Whether you sell products online or at brick-and-mortar stores, shipping is one of the foundations of your brand. You use shipping boxes to transport your products to customers or retail stores. As such, you need to know the ins and outs of shipping boxes.
This guide contains all the important information you need to know about shipping boxes, from the type of shipping box you need to the benefits of custom shipping boxes, right down to how to create the design of your custom shipping box.
What are shipping boxes?
Shipping boxes are containers that brands use to transport their products from one point of the supply chain to another. These boxes are usually made of durable corrugated board (cardboard) material that is designed to protect the contents of the box during transit. Shipping boxes can also hold their shape even when multiple boxes are stacked on top of each other.
Today, all consumer brands use shipping boxes. However, box size, type, and strength are different for each brand. The parameters of the shipping boxes depend on the type of products that the brand ships to stores or customers.
What are the benefits of using shipping boxes?
Brands use shipping boxes for the following reasons:
- Ease of transportation – Using shipping boxes, brands can transport thousands upon thousands of units of their products to retail stores and customers anywhere in the world.
- Protection of the contents – Shipping boxes are durable and can withstand the rigors of transport as well as rough handling, which enables them to protect the products inside the boxes.
- Cost-effectivity – Shipping boxes can be affordable containers for products, especially if you source your boxes from a vendor that offers discounts if you order large quantities of boxes regularly.
What type of shipping box do you need?
There are various types of shipping boxes, and the right one for you largely depends on the products you intend to ship. The different types of shipping boxes you can use include (but are not limited to):
- Regular slotted container (RSC) – The regular slotted container is the most common type of box that brands use for shipping. This type of shipping box has flaps that meet in the middle to allow for easy sealing.
- Full overlap container – The full overlap container is similar to the RSC. The difference with this type of container is that the flaps overlap with each other and fully cover the width of the container. The overlapping flaps on the top and bottom make the container more sturdy and provide more protection to the contents.
- Telescope containers – Telescope containers consist of two pieces (the base and the lid) that can be separated. Brands often use telescope containers to ship expensive items such as high-end electronic gadgets.
- Die-cut self-locking containers – Die-cut self-locking containers are cost-effective shipping boxes that brands often use to ship small or lightweight products. These containers are called self-locking because the lid has a tuck-in flap with a locking tab that you can secure without using tape.
What are the ideal dimensions for my shipping boxes?
The dimensions of your shipping box will depend on:
- The size of your product
- The size of the specific void fill you plan on using
To determine the right dimensions for your shipping box, measure the dimensions of your product (length, width, and height). If you are shipping to retail stores, consider how many units of the product you plan on putting inside a single box. If you are going to insert any void fill (packing peanuts, bubble wrap, etc.) into your shipping boxes, consider the dimensions of the void fill as well.
To minimize costs, avoid oversizing your shipping boxes. Doing so will allow you to fit your product safely into the box without the need to use significant amounts of void fill.
What is the ideal box strength for my shipping boxes?
Shipping boxes come in either single-walled corrugated board or double-walled corrugated material. Single-walled corrugated board material consists of one layer of flute sandwiched between an inner and outer liner. Meanwhile, double-walled corrugated board material consists of two outer liners and two layers of flute with an inner liner between them.
Both single-walled and double-walled corrugated board materials are available in different strength levels. The stronger the corrugated board, the heavier load it can carry. However, double-walled corrugated board material is generally stronger than its single-walled counterpart.
Single-walled corrugated board shipping boxes are suited for small, lightweight, and inexpensive items that are not prone to breakages, such as food, clothing, and plastic products.
On the other hand, double-walled corrugated board shipping boxes are ideal for expensive or fragile items such as flatscreen TVs or monitors, appliances, and ceramics.
If you are unsure which box strength you need, work with your supplier to determine the right box strength. A good supplier won’t just offer you a solution. A good supplier will offer you the best solution for your needs.
Do I need custom shipping boxes?
Do you need custom shipping boxes, or are stock shipping boxes fine? Here are some benefits of custom shipping boxes that will help you decide.
- Exact size – Sizing is crucial when it comes to shipping boxes. Having shipping boxes of the right size helps you cut down on costs, protect your products, and minimize your carbon footprint. By using custom packaging, you can ensure that your shipping boxes are the perfect size for your product.
- Lower costs – Having shipping boxes with the right size automatically enables you to cut down on shipping costs because you avoid paying hefty fees to ship heavy and oversized boxes.
- Branding – You can customize the design of your packaging and place your brand logo on your shipping boxes. You can also use whatever image, text, or color you like, as long as you have print-ready files. Custom shipping boxes allow you to showcase your branding and keep it in the mind of your consumers.
How do I create the design for my shipping box?
If you have an in-house designer who can create the design for your shipping boxes, your designer can prepare the design and transfer it to a dieline. Your designer creates the dieline on a computer using design software such as Adobe Illustrator.
In packaging, the dieline is the design template that ensures the layout of the physical packaging is correct once the boxes are printed. The dieline contains the folds and cut lines of your shipping box in a flat, 2-D form.
If you don’t have an in-house designer, your source can help you create the design and transfer it to a dieline. Here at PackM, we offer free design support, whether it’s transferring print-ready files or creating the necessary artwork.
If you need custom shipping boxes, we can help you. At PackM, we are ready to help with all your custom packaging needs. We can provide you with durable, sustainable, well-designed, and easily customizable packaging for shipping. We can even assist you in creating your custom design. Head to our website or call us at (424) 271- 0700. Our experts will be more than happy to help you create the perfect packaging for your small business.