Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Thinner corrugated fluting for lighter-weight transit packaging

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Thinner corrugated fluting for lighter-weight transit packaging
Thinner corrugated fluting helps save money and carbon through lighter-weight transport packaging.
In Use – Following an intensive trial period, which begun in Spring 2009, DS Smith reports that usage of R-flute® amongst its customers has accelerated rapidly.

Packaging Reduction, Storage and Transport efficiency

Product Categories
Drinks, Food, Home Improvement, Household & Personal Care

Relevant Materials

Relevant Packaging Formats
Corrugated box/case

Supply Chain Phase
Packing, Retailing, Storage, Transportation


A corrugated fluting for transport packaging that is 20% thinner than B-Flute, which is currently the standard for retail-ready packaging (RRP).
R-Flute® has been developed by DS Smith. The flutes are smaller and closer together than B-flute, whilst the board strength has been optimised. DS Smith reports that, compared to the widely used B-flute, R-flute® also delivers better printing, appearance, and machine line efficiencies and savings in logistics whilst maintaining the necessary product protection.

Potential Benefits

The major environmental benefits arise as a result of a profile where the flutes are smaller and closer together than B-flute, whilst optimising board strength. R-Flute®'s caliper is 20% less than B-flute, so that 20% more corrugated can be loaded onto a pallet for delivery. This means up to 20% fewer deliveries to handle, up to 20% less storage space and correspondingly fewer pallet movements in the factory.
The new flute profile saves cash, space, operating time and carbon emissions. The DS Smith Packaging website quotes the benefits arising from three case studies - 
1) For a range of wine packs for Constellation Europe a 35% improvement in the amount of product per inbound pallet is reported
2) For the retail ready pack for The Saucy Fish Company's bake-in-bag product, 20% fewer vehicles are required to deliver the inbound packs compared to a traditional B-flute solution
3) By adopting R-flute® packaging, Ardagh Glass has achieved annual packaging weight savings of 160 tonnes, equating to 142 tonnes of CO2 emissions. 1700 pallets have been taken out of the supply chain and 68 fewer trucks are needed for deliveries.

Intellectual Property

This technology is the Intellectual Property of DS Smith Packaging.

Consultant View

The environmental benefits of this new transit packaging material are apparent, and there will be considerable cost and carbon advantages to be gained as a result of reduced transport requirements. This is one of a number of recent corrugated material developments utilising improved flutings, and readers are encouraged to search REID and the Internet for solutions from other companies. Try searching REID with key words such as fluting, corrugated and light-weighting.

Contacts and Further Information

Company contact details:
DS Smith Packaging
Divisional Sales Support
First Avenue
Portbury Way
BS20 7XR

Technology contact details:
Tel: 0845 260 70 80

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