrugated board is generally made in four flute sizes, designated A, B, C and E.

A crate is a large container with four walls and a bottom, with or without a top, used for transporting and/or storing large, heavy or fragile items.

Cubic. A unit of volume measurement.

Cubic Foot
1,728 cubic inches. A volume contained in a space measuring one foot high, one foot wide and one foot long.

Cubic Volume
Volume is measured in “cubic” units. Volume is the space inside a box, the capacity. Volume of a cube = length x width x height. Since each side of a square is the same, it can simply be the length of one side cubed. If a square has one side of 4 inches, the volume would be 4 inches times 4 inches times 4 inches, or 64 cubic inches.

Packaging cushioning is used to protect fragile and sensitive items during transit.

Government agency charged with enforcing the rules passed to protect the country’s import and export revenues.

Customs Broker
A private business that provides documentation and entry preparation services required by CCRA and U.S. Customs on behalf of an Importer/Exporter of Record. Hired by an importer to carry out Customs related responsibilities and is covered by Power of Attorney to act on behalf of the Importer/Exporter of record.


D Container

D Container bulk cargo boxes are heavy-duty Double Wall fiberboard containers with a lid. The internal dimensions measure 58”x42”45” and have an approximate weight capacity of 1,200 lbs.

DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid)
In DDU, shipper clears the goods for export and is responsible for making them available to the buyer at the named place of destination, not cleared for import.

DDP (Delivered Duty Paid)
In DDP, shipper clears the goods for export and is responsible for making them available to the buyer at the named place of destination, cleared for import, paid duty and tax

Depressing (in a blanking die) below the ordinary surface level, usually to form lettering or decoration. Sometimes the background, rather than the lettering itself, is debossed, leaving the letters at the original level of the cap, thus giving the appearance of embossing; otherwise the lettering itself is pressed down, giving the appearance of engraving.

Delivery/Dock Appointment
Preset time for the delivery made with the consignee.

Delivery Instructions
Order to pick up goods at a named place and deliver them to a pier. Usually issued by exporter to trucker but may apply to a railroad, which completes delivery by land. Use is limited to a few major U.S. ports. Also known as shipping delivery order.

The degree of compactness of a substance. The weight of cargo per cubic foot or other unit. Weight of a gas, liquid or solid substance per unit of volume, expressed in grams per cc or pounds per cubic foot.

The place where the carrier or the forwarder actually turns over the cargo or container to consignee or his agent. It may also be termed “ Final Destination”.

Detention (Demurrage)
A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying carriers beyond allowed time. Detention Charges raised by the carrier or the forwarder for detaining container/trailer at customer premises for a period longer than that provided in the Tariff of the carrier or the forwarder. 

Dimensional Weight
Standard formula used in the air freight industry that considers density when determining charges. Calculations consider the space a package will take up on an aircraft relative to the actual weight.

Length, width and height (L x W x H)For freight shipment, measure the largest dimension (length, width and height) for every axis. For inside dimensions to determine payload space, measure the smallest dimension (length, width and height) for every axis.  

Disposal refers to any end-of-life management process including recycling, recovery for reuse, composting, incineration or landfilling, etc.

The route of a shipment changed in transit from that shown on the original billing. Used interchangeably with reconsign.

Loading or unloading platform at an industrial location or carrier terminal.

Department of Transportation

Double-Wall Corrugated
Two sheets of corrugated medium are glued between three sheets of liner. This board is commonly used for heavier products, or products that require a stronger box for shipping.

In inkmaking, a term used to describe ink chemist’s method of roughly determining color shade. A small glob of ink is placed on paper and drawn down with the edge of a putty knife spatula to get a thin film of ink.

Drop Test
Any test method in which the article being tested is dropped in a specified manner for a specified number of times or until the article fails from impact. Normally done in full cases from heights as specified by DOT specifications (10 points), but may be designed to incorporate effects of deacceleration, pallet loading, temperature, humidity, or other variables that could lead to product damage.

The name of materials used in containers to protect goods and their packaging from moisture, contamination, and damage. 


The price per single unit, billable by the each [individually].

E Container
An E Container bulk cargo box is a large corrugated box, with internal dimensions of 41.25” x 28.25” x 24.25”. They are constructed of Heavy-Duty 275# bursting strength Double Wall fiberboard/cardboard.

