What Is FirstPak ?

FirstPak is a procedure that provides a legal framework for one SPA/AICC member to partner with one or more other sheet plants to satisfy the needs of a multi-location customer.

By definition, a FirstPak customer is one whose geographical and logistical requirements are larger than a single sheet plant can fulfill on their own.


In 1997, AICC began exploring how members could legally form alliances which could compete for business on a multiple-location basis. Initially, this was regarded as a defensive move, a means of protecting against some customers’ move to national, single-source suppliers. Internally, this AICC program was termed ‘joint selling entities.’

Working with AICC’s legal counsel, a business model defining how joint selling entities would work was developed. This model was then submitted to the United States Justice Department and the Canadian Bureau of Competition for review. After being accepted by both AICC proceeded to develop a marketing identity for its joint selling program.

The name FirstPak was chosen as the ‘brand name’ to be freely used by AICC members for marketing and to present to potential customers.

Within the FirstPak scheme there are currently over 650 sheet plants and corrugator locations in North America. In June 2002 the UK Sheet Plant Association (SPA) launched an extension to the FirstPak programme to operate within the United Kingdom and Europe.

How a FirstPak Group Operates

  • The ‘lead member’ identifies and contacts the potential customer.
  1. The lead member qualifies and selects the other (partner/partners) members of the group. N.B. The customer facility to be serviced by the other partners (subcontracted) must be outside the lead members catchment area.
  2. Partner members provide individual pricing information to the lead member. Only the lead member knows these prices and only the lead member negotiates selling prices with the prospective customer.
  3. The lead member administers the account and all sales/delivery transactions are completed between the customer and the lead member.
  4. The lead member invoices the customer for the services and product provided and pays the partner members as subcontractors.
  5. Various joint selling FirstPak groups are free to compete with each other. SPA/AICC head office does not recommend partners but can help in explaining the process.
  6. Pricing and other business practices may not be shared. Different FirstPak groups compete with each other.
  7. Each FirstPak group will be independent of every other FirstPak group. The makeup of groups will not be identified to the SPA/AICC nor will any one group identify its existence or its membership to any other FirstPak group.
  8. Participation in the program or in any group will be voluntary and can be terminated at anytime by any member, subject to the rights and obligations of parties to a contractual obligation.

For more information about FirstPak please contact Steve Young or Zel Murphy at AICC on 001 703 836 2422