Skip to Main Content

PCA’s History

PCA History

1867

Henry Weis founds the North Star Mill in Quincy, Illinois

Henry Weis founds the North Star Mill in Quincy, Illinois

Henry Weis founds the North Star Mill in Quincy, Illinois, making paper from wild grasses and eventually straw. It becomes the genesis of the Central Fiber Products Company, which eventually became one of the three companies that formed PCA.

1903

The Ohio Boxboard Company is founded by Ed Young.

The Ohio Boxboard Company is founded by Ed Young.

The Ohio Boxboard Company is founded by Ed Young. The American Paper Box Company (later called American Box Board Company) is founded. Both of these companies were also part of the eventual merger that formed PCA.

1931

Central Fiber Products Company is formed

Central Fiber Products Company is formed

Central Fiber Products Company is formed through the consolidation of North Star Mill, North Star Egg Case Company, Carey Straw Mill, H.T. Cherry Company and the Indiana Board and Filler Company.

1959

Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) is formed

Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) is formed

Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) is formed by the consolidation of the Central Fiber Products Company, the American Box Board Company and the Ohio Boxboard Company.

1961

Production begins at the Tennessee River Pulp & Paper Company

Production begins at the Tennessee River Pulp & Paper Company

Production begins at the Tennessee River Pulp & Paper Company (in Counce, Tennessee) with PCA holding a majority interest.

1965

PCA is acquired by Tenneco

PCA is acquired by Tenneco

PCA is acquired by Tenneco.

1970

PCA acquires 100% of Tennessee River Pulp & Paper Company

PCA acquires 100% of Tennessee River Pulp & Paper Company

PCA acquires 100% of Tennessee River Pulp & Paper Company (Counce, Tennesee, mill), gaining full access to cutting rights on 30,000 acres of timberland in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi.

PCA’s 34th corrugated container plant is opened in Burlington, Wisconsin.

1990

PCA acquires Hanover Container

PCA acquires Hanover Container

PCA acquires Hanover Container (in Pennsylvania), a manufacturer of corrugated products, and Deseret Container (in Salt Lake City, Utah), a corrugated sheet plant and established supplier of low-volume, fast-turnaround orders.

PCA also acquires Produce and Poultry Container Corporation, a producer of wax-cascaded boxes, later merged into Harrisonburg Container, and six facilities from Dixie Container Corporation, the largest independent corrugated company in the Southeast.

1991

PCA purchases two containerboard mills

PCA purchases two containerboard mills

PCA purchases two containerboard mills, 19 corrugated container plants and cutting rights to approximately 650,000 acres of timberlands from Georgia-Pacific. It is PCA’s largest acquisition to date.

1993

PCA establishes an industry benchmark

PCA establishes an industry benchmark

PCA establishes an industry benchmark for quality by becoming the first U.S. containerboard company to earn ISO certification for its linerboard and semi-chemical medium mills.

1996

The Counce, Tennesee, paper mill receives the “America’s Best Plants” award

The Counce, Tennesee, paper mill receives the “America’s Best Plants” award

The Counce, Tennesee, paper mill receives the “America’s Best Plants” award, making it the first paper mill to earn this distinction from Industry Week magazine.

Tenneco Packaging acquires a specialty sheet plant in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

1999

A new entity is formed by Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC

A new entity is formed by Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC

A new entity is formed by Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm. The new entity re-establishes the name Packaging Corporation of America (PCA). Pactiv Corporation (formerly known as Tenneco Packaging Inc.) sells its containerboard and corrugated packaging business to PCA.

2000

PCA becomes a publicly traded company

PCA becomes a publicly traded company

PCA becomes a publicly traded company on the NYSE and is traded under the ticker symbol “PKG.”

2003

Three new locations are acquired and added to the PCA network

Three new locations are acquired and added to the PCA network

Three new locations are acquired and added to the PCA network: Donna, Texas; Fairfield, Ohio; and Franklin, Wisconsin.