ECT Edge Crush Test
This is a true performance test and is directly related to the stacking strength of a carton. ECT is a measure of the edgewise compressive strength of corrugated board. It is measured by compressing a small segment of board on edge between two rigid platens or plates perpendicular to the direction of the flutes until a peak load is established. This is measured in pounds per lineal inch of load bearing edge (lb/in), but usually reported as an ECT value. ECT values range from 23ECT single-wall to 120ECT triple-wall. The higher the number the greater the compression strength. ECT board is favorable when boxes will be stacked on top of one another whether on a pallet or warehouse shelf.

Edge Protector
An angle piece fitted over the edge of boxes, crates, bundles and other packages to prevent the pressure from metal bands or other types from cutting into the package. 

Egg Crating
A foam pad with multiple indentations giving it a texture similar to that of an egg carton.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
The electronic transmission of routine business documents, such as purchase orders, invoices and bills of lading, between computers in a standard format. The data formats, or transaction sets, are usually sent between mainframe computers. Learn more in the EDI Resource Center.

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)
When an electrostatic charge transfers between objects of different electrostatic potential. Electrostatic ShieldBarrier that prevents penetration of electrostatic field.

Raised design or lettering on the surface of an object accomplished by pressure of dies, rollers, printing press, etc.

EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) 
EPS is a closed-cell, rigid, tough and light foam with good thermal insulation and high impact resistance. Used in both packaging and construction industries. A synthetic thermoplastic material obtained by polymerizing styrene; used as a white rigid foam (expanded polystyrene) for insulating and packing. Low molding pressures and economical tooling make EPS molding an inexpensive method of producing foam shapes.

ESD Sensitive Material
Material that is sensitive to electrostatic discharge.

Estimated Time of Availability. Estimated time of arrival.

Ex Works
A Term of Sale which means that the seller fulfills the obligation to deliver when he or she has made the goods available at his/her premises (i.e., works, factory, warehouse, etc.) to the buyer. In particular, the seller is not responsible for loading the goods in the vehicle provided by the buyer or for clearing the goods for export, unless otherwise agreed. The buyer bears all costs and risks involved in taking the goods from the seller’s premises to the desired destination. This term thus represents the minimum obligation for the seller.

An exception is any delivery in which the recipient or driver notes a problem on the delivery receipt before signing it. Typically, exceptions concern shortage and/or damage. They show any irregularities in packaging or actual or suspected damage to the cargo. Exceptions are then noted on the bill of lading.

Common top and bottom style containers used to create multiple possible shippers from two separate pieces.

Expedited Freight
The transportation of goods that are time sensitive or perishable and need to be shipped immediately, such as frozen fish, fresh fruit or samples that need to be tested urgently.

Shipment of goods to another country.



Faraday Cage
An electrically continuous, conductive enclosure which provides electrostatic shielding.

Food & Drug Administration

First In First Out

Final Destination
The place where the carrier or the forwarder actually turns over the container or cargo to the consignee of its agent. It is the end of liability of carriers or forwarders.

Wave shapes pressed into the middle of the corrugated wall of the box. Most of Uline boxes are C flute. Flute thickness: C flute 9/64″, B flute 3/32″, E flute 3/64″ , A flute 3/16″. 

FOB (Freight on Board)
FOB is a shipping term used in retail to indicate who is responsible for paying transportation charges. It is the location where ownership of the merchandise transfers from seller to buyer.

FOB Destination
“FOB Destination” changes the location where title and risk pass. Under this arrangement, title and risk remain with the seller until it has delivered the goods to the location specified in the contract.

FOB Origin
“FOB Origin”  means title and risk pass to the buyer at the moment the seller delivers the goods to the carrier. The parties may agree to have title and risk pass at a different time or to allocate shipping charges by a written agreement.

Box flaps completely overlap.

Force Majeure
Force of nature. The title of a common clause in contracts, exempting the parties for non-fulfillment of their obligations as a result of conditions beyond their control, such as earthquakes, floods or war.

Goods to be transported by truck, rail, ship, or airplane Freight is also called goods, cargo, load, merchandise “freight carried by rail”. The system by which goods are shipped “shipped by freight”.The price paid to the carrier for the transportation of goods or merchandise transported from one place to another.

Freight Collect
The freight and charges agreed by the shipper and carrier is payable at destination.

