Questions to Ask When Buying Packaging Boxes


    If you’re considering buying boxes for packaging or storage for your home or business, there may be more things to keep in mind than you might initially think. Do you need the boxes for storage or for shipping? Do you need custom printed boxes? What size are you after? Coupled with the high costs and environmental impacts associated with single-use packaging, will you be seeking a sustainable alternative? And if so, what will the extra costs associated with this be?

    A good supplier will be able to tell you all about the best boxes to suit your needs and budget, however if you want to ensure you’re fully prepared before engaging with a prospective packaging distributor, this article will detail some important questions to ask yourself when buying packaging boxes.

    How Many Packaging Boxes Do You Need?

    If you’re only shipping a low volume of packages, or if this is a one-off packaging and shipping situation, you should be able to buy what you need from a local post office. If you’re a regular customer, you might be eligible for special discounts depending on how many packages you’re sending weekly.

    However, if you’re shipping a larger volume of goods and products for your business, it may be a smarter idea to broker a deal with a packaging provider. Buying boxes in bulk from a supplier will save you more money in the long term, with the cost per unit decreasing as the bulk of units needed goes up. Quite often having a good rapport with a packaging supplier will grant you even greater discounts and perks compared to retail post offices.

    What Sizes Do You Require?

    This is arguably the most critical question to ask yourself when buying packaging boxes. Most boxes are durable enough to withstand impacts from being transported long distances, but naturally, the boxes you use will need to be larger than the product you’re shipping. Where things can go wrong is if you buy boxes that are much too big for the item you’re shipping. If there’s too much room inside the box for the object to move around, it can easily become damaged during transit, even if the box itself remains intact. Boxes should leave enough room for packing material but should still be cosy enough that the item itself can barely move. The exception to this rule is if your product is very small, like a letter or an envelope, or if the product is made of a particularly fragile material, in which case you will need to assess if it’s better to leave more space in the box. Considering these things will help ensure that you have enough boxes for all of your items and that they’re of a suitable size to accommodate your products.

    Extra Eco-Friendly Materials or Regular Boxes?

    While all types of paper and cardboard can be collected for recycling, there’s a new wave of eco-friendly packaging materials emerging in the eCommerce and distribution space. New lightweight, compostable packaging boxes are entering the market, and even biodegradable postal satchels and packing materials are now available. 

    However, these new extra eco-friendly boxes and packing materials do come at a premium cost, often costing three times the amount of a normal box even when purchased in bulk. If you’re particularly environmentally conscious or you run a business in the green space, then it might make sense for you to pay extra for these premium shipping materials, but for most individuals and businesses, a regular box should suffice.