2004

PCA’s design network is expanded

PCA’s design network is expanded

PCA’s design network is expanded as the company opens a creative design center in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Acorn Corrugated Box Company, located in Bedford Park, Illinois, is acquired by PCA, strengthening the company’s presence in the retail packaging industry and the Chicago market.

2005

PCA acquires Midland Container Corporation

PCA acquires Midland Container Corporation

PCA acquires Midland Container Corporation, adding a full-line corrugated plant in Pearl, Mississippi, and a graphics packaging and display manufacturing facility in Olive Branch, Mississippi, to its packaging network.

2006

PCA’s market presence in southern Florida is expanded

PCA’s market presence in southern Florida is expanded and strengthened by the establishment of a sheet plant in Miami Gardens, Florida.

2009

PCA celebrates its 50th anniversary as a company

PCA celebrates its 50th anniversary as a company

PCA celebrates its 50th anniversary as a company, marking a half-century of building relationships based on trust.

PCA opens a new design center and project management facility in Hong Kong. Operating under the name Packaging Corporation of Asia Limited, the new facility is structured to support its U.S. customers with their needs in Asia.

PCA acquires Elwood Packaging, a specialty sheet plant in Chicago. The acquisition strengthens PCA’s position in the Chicago market as a premier value-added provider.

2011

PCA acquires three packaging businesses

PCA acquires three packaging businesses

PCA expands its reach and coverage by acquiring three packaging businesses: Field Packaging, a specialty sheet plant located in the Chicago area; Packaging Materials Company, a sheet plant in Huntsville, Alabama; and Colorado Container Corporation, a full-line combining plant located in the Denver area.

PCA opens a new full-line converting plant in Reading, Pennsylvania.

2013

PCA acquires Boise Inc.

PCA acquires Boise Inc.

PCA acquires Boise Inc. The acquisition provides additional containerboard capacity and expands PCA’s market presence into the Pacific Northwest. It also extends PCA’s product line by adding imaging papers for the office and home.

2014

PCA acquires Crockett Packaging

PCA strengthens its position in the California market with the acquisition of Crockett Packaging. The acquisition includes a full-line plant in the City of Industry, California, and a sheet plant located in San Bernardino, California.

2016

PCA acquires TimBar Corporation

PCA acquires TimBar Corporation

PCA acquires TimBar Corporation, a large independent corrugated products producer. The acquisition strengthens PCA’s ability to provide value-added solutions to customers in the retail, industrial packaging, and display and fulfillment markets with a focus on multi-color graphics and technical innovation.

PCA also acquires Columbus Container, a full-line corrugated products manufacturer located in Columbus, Indiana.

2017

PCA acquires Sacramento Container Corporation

PCA acquires Sacramento Container Corporation

PCA acquires Sacramento Container Corporation, expanding its network to include full-line plants in McClellan and Kingsburg, California. The acquisition further enhances PCA’s operations both geographically and strategically.

2018

Mark W Kowlzan

RISI Names Kowlzan Global Containerboard CEO of Year

PCA’s Chairman and CEO, Mark Kowlzan, named 2018 Global Containerboard CEO of the Year by RISI, a leading information provider for the global forest products industry.

2018

PCA acquires Englander Container and Display

PCA acquires Englander Container and Display

PCA acquires Englander Container and Display. The company has sheet plants located in Carrollton, Texas, and Waco, Texas, and a design center located in Bentonville, Arkansas.

2021

Advanced Packaging Acquired

Advanced Packaging Acquired

PCA strengthens its position in the midwestern market by acquiring Advance Packaging Corporation, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Advance Packaging is a full-service producer of corrugated packaging products, including graphics, retail displays, sustainable shipping containers, and protective packaging.

2022

PCA Included Forbes 2021 Best Employer List

PCA Included Forbes 2021 Best Employer List

PCA is included in Forbes magazine’s 2021 list of “World’s Best Employers” — one of only 24 U.S.-based manufacturing/engineering companies to make the list.