Freight Forwarder
A freight forwarder combines less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments into truckload lots. Freight forwarders are designated as common carriers. They also issue bills of lading and accept responsibility for cargo. 

Freight Prepaid
Freight and charges are required to be paid by a shipper before an original bill of lading is released.

Freight Prepaid & Add
Freight and charges are paid by a shipper and added to .

F-Style Can
Called “F” because it was originally created to package Flit insecticide. It is a rectangular metal can with a pouring spout.

Full Truck Load

Full Overlap Container (FOL)
This style of box is the same as an RSC except both sets of outer flaps fully overlap one another to cover the full width of the container. Wider flaps and extra thickness on the top and bottom of this box make it a better option for products in need of more protection.



A large or bulk size corrugated box for the shipment of products in a large, single container or on a pallet. Gaylord boxes are used for shipping, storage, and moving.


HACCCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point)
A systematic approach to the identification, evaluation, and control of food safety hazards. The Critical Control Point is defined as a step at which control can be applied and is essential to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.

Hazaradous Materials (HAZMAT)
Hazardous materials are defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation in accordance with the Federal Hazardous Material Law. A substance or material may be designated as hazardous if the transportation of the material in a particular amount and form poses an unreasonable risk to health and safety or property. Hazardous material may include: an explosive, radioactive material; etiologic agent; flammable or combustible liquid or solid; poison; oxidizing or corrosive material; and compressed gas. Learn more.

HDPE (High density polyethylene)
The resin of choice in blow molding because it is stiff, chemical resistant, has good processing behavior and good environmental stress crack resistance (ESCR). This ESCR makes it a good choice for bleach and detergent bottles where resins having densities between 0.950 and 0.960 and above are commonly chosen. Injection blow molding is a proven and valued processing technique when a container benefits from excellent neck finish and lack of pinch-off.

A method of uniting two or more surfaces by fusion, either of the coatings or of the base materials, under controlled conditions of temperature, pressure and time (dwell).

Hermetic Seal
A seal that is air tight and leakproof at normal temperatures and atmospheric pressures.

Hot Stamping
This decorating technique utilizes a die (design) that cuts metal foils from a ribbon and by heat, embosses the design onto the surface of the plastic containers. 

Half Slotted Container. A regular box with flaps on only one side of the box, leaving one side completely open. Putting the top on the open end completes the box.


International Air Transport Association

IBC Intermediate Bulk Container
Intermediate bulk container such as a large bag, box or other container capable of transporting, storing, and discharging one-half ton (1,000 lbs) or more of material.

Rigid and flexible intermediate bulk shipping containers (IBC’s) that come in plastic, steel and composite. IBCs are multi-use industrial grade containers engineered for the mass handling, transport and storage of liquids, semi-solids, pastes, or solids. ID (Inside Dimensions)The dimensions of the inside of a case or box, measured by length, width, and depth.

Incoterms are a set of rules which define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts. They are published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and are widely used in commercial transactions. 

Incoterms that apply to any mode of transport are: EXW Ex Works; FCA Free Carrier; CPT Carriage Paid To; CIP Carriage and Insurance Paid To; DAT Delivered at Terminal; DAP Delivered at Place; DDP Delivered Duty Paid.

Incoterms that apply to sea and inland waterway transport only: FAS Free Alongside Ship; FOB Free on Board; CFR Cost and Freight; CIF Cost, Insurance, and Freight.

Inside Delivery/Pickup 
Standard freight pickup and delivery is loading dock to loading dock or curb to curb. Inside pickup and delivery go beyond the curb, and require extra cost. Bringing a shipment inside requires additional equipment (such as a pallet jack to lift the pallet up curbs and stairs), additional time, and sometimes, additional manpower. This is a “white glove” service that comes with an added cost.

Inspection Certificate
A certificate issued by an independent agent or firm attesting to the quality and/or quantity of the merchandise being shipped. Such a certificate is usually required in a letter of credit for commodity shipments.

Insulated Container
A container insulated on all sides, to reduce the effect of external temperatures on the cargo.

Intermediate Container
A wrap, box, or bundle containing two or more unit packs of identical items.

Intermodal (Multimodal)
Shipment moves by more than one mode of transportation, involving more than one form of carrier: truck, air, rail, an/or ocean

The International Safe Transit Association is a non-profit organization which helps to identify shipping solutions by effective packaging methods and logistics systems. Some businesses will test their packaging using an ISTA test procedure.


