​Understanding FEFCO Formats

​Understanding FEFCO Formats

1st Jul 2024

When purchasing packaging, the style or design of the box is often categorised by a ‘FEFCO code’. Many buyers will use these codes to make sure they are buying the style of box they need, and know they are getting what they want. But what is a FEFCO code, how does it work and why are they so useful? We’ve answered some common questions below.

What is a FEFCO code?

FEFCO is actually the acronym for the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers, which is a non-profit organisation looking after the interests of box manufacturers across Europe. The FEFCO Code was developed in the late 1960’s as a shorthand to be able to discuss specific box styles without having to resort to long, complex verbal descriptions that might mean different things to different people.

How does a FEFCO code work?

FEFCO codes usually consist of 4 numbers which describes the style of box required.

As an example, if we choose a standard box, this is FEFCO 0201.

The first two digits ‘02’ denotes that this is a regular slotted box, and any box with the initial number ‘02’ will have the same basic format.

The second two numbers ‘01’ refine the design further. In this case, ‘01’ means the box has cut flaps for closure and the outer flaps are slightly shorter than the inner flaps. Again, whenever the last two digits state ‘01’ it will always mean this style.

How many FEFCO Codes are there?

Overall there are over 200 FEFCO Codes in total, with most manufacturers able to make some if not all of the designs, depending on their capability. This variety means packaging professionals and buyers are to find the ideal style for their requirements.

Can a FEFCO code be customised?

The beauty of the FEFCO code system means that although you are choosing your required box style, you are still able to customise this to suit your specific product. So you might need a ‘pizza-style’ box, which is actually one piece of die-cut cardboard and includes the base and lid so is self-closing, but may have different sized products. You are able to order these boxes, but then adjust the overall size to suit your requirements. So all of the packaging is uniform for ease of assembly, and your products are protected in transit.

How do I know I’m using the best FEFCO code when purchasing packaging?

Sometimes the type of packaging needed for a product is obvious but it’s important to get this right. If you want to discuss your packaging, your friendly team at ASC Direct will help to make sure your packaging is the right solution for your requirements.

How do FEFCO codes breakdown?

FEFCO codes breakdown into 9 separate overall categories:

0100 - Commercial rolls and sheets

The presentation of the corrugated sheets or rolls before manufacture.

02 - Slotted boxes

Slotted boxes - one piece with a glued, stitched or taped manufacturer’s joint and top and bottom flap.

03 - Telescopic boxes

Telescopic boxes - more than one piece (e.g. top and bottom) which fit over each other.

04 - Folder boxes and trays

Folder boxes and trays - one piece of board. The bottom of the box is hinged to form two or all side walls and the cover.

05 - Slide boxes

Slide boxes - several pieces of liners and sleeves sliding in different directions into each other. This group also includes outside sleeves for other cases.

06 - Rigid boxes

Rigid boxes - two separate end pieces and a body that require stitching or a similar before use.

07 - Ready-glued cases

Ready-glued cases - one piece, shipped flat and ready to use by simple assembly.

08 - Retail and e-commerce packaging

Retail and e-commerce packaging category shows the typical styles used for Point of Sale (POS) displays and trays as well as styles for the online trade.

09 - Interior fitments

Interior fitments include inside liners, pads, partitions, dividers, whether integrated in the box or as separate items. Any shown number of panels is arbitrary and may be increased or decreased as required.

Can’t find a FEFCO to suit your requirements? No problem. Speak to our friendly team and task our design studio with creating a new and innovative design.