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Corrugated Box Archive

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Corrugated Fiberboard Overview

HOME > Corrugated Box Archive > Corrugated Fiberboard Overview
Forms of Corrugated Fiberboards and Origin of Term

Corrugated box in Korean is ‘golpanji (corrugated fiberboard) sangja (box) ’. The first syllable ‘gol’ is similar to ‘gol’
(meaning corrugation) from ‘batgorang’ (meaning ridge and furrow). The word was briefly changed to ‘danboru
sangja’ by the Japanese, but in 1963, ‘golpansji sangja’ was commonly used term. On 7 October 1964, the word
was established as a standard term for our packaging industry after Ministry of Commerce and Industry proclaimed
KS standards of corrugated fiberboards and corrugated fiberboard boxes by Announcement No. 1164.

Corrugated fiberboard is called ‘danboru’ in Japan due to its corrugation resembling a flight of stairs and
‘warungpanji’ in China because it resembles roof tiles. In English, the shapes on corrugated fiberboard are referred
to as flutes. It is known that the word flute was derived from ruffs worn by maids in medieval Europe.

History of Corrugated Fiberboard as a Packaging Material

Corrugated fiberboard was first used as a packaging material in New York in 1871 when ‘corrugate’ paper was used
to package lamp chimneys and glass bottles. It was patented and can be considered the beginning of corrugated
packaging material.

History of Corrugated Boxes

Boxes made of what is now similar to corrugated paper now first came out in 1873, 2 years after patent registration
of corrugated paper. It was not until August 1874 when one-faced corrugated fiberboard box was first made.
Double-faced corrugated fiberboard was first invented in 1882 and corrugated boxes for packaging was mass
produced not until 15 years later.

The history of Korea’s corrugated box industry began during the Korean War when we began making rather
primitive boxes from the c-ration boxes delivered to the UN troops. It is said that the premium, at the time,
premium of garbage yard for the US troops skyrocketed. Our first production of corrugated packaging materials
was in 1953 when Shinheung Paper installed government-owned corrugated paper manufacturing equipment from
Niwa Corporation, a Japanese company, in its factory in Gaebong-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul.

Corrugated Fiberboard Production of Korea

Our national corrugated box market most active expanded in the 1960’s during former President Park’s Trade Drive
Policy and promotion of the first 5-year economic development plans with annual growth rate of 37.2%. Annual
growth average steady at 24% during the second economic development. Some of the older personnel from the
time still referred to the 60’s as the best time of their lives. The growth continued well passed 1977 when our
exportation reached over $10 billion.

Presently, our annual corrugated box production is 3 billion m3 (as of end of 1994). We have made quantitative
and qualitative growth to be in top 10 in the world, from the production volume of 19 million m3 in 1964 and
2.9 billion m3 in 1994.

In Korea, it is assumed that there are over 2,000 corrugated packaging-related companies. The number of
cardboard manufacturers, exclusive of paper and cardboard manufacturers, is unknown, however, with over 1,100
members in Korea Paper Packaging Cooperative, it is estimated that there are approx. 2,000 companies. Together,
they manufacture about 45% of all corrugated boxes. The number of cardboard manufacturers has reduced from
160 in 1994 to 120 after the corrugated fiberboard crisis in 1994 and IMF in 1997.

Growth of Corrugated Box Industry
1950’s and 1960’s
(Before and after the Korean War)
  • Korean War and dawn of corrugated packaging industry
  • Shinheung Paper as the first, many new companies began manufacturing
    corrugated fiberboards
1960’s and 1970’s
(Introduction of new technology,
expansion and demand
  • Accelerated growth of corrugated packaging industry by the 1st and 2nd
    5-year economic development plans
  • Establishment of Korea Corrugated Packaging Association on 12
    December 1963
  • Coined the term ‘corrugated fiberboard’ on 12 December 1963
  • Began standardization of corrugated packaging ㉿
  • Establishment of KSA 1502 and KSA 1531 on 7 October 1964
  • Demand development of corrugated packaging
  • Packaging and design promotion and development as a part of Export
    Drive Policy (Establishment of Korea Design Packaging Center)
1970’s and 1980’s
(Times of modernization,
marketing and standardization)
  • Energy and resources saving development due to oil shock
  • Expanded production volume according to mass production, distribution
    and consumption
  • Standardization of packaging (size and module)
  • Promotion of standardization of packaging
  • Modernization of corrugated packaging industry / Designated as
    SME business (1979)
  • Introduced scientifically statistically management technique
  • Introduction of simplifying equipment incl. printer, slotter, rotary die
    cutter, and flexo folder gluer
  • Introduction of simplifying equipment incl. printer, slotter, rotary die
    cutter, and flexo folder gluer
  • Introduction of more productive equipment incl. fingerless single facer,
    NC cutter and NC scorer
1980’s and 1990’s
(Modernized and faster
equipment, computerization
and distribution)
  • Introduction of centralized control manufacturing and management
    system - computerization of corrugated fiberboard manufacturing system
  • Rationalization of packaging
  • Establishment of Korea Paper Packaging Cooperative
    (14 November 1989)
  • Introduction of logistics
1990 to present
(Times of environment,
development of functional
packaging, rationalization,
high-tech and globalization)
  • Promotion of rational corporate management incl. enhanced productivity
  • High-tech, robotization, and computerized tasks
  • Internationalized quality
  • Development of functional packaging (development of high functioning
    and high value products)
  • Respond to the need for cellular manufacturing
  • Time of environmental-friendly products (Source : “Golpanji, Jigi Iyagi”
    by Packaging Industry)