Just In Time. In this method of inventory control, warehousing is minimal or non existent; the container is the movable warehouse and must arrive “just in time;” not too early nor too late.


KD Knocked Down
KD reduce the cubic footage displaced or to make a better shipping unit and are to be assembled/re-assembled.

A chemical wood pulp made by the sulphate process, or paper or paperboard made from such pulp. It is brown in color and is the strongest pulp product made from wood.


Self-sticking, bar code, UPC, IBM, mylar, cloth, color, aluminum, wrap-around, spot, cling, sleeve, pressure sensitive, heat transfer, DOT, in-mold, expanded content, holographic, rotating, inverted vertical hanging, medical, shipping, international wordless, paper, booklet, production, inventory, and shrink labels. Printing and decorating options are available.

A laminate film can be applied to packaging to enhance its’ properties.

Low density polyethylene. LDPE is similar to HDPE in composition. It is less rigid and generally less chemically resistant than HDPE, but more translucent. Used primarily for squeeze applications. LDPE is significantly more expensive than HDPE, but will yield a glossy bottle when produced in colors.

Lead Time
The time from the initial order to the time it takes to ship packaging products.

LTL Less-than-Truckload
Goods weighing less than 10,000 pounds from several shippers loaded onto one trailer. LTL carriers may use a nationwide network to efficiently move goods from origin to destination.

A liftgate is a special hydraulic platform fitted on the back of a truck that can raise or lower a shipment to and from the ground. Not all trucks are equipped with liftgates. If you don’t communicate that a lift gate is needed, the driver will arrive without the required equipment and won’t be able to complete the delivery. This means your shipment will need to be redelivered (another fee) and could potentially be late (another fee).

Natural substance found in wood that binds & strengthens fibers.

Limited Access
Whenever a driver does extra work to make a delivery, they charge for it. This could include hunting down a consignee to receive a shipment or enduring security-related inspections and processes. Government facilities, schools, prisons, medical facilities, camps, and nursing homes are known for having limited access.

Movement of goods between cities or between freight terminals, particularly between origin terminal and destination terminal, excluding pickup and delivery service.

Any material that separates a product within a container from the basic walls of the container. 1 unit.

Liner Board
A type of paperboard used in making corrugated cartons.

1.06 liquid U.S. quarts or 33.9 fluid ounces.

Linear low density polyethylene.


glass bottle, used occasionally for sparkling wines, having a capacity of two-fifths U.S. gallon. Some foreign magnums vary in capacity.

Manifest (Shipping Manfiest)
A document that lists in detail all the bills of lading issued by a vessel or its agent or master, i.e., a detailed summary of the total cargoes or containers loaded in a vessel. Used principally for customs purposes. It is also called summary of Bills of Lading.

Marking (Marks)
Letters, numbers, and other symbols placed on cargo packages to facilitate identification. Also known as marks.

Maximum Payload
Maximum cargo that can be loaded into a container either by weight or volume.

approximately 39.37 inches.

Michelman Coated Boxes
Michelman refers to corrugated box where the interior liner is coated with WRA. This is a water based and repulpable coating that when applied to the inside of packaging and packaging partitions eliminates the common abrasion that occurs between the inside of the shipping container, any partitions that may be used, and the packaged item. The coating is FDA approved, and is gluable with both cold set and hot melt glues. It is generally used to provide abrasion protection for perishable products. Nomar 70 AFN is non-offsetting, meaning it won’t rub off on the items being packaged, and is formulated to withstand the heat of corrugation. It can be applied offline, on a corrugator or on flexo printing equipment.

The metric equivalent to gauge. MILUnit of measure equal to 1/1000″ used to describe thickness.•”True” means that a film that says it is 6 mils in thickness will measure at that thickness of 6 mils by a micrometer. People in this industry understand that most films are +/-10%, so in the case of 6 mil, a 5.4 mil is commonly accepted as 6 mils.
•Auto gauge profiling: mechanism on extruder to monitor film thickness.
•Film gauge is controlled by Film line speed based on FT/WT calculation = yield by micrometer measure. 
•Thin plastic films are inherently difficult to measure due to their possibility to deform when pressed and due to the thinness of the material relative to accuracy of physical measuring techniques.  They are often less than 1 mil or 25 microns thick.  Many producers try to use a micrometer since it is a simple and inexpensive solution.  However, with thin plastic films, there can be some real challenges on repeatability and reproducibility with a physical measuring technique

A unit equal to 5,280 feet on land. A nautical mile is 6076.115.

