On any given week almost every news source runs a story about Amazon. The stories go on and on about the company’s outsized influence, its enormous market capitalization, the impact its facilities have on real estate values, local infrastructure, and more. But they all miss one thing: Amazon’s indelible impact on corrugated packaging.
Corrugated containers are simply the most practical way to ship a great deal of Amazon’s products and cardboard—the generic term for corrugated packaging—is economical, reliable, and readily available, precut to meet a variety of needs. The majority of Amazon packages are flung around the U.S. in corrugated boxes wearing the two-color Amazon logo. How it gets that way, for Amazon and countless other companies, is the result of processes in which Anderson & Vreeland plays a leading role.
Beyond “This End Up”
A&V sells a range of corrugated packaging supplies to a host of service bureaus and trade shops that make the printing plates converters need to print brand logos and handling information on corrugated sheets.
“Corrugated packaging can be used for anything that needs some type of protection for the product inside,” explains Randy Reynolds, General Manager for AVantage Polymers at Anderson & Vreeland. “This includes TV’s, produce, pizza boxes, most appliances. In most cases, there are graphics on the container.”
“We offer all our customers need,” he continues, “even as those needs have shifted. For example, the info printed on corrugated containers used to be limited to black text: a brand name, total weight of the contents, and the words ‘This End Up’ or ‘Open this End’. Now companies specify colors, want logos in a certain font, a photo or illustration of the product, and a variety of other information. It’s become part of their branding to at least have their name and logo on corrugated containers. Photopolymer is simply the best platform for transferring the graphic design to corrugated top sheets.”
In addition, size is anything but a trivial consideration. Corrugated containers can be as small as ones for a hardcover book or as big as one that wraps a commercial-grade refrigerator, or even larger. A&V’s corrugated customers are the trade shops that make the printing plates that put the brand names, logos, and product information on top sheets that are then laminated to the flutes that make up corrugated packages.
Filling a Niche
Despite the burgeoning demand, corrugated sheets are still somewhat of a niche market. “There are less than 100 trade shops that focus on corrugated and fewer than 20 that are truly huge operations,” notes Jeff Skolnik, Digital Business Analyst at Anderson & Vreeland. “We are part of a supply chain that offers everything a trade shop needs so they can fill the needs of the converters that make the actual cardboard containers.”
AV’s products span AVantage liquid photopolymers and an assortment of ancillary items to Flint Group corrugated printing plates to Patchplanner software from Hybrid Software to thermal and digital imagesetters from Exile and Xeikon to a range of tapes and backing materials from 3M, Adheso, Rogers, and others.
These materials are stocked in Anderson & Vreeland’s 13 warehouses around the U.S. and supported by a staff of corrugated specialists and strategists who focus solely on the corrugated market. This is especially important because corrugated has become anything but simple.
“The demand to print in full color has been a big leap,” relates Mr. Skolnik. “It demands higher print quality, which means better imagers, more sophisticated software, color management, and more. We know about these demands from our work in other types of packaging, and by working with our partners we can apply that knowledge to corrugated containers.”
“The depth of our offerings, plus deep experience with the needs of trade shops and their customers provides us with an unprecedented level of expertise in every aspect of corrugated printing,” adds Mr. Reynolds. “We are able to not only supply trade shops with the best products but help them address new requirements as they arise. To use a common colloquialism, A&V provides one-stop shopping. We are corrugated.”
For more information on Anderson & Vreeland’s focus on corrugated packaging technology and materials, visit https://www.andersonvreeland.com/corrugated/ .