How to Pick the Perfect Boxes for Shipping

boxes for shipping

Hey there! Whether you’re a small business owner who ships products daily or someone planning to send a thoughtful gift to a friend across the country, choosing the right shipping boxes for shipping is crucial. Not only does the correct box keep your item safe during its journey, but it can also save you money on shipping costs and reduce your environmental impact. Let’s break down the ins and outs of picking the perfect box for your shipping needs.

Understand Your Needs

Before you dive into the vast world of cardboard, take a moment to consider what you’re shipping. The size, weight, and fragility of the item will largely dictate the type of box you’ll need. For example, shipping a stack of books requires a different approach compared to sending a delicate glass vase. Knowing your product is the first step to selecting the right packaging.

When we started our e-commerce business, we didn’t know anything about boxes. By learning the basics we found we could save money by using 32ect boxes for our heavier items and they would be just fine.

Tim Wood

Material World

Most shipping boxes are made from corrugated cardboard, which is both sturdy and lightweight. However, the strength of cardboard can vary, so it’s important to look at the box’s manufacturer’s stamp. Here, you’ll find information about the box’s edge crush test (ECT) and maximum load. The ECT rating tells you how much pressure the box can withstand, which is especially important if you’re planning to stack multiple boxes.

For heavier items, consider double-walled boxes, which offer extra protection and durability. While they may cost more, the added security they provide could be well worth the investment, especially for valuable items.

  • 32 ECT Boxes
  • 44 ECT Boxes
  • 48 ECT Boxes
  • 60-90 ECT Boxes

Make sure you fine the right wall thickness for your boxes. The ECT ratings will help you find the nominal thickness box so your items get to your customers surviving the trip.

Size Matters

When it comes to boxes, size definitely matters – and bigger isn’t always better. Choosing a box that’s too large can lead to your items rattling around during transit, increasing the risk of damage. On the flip side, a box that’s too snug might not adequately protect the item from bumps and knocks.

A good rule of thumb is to choose a box that allows for about two inches of cushioning material around each item. This space is your safety buffer; fill it with bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or even crumpled paper to ensure your item arrives in tip-top shape.

New or Reused?

In today’s eco-conscious world, reusing old boxes can be a great way to reduce your environmental footprint. However, reused boxes might have lost some of their structural integrity. Always check for signs of wear like creases, tears, or weakened corners. If a box shows significant wear or damage, it’s better to recycle it and choose a new one for shipping.

Shape and Type

Boxes come in various shapes and sizes, from standard rectangles to more specialized types like tubes for posters or triangular boxes ideal for shipping framed pictures. Consider the shape of your item and whether a specialized box might offer better protection or be more cost-effective.

For example, if you’re shipping books, a snug-fitting mailer box might be perfect as it’s designed to tightly secure books and other flat items. For more irregularly shaped goods, a standard box with plenty of cushioning might do the trick.

Cost Considerations

Cost is always a factor, especially if you’re shipping in bulk. While it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option, remember that the safety of your product is on the line. Investing in a slightly more expensive box can save you the cost and hassle of replacing damaged items.

Moreover, shipping costs are often based on both weight and size (thank you, dimensional weight pricing!), so picking the right-sized box can prevent you from paying for excess space.

Test Before You Send

Once you think you’ve found the perfect box, do a trial run. Pack the item as you would for shipping and give the box a gentle shake. If you can hear the item moving inside, it’s a sign that you need more padding. Once your package feels secure, it’s ready to go.

Boxes for Shipping Wrap Up

Selecting the right shipping box might seem like a small detail, but it can make a big difference in the safety and cost of shipping your items. By understanding your needs, choosing the right size and material, and considering environmental impacts and costs, you can ensure that your products arrive safely and in style.

Whether you’re sending out products to customers or gifts to loved ones, taking the time to choose the right box shows you care about the contents – and about making a good impression. Happy shipping

1 comment

  1. October 14, 2019 at 5:58 pm
    Shanie Reichert

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