Minimum charge
The lowest charge for which a shipment will be handled after discount and/or adjustment.

Material Safety Data Sheet

A test made to determine the bursting strength of a flat specimen of paper, paperboard, film, foil, plywood, corrugated fiberboard, solid fiberboard or other material. Mullen value is determined by the amount of pressure a box can withstand before bursting or being punctured. The weight of the board’s liner constitutes the bulk of the bursting strength. Mullen values are given as a three digit number, such as 200#, and the higher the value the stronger the board.


Nested (Nestable)
Articles packed so that one rests partially or entirely within another, thereby reducing the cubic-foot displacement.

Net Weight
Weight of the goods alone without any immediate wrappings, e.g., the weight of the contents of a tin can without the weight of the can.

The exact (or ideal) intended value for a specified parameter. Tolerances are specified as positive and negative deviations from this value.

National Type Evaluation Program. A series of tests to insure that the scale will produce accurate results and is legal for trade.


Outside dimension. The outside dimensions of a container, package or part. 

A unit of electrical resistance.

Impenetrable by any radiant energy other than light.

Open Panel Folder. Similar to EZ fold mailers.

Other Regulated Materials. D is the classification.

Same as ORM-D but will ship by air cargo.

Oscillated Strapping
Wound like a spool of thread, layers are wound next to each other and overlap.

An outer container usually made of steel, wood or fibre, designed to enclose and protect one or more less durable inner containers.


Package Development
Development services include package concept, design, drawings, models and prototypes, decorating options, estimated costs, and coordination of physical and time factors.

Package Testing Service
Evaluation of basic packaging materials such as corrugated, paper and paperboard, foams, plastics, and films. Tests include thermal, shock transmission, vibration analysis, tear, creep, burst test, altitude testing, etc.

Packaging Component
A packaging component is any stand alone element of a primary or secondary package such as a foam container, cold pack, or a protective bag, or any stand alone element of transport packaging such as a pallet or strapping, and includes labels or adhesives used on the component.

Packing List
A document provided by the shipper detailing the packaging of the goods, including their weight and measurement, and assortment, etc. It contains an itemized list of commodities with marks/numbers but no cost values indicated.

Packing Supplies
General purpose and specialty tapes and adhesives, case sealing equipment, shrink film equipment, bubble wrap, foam, anti-static foam, stretch wrap/pallet wrap, mailing envelopes, boxes/cartons, corrugated partitions and pads, cloth and poly bags, strapping, labels and labeling equipment, thermoformed packaging, netting, pouches, dust covers, liners, stenciling machines, absorbents, humidity indicators and desiccants.

Painted Strapping
Coated with paint so that it offers higher corrosion resistance and improved performance.

Pallet (Skid)
A portable platform for handling, storing, or moving materials and packages (as in warehouses, factories, or vehicles. A pallet is usually two-deck, with or without sides, on which a number of packages or pieces may be loaded to facilitate handling by a lift-truck. For pricing purposes: PTI does not charge by the pallet.

Pallet Box
A three-dimensional container which either has a pallet platform permanently attached at its base or alternatively requires a platform for its handling and storage.


A widely used system used for matching colors and printing inks.

Partition (Partitioning)
Separators or dividers; in packaging an material inserted between tiers or layers of articles to prevent contact and provide protection.

Per Diem
A charge, based on a fixed daily rate. 

Performance Testing
The evaluation of a distribution package to determine its suitability to carry a packaged product through its distribution channel, without damage to the product, by simulating conditions within the transportation environment.

Perishable Cargo
Cargo subject to decay or deterioration, such as fresh food and vegetables, etc.

A portion of an object or of material, produced by cutting, tearing, or breaking down the whole.

Plastic Recycling Code
The recycling code on the bottom of each container consists of a triangle formed by arrows, with a number in the center and distinguishing letters under the triangle. The number codes are: 1) PETE = polyethylene terephthalate, 2) HDPE = high density polyethylene, 3) V = vinyl, 4) LDPE = low density polyethylene, 5) PP = polypropylene, 6) PS = polystyrene, and 7) Other.

