FOL vs RSC - What's the Difference?
When it comes to corrugated shipping boxes, there are two you’ll likely consider: “RSC” and “FOL.” To help you understand the differences between FOL vs. RSC boxes, let’s explore how each can impact your bottom line:
RSC stands for “Regular Slotted Carton.” This is the most common box, distinguished by the fact that the four major panels on the top and bottom meet in the middle, then get taped together. The benefit? RSC boxes use less material. Less material translates to…you guessed it: cost savings.
However, RSC boxes can have their drawbacks. They typically require more tape to seal (often you only need a small tab of tape to seal a FOL box), and the shorter flaps can be more difficult to fold and close.
FOL stands for “Full Overlap” meaning that the box flaps extend all the way to the opposite side of the box opening and completely overlap. FOL boxes can be ordered with flaps just on top, just on the bottom, or on both top and bottom.
The main purpose of the extended length flaps is to increase strength by creating more material overlapping at the top or base (or both) of your package. These boxes are much harder to crush or dent, unlike their RSC counterparts.
Which box is more sustainable?
While it may seem counterintuitive, it’s likely that the FOL box may be a more sustainable option. Here’s why:
- It allows you to increase the box strength by doubling up layers where you need it, rather than increasing the board grade – a more expensive alternative.
- You can avoid a potentially costly design such as a die-cut mailer.
- More protection means less risk of product damage, therefore saving you costs associated with having to replace or reship a damaged item.
- Non-sustainable interior protection such as foam options or packing peanuts become unnecessary, protecting your wallet and the environment
If your package is going to endure rough handling, will be stacked on its side, or contains a heavy, fragile product, you may want to consider the FOL box design. However, if your product isn’t as vulnerable to damage and you are looking for the most efficient corrugated box option, the RSC is the way to go.
Making the Right Choice
Still not sure? RSC and FOL are only two of many other shipping box options and styles, in addition to custom solutions. Download The BoxMaker's FREE Guide to Corrugated Box Styles to learn about more box style options available today: