Understanding Corrugated Boxes – What is ECT?

Understanding Corrugated Boxes – What is ECT?

When we send you a quote you see the pricing and the specifications of the box. Everything is understandable until you see “32 ECT”. What does that mean?

ECT stands for Edge Crush Test; all it means is how strong the box is and relates directly to the stacking strength of a corrugated box. The test compresses two edges of the box to determine its strength, so the higher the ECT value the greater the strength of the box. Below is a table relating ECT values to the loading limits of the box. Use this as a guideline when you’re thinking of your packaging because you don’t want your box to crumble when it’s being shipped.

Bursting Test

Minimum Edge Crush Test

Maximum Suggested Loading Limit Per Carton


23 ECT

20 lbs.


26 ECT

35 lbs.


29 ECT

50 lbs.


32 ECT

65 lbs.


44 ECT

95 lbs.


55 ECT

120 lbs.

The other test mentioned in the table is the Bursting Test which is a test to determine the internal or external force needed to puncture the box. This test is not as widely used as the ECT test because the ECT provides enough of a performance measure for carton boxes.

Next time you receive a quote from us keep this in mind when you think of what’s going in the box.


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