Plastics, Blow Molding/Extrusion
Extrusion Blow Molding is a common way to make thin-walled, inexpensive containers like disposable drinking cups or bottles. It’s fast and the tools are easy to make, but the parts cannot be very complex or made with high precision. Molten plastic in the form of a large droplet, called a parison, is placed into a two-piece clamshell mold. After the mold closes, the parison is inflated like a balloon until it fills the empty cavity.  Because the walls of the mold are water- cooled, the plastic quickly solidifies and the bottle can be ejected.  Blow molded plastics are made from various types of resins used include HDPE, LDPE, P/P, PVC, PET, K-resin, thermoplastic rubber, elastomer, Lexan, and Barex.

Plastics, Injection Molded
Injection molding uses a mold or die made from aluminum or steel. The mold consists of a core side and a cavity side that is placed into a plastic injection molding machine. This machine heats the raw plastic resin pellets until they’re molten, injects them into the empty cavity of the mold under great pressure, and then opens to eject the finished part. Injection molded plastics are made from various types of resins used include engineered resins, commodity resins, HDPE, polycarbonates, P/P, K-resin, thermoplastic rubber, and elastomer.

Plastics, Rotational (Roto) Molded
Rotational molding uses a core and cavity mold tool, but the manufacturing process is quite different. Plastic powder is poured into the cavity of the mold, and the mold placed in an oven. While being heated, the mold is slowly rotated on two axes. Gravity is used to stick the plastic to the tool walls and build up the correct thickness.

Plastics, Shape Molded
Shape molding uses a mold or die made from aluminum. The mold consists of a core side and a cavity side that is installed into a shape molding machine and is processed similar to injection molded plastics. Shape molded plastics are made from various types of resins, such as EPS, EPE, EPP, etc.

Plastics, Thermoforming
This is a type of vacuum forming, where thin or thick gauge plastic sheet is placed over a die, heated to a temperature that allows the material to become pliable, then is stretched over the surface of the die while vacuum pressure pulls the sheet down and into its final shape. This process can also be done with simple dies and very basic equipment. It’s often employed with samples and prototypes of thin-walled, hollow-bodied parts.  In industry, it’s used for plastic cups, lids, boxes and plastic clamshell packaging,

A thermoplastic material composed of polymers of ethylene. It is normally a translucent, tough, waxy solid which is unaffected by water and by a large range of chemicals. There are three general classifications: low density, medium density and high density.

A thermoplastic material derived from the polymerization of styrene; non-toxic, tasteless, odorless, good general dielectric properties; excellent water and weather resistance and resistant to most foods, drinks, etc. 

Pantone Matching System. Universal color matching system used by printers in the United States.

Proof of delivery. A document required from the carrier or driver for proper payment.  

Strong 100% petrochemical film, waterproof and similar to Tyvek.

Strong 100% petrochemical film that won’t shrink or discolor. More stretch than PVC. Does not break easily. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)Strong 100% petroc film. Won’t shrink or discolor. Releases quietly with minimal stretch. Stiffer than polypropylene.

A preformed, flexible container, generally enclosed with a gusset seal at the bottom of the pack can be shaped/arranged to allow the pack to stand on a shelf.

Prepaid (Ppd.)
Freight charges paid by the consignor (shipper) and added to invoice prior to the release of the bills of lading by the carrier. 

Prepaid & Add
Freight charges paid by the consignor (shipper) and added to invoice prior to the release of the bills of lading by the carrier. 

Pre-Stretched Stretch Wrap
Stretch wrap that is already stretched to its optimal level.

Primary Packaging 
This refers to packaging that immediately envelopes a product. It provides most of the strength and the moisture, vapor or grease barrier needed to safeguard a product’s purity, potency and integrity from the time it leaves the assembly line until it’s used by the consumer. 

Any of a number of ways of testing art work and/or structure before final plates or tooling is made.


An offer to sell goods at a stated price and under stated terms.


Changing the consignee or destination on a bill of lading while shipment is still in transit. Diversion has substantially the same meaning.

Packaging materials that may be processed for reuse by a series of changes or treatments, but not necessarily for their original use.

There are several reasons a carrier may need to redeliver an order; if no one is available to accept the delivery, if the shipment is rejected by the receiver, if the necessary equipment isn’t on site, etc. Redelivery is one of the priciest accessorial fees because it essentially requires the carrier to redo the job and miss out on other income.

