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Should I Use Corrugated Cardboard Sheets or Paperboard for Pallet Liners and Dividers?

Posted by Sonoco Conitex Team on November 08,2021

When you need a pallet liner or divider, you’re looking for durability and reliability. You need a simple-to-use, cost-effective product you can trust.

After all, the alternative is likely not something you want to see. Pallet liners protect your goods from contamination from mold and dust. They can even improve stability. With this added rigidity, you can expect that your goods will be safer, which reduces risk for your shipments. You can also enjoy more optimized use of your space with a product such as paperboard liners, which are much lower-profile than bulky layer pads and even corrugated board. 


One pallet of FlatStack tier sheets yields 266 pallet cubes; one pallet of corrugated tier sheets yields only 53 pallet cubes.

Your pallet dividers provide key functionality as well, offering stability for your goods in transit and protection for various applications. Without high-quality liners and dividers, you face risky loads, possible harm to product and staff, and potential contamination.

We’re guessing you definitely want to avoid all of the above. To get there, you need to make sure that your pallet dividers and liners are reliable. Often, they’re made of corrugated cardboard sheets or paperboard. Which is better? Each has pros and cons.

At Conitex Sonoco, we’re here to help you choose the right material for your needs. 

Corrugated Cardboard Sheets or Paperboard? An Insider’s Guide to Palletizing

Let’s start with a few handy definitions. 

What are corrugated cardboard sheets? 

Corrugated sheets are multilayer pieces of cardboard that feature a top sheet, a base sheet, and a folded piece of cardboard fit inside the top and base layers that add additional structure, stability, and volume, typically available in single-, double-, or triple-wall styles.

Available in standard or custom sizes, our dividers are typically a corrugated board (double or triple walled) available to add stability or protection for various applications.

What is paperboard?

Paperboard, on the other hand, is a flat sheet of recycled fibers that can add protection and stability without the bulk. 

Both have excellent functionality, but there are definitely specific environments in which each is more able to shine. 

What’s the difference between corrugated sheets and paperboard? 

Let’s review the pros and cons of each material to help you find the best possible match for your needs. 

The pros of corrugated cardboard sheets over paperboard include increased rigidity, particularly with the honeycomb board option for added stability. They can also confer added protection on an automated packing line.

These benefits do come with a higher cost due to the increased amount of material necessary. Additionally, corrugated sheets are more likely to be made of virgin fibers, which can have an increased environmental impact. 

Typically, corrugated sheets might be used as dividers, top decks, and to provide increased protection and stability for higher-value, higher-weight, higher-risk goods (e.g., expensive furniture and electronics). If you’re looking for a product that can assist with irregular load distributions, help bridge gaps between pallet slats for heavy or dense loads, or provide peace of mind when moving liquid containers, a corrugated sheet will likely be your liner of choice. 

The pros of paperboard, when compared with corrugated sheets, include increased flexibility, lower weight, less required material with various caliper options, improved non-skid grip, a higher likelihood of being made of recycled content, and significant price savings. 

Paperboard pallet liners work well for those who have launched environmental impact reduction initiatives. They help contribute to load stability and help provide a safety barrier between wooden pallets and packaged goods. Reduced thickness means that you can purchase and store more in a smaller space. However, paperboard does come in various densities, so you should be able to find a weight that works for you and your needs. 

Here’s a quick comparison table to help you see at a glance what the main differences between the two materials are: 

Material Type

Corrugated Cardboard Sheets




















Non-skid surface




At the end of the day, your choice to purchase paperboard or corrugated cardboard sheets will depend on the products you’re packaging and your goals and specifications for the materials. Regardless of your choice, it’s always a good idea to make sure that you know the dimensions of your needed pallet liner and sample both before ordering. Discuss your needs with the friendly team at Conitex Sonoco, and we can help direct you toward the product that will help you reach your goals. 

Reach Out to the Paperboard and Corrugated Sheet Experts at Conitex Sonoco

Need to protect your packaged goods? Looking for added stability for your products in transit? For practical protection, it’s time to invest in high-quality liners and dividers for use with your pallets. 

If you need support as you decide whether to invest in paperboard or corrugated sheets or as you’re working to boost the food-safe aspects of your packaging, reach out to Conitex Sonoco. Our experts can assist with reliable information and great products, including the LoadRunner corrugated pallet and high-quality accessories such as dividers and liners for your use. 

Call our team today to learn more about the benefits of paperboard and corrugated cardboard sheets for increased success with your pallet use!


Tags: Food Manufacturing, FIBC Bulk Bags

Sonoco Conitex Team

Sonoco Conitex Team