Paperboard Business Opportunities for Packaging and Shipping Supply Companies

Published on Wed, Sep 4, 2019 12:00 PM GMT

As a packaging or shipping supply company, you may already be selling products to certain companies in certain industries that are users of paperboard in ways that you may not even know.  Most of us know that slip sheets and corner posts are 2 paperboard products that pretty much any company can use, but this document is meant to outline the way certain industries use paperboard today that you might not know of – and hopefully reveals some new sales opportunities for your company.

First of all, you may be asking, what exactly is paperboard ?  

Paperboard is a thick paper-based material. While there is no rigid differentiation between paper and paperboard, paperboard is generally thicker (usually 0.009 thousandths of an inch or thicker, or 9 points) than paper and has certain superior attributes such as foldability and rigidity. Paperboard can be single- or multi-ply.  Paperboard can be easily cut and formed, is lightweight, and because it is strong, is used in packaging.

For measuring the thickness of paperboard, there are 2 ways people do this:

The Imperial way, which is to say it is “x point” (ie. 20 point (.020) or 90 point (.090), which is a measure of the thickness of the board in thousandths of an inch (20 point is 20/1000ths of an inch thick, and 90 point is 90/1000ths of an inch thick), and

The Metric way, which is usually in millimetres (1 mm equals approximately 40 point board which is 40/1000ths of an inch thick, 2 mm equals approximately 80 point board which is 80/1000ths of an inch thick, etc.)

There are many types of paperboard, with the most common being:

Chipboard – Chipboard, which is sometimes referred to as boxboard, cardboard or mounting board is typically the lowest cost type of paperboard.  Chipboard is made from materials that are 100% recycled from consumer and commercial paper waste and 100% recyclable. Chipboard comes in varying calipers (which can then be turned into many different items). Chipboard also comes in a variety of colours, with the main ones being:  light brown, greyish brown, black and white.

Some chipboard is “bending chipboard” and some is not – bending chipboard is made in a slightly different way such that when it is folded, it doesn’t crack at the edges, so it’s important to know what the end user is going to be using it for so you can make the decision whether bending chip is required (as bending chip is usually a little more expensive than non-bending chip). Bending chip is typically made in calipers from 12-36 point, but the calipers of bending chip Hammond Paper normally stocks are 18-24 point.

Pasted Chipboard  – Chipboard made from a mill typically is made to a maximum thickness of 50-60 point (approx. 1.5mm).  Pasted Chipboard is simply chipboard which is pasted together with other chipboard to make it thicker chipboard.  Hammond Paper can make pasted chipboard up to 500 point (1/2 an inch thick).  The lamination process makes the board very strong and rigid. 

Linerboard, pallet or skid liners – Skid liners are typically thin chipboard in the 9-20 point range, sometimes covered with an anti-slip/anti-skid coating. The liners provide protection from water, nails on pallets, etc. for items on pallets, and provide stability when stacking items on top of one another and prevent merchandise from slipping, reducing the risk of product damage.

Graphic board – Graphic board is a grey solid board available in 79 to 118 point thickness and is made of 100 % recycled fibre using a slightly different process.  Graphic board is typically a little softer material than chipboard and not quite as rigid, and usually slightly less expensive than chipboard.

CRB or CCNB – Coated recycled board (CRB) or clay coated news back (CCNB) is recycled paperboard that is not bleached, is white on 1 side that has been clay coated and the other side of the sheet is grey like a newspaper or brown.  This board is often used for making folding cartons, including cereal boxes, laundry detergent boxes, etc. because it is good for printing on and the cost of this board, while typically more expensive than chipboard, is less expensive than SBS.

SBS – Solid Bleached Sulfate board (SBS) is a high quality substrates of paperboard made from bleached virgin wood pulp and is typically solid white board (white on both side and all the way through).  It is more expensive than the above mentioned boards and viewed as a higher quality board, and often used by the print industry or by companies making high quality boxes.

Corrugated –  Corrugated fiberboard  is a material consisting of a fluted corrugated sheet and one or two flat linerboards. It is made on “flute lamination machines” or “corrugators” and is used in the manufacture of shipping containers and corrugated boxes.

Foam board – Foam board is lightweight foam (typically 1/8” thick) laminated to chipboard, CCNB or SBS to make custom products, including padded book covers or menu boards, or customized packaging solutions to reduce the risk of the packaging materials scratching sensitive materials.

Specific Industry Applications

Paperboard is used in numerous industries that you may not even be aware of.  Some of the industries that use it and the types of paperboard they use are as follows:



Set up box and sample book makers

Furniture makers

Food and beverage companies

Homebuilders / construction companies / renovation companies

Picture framers

Stone / tile companies

Aluminum / steel / specialized metals companies

Puzzle & board game manufacturers

What these companies use paperboard for is as follows:


Backs of paper pads (padding board) – typically this is 24 point chipboard, cut to 8.5×11 or 11×17 sheets, but we can cut the board to any size

Signage – cardboard signs are everywhere (particularly during an election) and often chipboard, CCNB or SBS is used, usually from 30-60 point and with a “poly” coating, they can be used outdoors.

Bookbinders / Menu board makers

Hard cover books –  70-120 point chipboard or graphic board is often used and covered in a nicely printed paper

3 ring binders – 70-120 point chipboard or graphic board, with rounded corners and spines cut to size is wrapped in vinyl before the metal spine is attached

Menu boards – 70-120 point chipboard or graphic board is wrapped in fine paper, fabric, vinyl, or leather to make menu boards

Softcover books – 20-50 point chipboard, CCNB or SBS in often used and printed directly on

Set up box and sample book makers

Jewelry/keepsake/luxury product boxes  – these and other types of boxes are made from 70-120 point chipboard or graphic board that is grooved and folded then wrapped in materials such as a fine paper, fabric, vinyl, or leather.

Sample books – for carpet, tile, housing siding and hardwood flooring are made from 70-120 point chipboard or graphic board wrapped in fine paper, fabric or vinyl with the samples in various colors and materials attached to it – for retail stores and for consumers to take home

Furniture makers

Furniture – not only can you actually make furniture from cardboard in 120-500 point thickness, but furniture companies use a lot of 40-70 point chipboard sheets under the upholstery, but on top of the wooden frames, especially on curved furniture pieces and armrests.  They also use what narrow strips of chipboard (usually ½” wide) as tacking strips to tack the material of the furniture to the framing.

Bookcases and wall units – 40-100 point chipboard is often used as the back of these items, sometimes with a wood veneer laminated to it. 

Office chairs – often the underside of an office chair is a die cut round or squarish piece of 26-24 point chipboard, CCNB or SBS

Food and beverage companies

Chocolate/sweets boxes – companies selling goodies like chocolates use chipboard for their beautiful boxes often use 18-40 point SBS or 40-80 point chipboard or graphic board wrapped in a fine printed paper.  .

Packaging for within food containers – many good companies use various types of chipboard, SBS, and CCNB within their packaging as spacers, or wrappers, or between layers of product within a container

Homebuilders / construction companies / renovation companies / painting companies

Protective temporary floor coverings – during renovations or new home construction, if they expect that your floor may take some forceful hits or large amounts of weight, or want to protect it from being scratched dirt and stones on workers boots, homebuilders / construction companies / renovation companies protect it with 40-100 point chipboard sheets.  For painters or commercial paint or coatings companies, they often use 15-50 point chipboard sheets to protect floors, walls and other surfaces.

7. Picture framers / photographers / print image companies / calendar companies

Picture frames – 24 – 100 point chipboard and graphic board is often used to support the pictures inside the backs of frames and to help keep them standing upright or as matting around art

Cardboard stiffeners – 24 – 60 point thickness are often used when or used by photographers, print image companies and calendar companies to mail photographs or other crease-able items,

Stone / tile companies

Templates – stone and tile companies often use 24-40 point chipboard or polycoated SBS sheets if they want a more waterproof material when making templates for stone or tile kitchen or bathroom counters

Aluminum / steel / specialized metals companies

Chipboard strips – 60-100 point chipboard strip, often 2”-3” x 30”-60” are often used by aluminum and other metal companies to lay between pieces of metal to eliminate scratching in transit, or to enable spacing of treated materials that go into ovens to bake on the finishes (and the strips are burnt up in the ovens)

Puzzle & board game manufacturers

Game boards and puzzle pieces – 60-120 point chipboard and graphic board is often used and then wrapped in a fine paper, then die cut (for puzzles)

What we need to know to be able to provide a quote


thickness of sheets / caliper


type of board

size of sheets

# of sheets

required delivery date

Helpful to know

What is the end customer using them for?

What is the end customer using now?

Who are they getting it from today?

If they’re keen to change, then why?  Better price? Better service? Other?

Contact Us

Operating out of Vaughan, Ontario, Hammond Paper Company has been a reliable source for paperboard products and converting in Canada for over 25 years.  Whether you’re looking for standard size sheets or custom sheets or packaging, Hammond Paper can help.  We’re not just about board – we can do custom laminating, cutting to size, die cutting, round cornering, grooving and more.

Call us at (905) 761-6867 or email us at any time with any questions you may have or to get a free quote or more information.