In plastic bottle manufacturing, ground material from flash and trimmings which is usually blended with virgin material and remolded.

In the industry, it is the generic name for a temperature-controlled container. The containers, which are insulated, are specially designed to allow temperature-controlled air circulation within the container. A refrigeration plant is built into the rear of the container.

Residential Service
Carriers define a business zone as a location that opens and closes to the public at set times every day. If you are a business located in a residential zone (among homes or dwellings), or are shipping to or from a residence, the carrier may charge an additional residential fee due to complexity in navigating these non-business areas.

Measures the ability of a material to conduct current.

Relative humidity.

Ribbon Wound Strapping
Rolled like a roll of tape, layers cover each other.

Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances (Waste from Electric and Electronic Equipment)

RSC (Regular Slotted Container)
This is the most common style of box, and typically what you picture in your head when you think of a package. For this box, all flaps are the same length, and the two outer length flaps are one-half the container’s width, so that they meet at the center of the box when closed.

The capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.


Safety Data Sheet

Secondary Packaging
The outer package into which the primary package is placed. Its major function is to protect the product during shipping and distribution. Examples of secondary packaging include cartons, containers and pallets. SheetA thin layer of material usually used as a pad for extra protection by isolating/separating tiers or layers of parts with the package.

The tender of one lot of cargo at one time from one shipper to one consignee on one bill of lading.

The person or company who is usually the supplier or owner of commodities shipped. Also called Consignor.

Shipper’s agent
A shipper’s agent is not a carrier, freight forwarder or broker. Shipper’s agents generally arrange for truckload or container load shipment transportation. Shipper’s agents commonly provide services related to warehousing or loading and unloading. (See also freight forwarder and broker)

Shipper’s Instructions
Shipper’s communication(s) to its agent and/or directly to the international water-carrier. Instructions may be varied, e.g., specific details/clauses to be printed on the B/L, directions for cargo pickup and delivery.

Shipping documents
Papers accompanying a shipment as it moves through the freight system, including bills of lading, packing slips, customs paperwork, manifests and shipment bills.

The number of units received is less than the quantity shown on shipping documents. The outstanding units may be delivered later.

Shrink Wrap
Polyethylene or similar substance heat-treated and shrunk into an envelope around several units, thereby securing them as a single pack for presentation or to secure units on a pallet.

Side Load

Single-Face Corrugated
One sheet of liner is adhered to one sheet of corrugated medium. This style of board is typically sold in rolls and can be used to wrap around products for protection or cushioning.

Single-Wall Corrugated
One sheet of corrugated medium is glued between two sheets of liner. Single-wall board is the most common type of board in the market and can be used for everything from shipping boxes to retail displays.

Skid (Pallet)
A pallet for loading or handling goods.  Slip-sheet (Tray)Shipping containers utilizing slip sheets which are cardboard platforms used to hold product for storage and transportation.

A non-rigid container usually made of paper, cardboard, or plastic that is open-ended and slid over the contents for protection or presentation.  Smart PayGovernment impact credit cards. Space SaverRefers to any package which, because of it’s rectangular shape, takes up less storage space.

Slip Sheet
Also known as a tray.

Special Services/Instructions
Provided by the carrier such as Call Before Delivery.

Static Dissipative
A material which dissipates or removes static charges. Static SensitiveA material that is sensitive to and can be damaged by static charges.

Stretch Wrap
A high tensile plastic film stretched and wrapped repeatedly around an item or group of items to secure and maintain unit integrity. The use of stretch film tightly wraps a package or unit load in order to bind, protect, and immobilze it for further handling and shipping.

Supply Chain
A logistical management system which integrates the sequence of activities from delivery of raw materials to the manufacturer through to delivery of the finished product to the customer into measurable components. “Just in Time” is a typical value-added example of supply chain management.


Tamper Resistant Seal
A seal which cannot be opened without evidence of tampering, the seal will be partially destroyed.

Tare Indicator
Subtracts the weight of a box while weighing the products inside the box.

A Tariff is a document setting forth applicable rules, rates and charges to move goods. A tariff sets forth a contract for the shipper, the consignee and the carrier. Since Jan. 1, 1996, motor carriers are not required to publish tariffs. However, in accordance with federal law, tariffs must be provided to a shipper on request.

