The rise of e-commerce has utterly transformed the relationship between customer and business—but while that means that a majority of business is still done online, you still can’t just ship physical packages over WiFi.
Whether you’re running a tiny Etsy shop or a big box outlet, shipping costs are going to be a meaningful part of your expenses. Finding the right box shape can help limit your costs and your waste, and there are plenty of options available for more irregular-shaped packages. Let’s walk through the most prominent ones so you can understand the uses for each.
Before we get into the specifics of box shapes, let’s talk about how your product should be packaged. The general rule of thumb is that you want a box as close to the size of your product as possible. Ideally, that means finding a box that matches the shape of your product as well—but that can be more difficult when we start talking about more irregularly shaped products. Regardless, the cost of even a slightly bigger box can add up over time. Finding a custom box manufacturer who can tailor to the needs of your company early on can give your company a modest but meaningful advantage over the competition.
While technically not boxes, envelopes are such a ubiquitous shipping method that they deserved mention. Envelopes are lightweight, flexible, and cheap to ship. That said, they aren’t going to be the best choice for most products. Their smaller size means that they’re really best suited just for very small objects and for documents. But you should always be valuables and documents like art prints that need an extra level of care.
Delivery tubes were once the recognized standard for shipping artwork and oversized or sensitive documents, and they’re still a great choice. That said, other shapes are beginning to surpass shipping tubes for delivering paperwork. That said, shipping tubes can still be a solid choice for delivering tall and narrow objects in the mail.
Triangular mailer boxes aren’t one of the most instantly recognizable box types, but they’re becoming an increasingly popular choice for shipping documents. Best suited for art prints, blueprints, and other sensitive documents, they take the advantages of a typical mailing tube but make them easier to manage since they won’t roll around or get crushed.
Multi-height boxes can be a godsend to any business that ships out a wide variety of products. Most multi-height boxes can be adjusted to three different height levels, so you can send multiple shipments or adjust to multiple different product sizes without having to estimate box counts for each size.
The traditional square box is the standard for most shipping—and if you’re buying from a standard retailer, you’ll find the most variety with rectangular and square boxes. There are plenty of reasons for that. Rectangular boxes typically give you the most value for your space, and they’re structurally very sound. That said, there are many products that are too irregularly shaped to sensibly fit within a rectangular box without wasting space.
The best way to find a box that’s the right size and shape for your product is to go with a company that creates customized boxes.
A brand like BoxGenie can help find a box that’s sized and shaped to your specifications, and they can produce boxes scaled to your needs. And you can even have your own graphics and logo printed directly onto your boxes.