Think Inside the Box
The boxes in which you supply your product might well seem like something of an added extra, but the presentation of your business should never be taken for granted. Poor quality packaging will make your company look cheap, and boxes which don’t properly protect your precious products could leave you with disputes about refunds and some terrible word of mouth from disappointed customers.
Cardboard boxes are still the most popular way to post anything that can’t be fitted into an envelope. Despite massive advances in materials science, nothing has matched good old cardboard for convenience and strength at a realistic price. They’re incredibly easy to use and by using recycled material you can boost your green credentials, a crucial consideration for some consumers.
The internet means it’s possible to have a good browse of the box world before making your choice. Although, the cost of shipping means it’s rarely worth using international markets. Simply make your choice and wait for your flat packed boxes to arrive ready for assembly and dispatch.
Choosing the box you need takes some thought. You need to bear in mind the size of your product, the amount of support it will need and how delicate it is. Shipping fresh air is something you have to pay for, so the better the fit the less you’ll pay in wasted postage.
Typically cardboard boxes come in a huge variety of sizes, your choices depend largely on the way the box is put together and the number of layers of corrugated cardboard which make up its walls.
Singlewall cardboard boxes are the traditional favourite. They are cheap and easy to use as well as light. They won’t, however, support heavy products – asking for samples is always a good idea as you go into the packaging business – and doublewall boxes also give an extra level of protection for delicate products. Packaging experts tend to use the rule that if a product just needs to be ‘kept together’ rather than protected then singlewall should be entirely adequate. They are perfectly capable of being stacked while loaded with light items. They are very versatile and come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes.
Doublewall boxes add an extra layer of protection and strength to your packaging. They cost slightly more than singlewall boxes and generally have a ‘wall’ of around 7mm around your product.
Because of the extra layer of corrugated cardboard the boxes have more rigidity and more resistance to damage. If your product is easy to damage or weighs a lot then you should consider a doublewall box. They don’t weigh appreciably more than singlewall boxes so shouldn’t add too much to your postage costs. Doublewall boxes will last longer, so if you’re using them for storage you should get multiple uses from them.
They stack for storage easily with enough carrying potential to deal with heavy items. They come in a similar range of sizes as singlewall boxes.
Extra strength doublewall boxes are often called removal boxes because they are so suitable for tackling that most stressful of jobs, moving home. They are probably overkill for most postage solutions, but if you’re moving office then consider them – look for companies that supply free bubble wrap and tape as part of the deal.
The internet means you can now design the box that perfectly fits your budget and your shipping requirements. You will be able to design the size – most cardboard box measurements are taken internally – of the box, which can save a fortune if the product you ship is an unusual shape or size. You’ll be asked what sort of join you would like on your box, glued or stitched. And, a choice between single and doublewall cardboard.
Remember that a cardboard box – versatile though it is – is very rarely a complete solution, and you need to find the right fastenings or tape and also consider using packing material like bubble wrap or paper to keep your product safe and sound all the way to the customer. Companies that sell both the box and the accessories will save you time and you may find deals when you buy both together.