Skip to content

How ECT Ratings Can Protect Your Belongings When You Move

With so many moving boxes out there, it can be difficult to judge a box’s quality just by looking at it. Thankfully, there are ways to measure exactly how durable a box is. The two most common ways to measure a box’s durability are the Edge Crush Test (ECT) and the Mullen Test. 

You may have never heard of an ECT rating before, but it’s actually one of the keys to ensuring that your move is completed without damages. The right ECT rating indicates a high-quality moving box. When you use high-quality materials, you can be sure that your valuables will be safe. Out of all the materials you use when you move, boxes are the ones you use the most. Therefore, it’s important to have reliable boxes that are very durable.

Man handing a woman a crushed box that probably has a low ECT rating

The Difference Between the ECT and the Mullen Test

Both the ECT and Mullen Test measure the strength of a box. The Mullen Test, developed over 130 years ago, was designed to prevent damages from rough handling. It measures the “bursting strength” of corrugated boxes. The bursting strength is determined by testing the amount of pressure or force that’s needed to rupture the wall of the box. After boxes go through the test, they are labeled with the number of pounds it would take to rupture followed with a # symbol. For example, 200#, 275#, etc.

The more modern, lab-tested measurement is the Edge Crush Test. The ECT is the most reliable test in making sure a box keeps its form. It measures the stacking strength of corrugated boxes. The stacking strength is determined by how much pressure the box can withstand before being crushed. The Edge Crush Test involves compressing a small segment of board on the edge until it reaches a peak load. The amount of pressure is measured in pounds by lineal inch of the load-bearing edge. It is labeled with the number followed by ECT (32 ECT, 44 ECT, etc.).

moving boxes stacked on top of each other

Most moving boxes will list their ECT rating in the product description. A great moving box has a score of at least 32. 

Benefits of ECT Rated Boxes

Because moving boxes are usually stacked into moving trucks or storage units, ECT rated boxes are ideal. The Mullen Test rating, on the other hand, is less applicable to the moving process. It’s unlikely that you or your movers will be handling your boxes in a rough or careless manner. (And if you do find your movers manhandling your boxes, then you should fire them immediately and call Megan’s Moving!)

They Weigh Less

Boxes put through the Mullen Test require the fiberboard part of the box to be a minimum weight. The Edge Crush Test eliminates this requirement, making the boxes weigh less. When you compare an ECT rated box with one rated using the Mullen Test, even when they are of the same size and equivalent strength, the ECT rated box will weigh less. Yet even though the boxes weigh less, they still maintain their high performance. When it comes to moving, boxes that weigh less and are still just as strong are the obvious winner. 

They Are Better for the Environment

ECT rated boxes are eco-friendly because they require less material to make. Since these boxes require fewer raw materials, they also have lower energy requirements. Therefore, these boxes reduce pollution in all stages of production. Fewer materials also mean less waste, making ECT rated boxes better for the environment all around. 

Why ECT Rating Matters

Not only do ECT rated boxes benefit the environment, but they also benefit you during your move. Without knowing the box’s ECT rating, it can be difficult to determine how effective a box will be in protecting your valuables and breakables. A box can look decently durable by sight, but there is no guarantee that it will retain its integrity without a test. Choosing boxes that have gone through the ECT will give you peace of mind that everything inside the boxes will arrive at its new location safely. They ensure that all your personal belongings will stay in the same condition from start to finish.

Movers from Megan's Moving bringing boxes into a house

You can trust Megan’s Moving to always select the highest quality materials when moving your belongings. Treating your possessions with extra care is part of our white glove moving promise. Request a quote for your next move today »

Posted in

Moving is hard!

Let's make it easier. Get helpful moving tips and home style advice when you subscribe to our newsletter.

Megan's Moving Logo
Scroll To Top