Telescoping  (Full Telescope Design FTD)
Telescoping cartons consist of a separate top and bottom that fit over each other with flaps joining on the side or end panels. When pulled apart, they create two scored and slotted trays, both with flat bottoms. The full-depth cover slides completely over the body of the carton providing additional strength around the sides making this style suitable for high stacking strength of fragile articles.

Temperature Recorder (Temperature Monitor, Data Logger, etc.)
A device to record temperature in a container while cargo is en route.

Tensile Strength
The resistance of a material to a force tending to tear it apart.

Freight building and grounds where shipments are prepared for local delivery or transportation to other terminals. 

Third party
A party other than the shipper or consignee that is ultimately responsible for paying the shipment charges.

A specified allowance for deviations in weighing, measuring, etc., or for deviations from the standard dimensions or weight.

Tongue and Groove Seal
A type of extended groove which operates on a mirror image concept, this provides a tighter lid enclosure.

Top Load
In packaging, the direction of loading a product into a container as in loading the wine bottle from the top. 

A plastic container which can be stacked upon each other, often used for industrial purposes.

The truck unit into which freight is loaded as in tractor trailer combination.

Tray (Slip Sheet)
A tray is a shallow platform designed for the carrying of items. It can be fashioned from numerous materials, including silver, brass, sheet iron, paperboard, wood, melamine, and molded pulp. Trays range in cost from inexpensive molded pulp trays which are disposable, corrugated trays that are recyclable, mid-priced wooden trays to more expensive plastic and metal trays, Trays are available in various sizes and lip (wall heights). Trays are flat, but with raised edges to stop things from sliding off them. They are made in a range of shapes but are commonly found in oval or rectangular forms, sometimes with cutout or attached handles with which to carry them. Polar Tech utilizes trays for bulk foam products, stacked individually on a tray without cases sold as one unit [tray].

Triple-Wall Corrugated
Three sheets of corrugated medium are glued between four sheets of liner. This board is the strongest out of all the board styles and is often used for industrial parts or produce bins.

Truck tonnage
The weight (in tons) of a shipment transported by truck.

Truckload (TL)
Large-volume shipment from a single customer that weighs more than 10,000 pounds or takes up all the trailer space so no other shipment can be loaded.

Relating to custom printed items – a procedure that sets each letter in the text so that it will properly fit on the label.


Unit Load
Packages loaded on a pallet, in a crate or any other way that enables them to be handled at one time as a unit.

The consolidation of a quantity of individual items into one large shipping unit for easier handling. Loading one or more large items of cargo onto a single piece of equipment, such as a pallet.

Unit of measure



Volatile corrosion inhibitor. Prevents rust and corrosion.

Ventilated Container
A container designed with openings in the side and/or end walls to permit the ingress of outside air.

Virgin Material
Material which has not been processed in any form other than its original manufacture.

Void Fill
Types of materials used inside a box to package around the product to avoid damage such as cellulose wadding, single wall corrugated, tissue paper, air sacks, and bubble wrap.

Also known as displacement or capacity. (1) The amount of water displaced by a model of a container; used to estimate its capacity. (2) The amount of product a container is designed to hold, i.e., up to the fill-point of the container.


A place for the reception, delivery, consolidation, distribution, and storage of goods/cargo.

This document is prepared by a transportation line at the point of a shipment; it shows the point of the origin, destination, route, consignor, consignee, description of shipment and amount charged for the transportation service. A waybill is forwarded with the shipment or sent by mail to the agent at the transfer point or waybill destination. Unlike a bill of lading, a waybill is not a document of title. Proof of Delivery.

Weights and Measures
Measurement ton 40 cubic ft or one cubic meter.
Net ton, or short ton 2,000 lbs.
Gross ton/long ton 2,240 lbs.
Metric ton/kilo ton 2,204.6 lbs.
Cubic meter 35.314 cubic ft.

Shipping individual medical vials

Refrigerated medical with foam insulated container

Shipping medical vials cold insulated container

Shipping medical products frozen (large)

Shipping medical vials cold  (small)

Shipping medical products cold (medium)

Videos: Insulated Containers for Food

Shipping frozen cake/pie 

Packaging frozen meat

Low budget packaging – Chocolates

Ice cream – frozen

Pizza medium / large container

Packaging ham in silver bubble

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