Lightweight Containerboard Production in the Northeast

Nick asked Ralph –

Do you have any statistics or even informed speculation on the extent to which lightweight board is being produced in the Northeast? Is this being done primarily by independents or are integrateds converting to this also? Speaking of which, to what extent are companies actually changing over their production to lightweight or is this still in an experimental state for most? And finally, what formally constitutes lightweight? I have heard both anything with a 28 basis weight or below, but also heard the 26 number as the point at which the term lightweight begins? Thanx for your informed answers.

Nick –

Lightweight combined boards are still very much in the incubation stage in the Northeast. While I have direct knowledge of a few forward looking independents who are running limited trials with both domestic or imported containerboards, it is still a very small group. This market niche is not for the intergrades as it is not a fit for their basis weight profile mix on their paper machines.

Yes there are also some forward looking domestic containerboard producers who can engineer these grades that are below 26# linerboard and 23# medium. A few have spoken to the AICC of their potentials. Most mills will not be able to make this shift without additional significant capital equipment.


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