So, you know your business needs corrugated shipping boxes, but you’re not exactly sure about what type. We know that the sheer amount of choice out there can be a little overwhelming, so let’s see about narrowing it down just a touch for you, shall we? Knowing the basics will make the selection process go a little smoother, so here’s the questions you’ll want to ask yourself when choosing the right shipping boxes for your business.

What shipping carton style do you want?

Basically, do you want regular shipping boxes, or ones with some style?

RSCs (Regular Slotted Cartons) are the standard corrugated box most everyone uses.

EFMs (Easy-Fold Mailers) are great for flat or narrow products, and their reduced profile makes them a little more eye-catching.

Corrugated Mailers are best for grouping together small or multiple items.

FLMs (Front Lock Mailers) have the most style of the bunch, perfect for creating unboxing experiences with your customer shipments.

And, do you want a standard look or a more custom appearance?

Kraft corrugated boxes are the most common color for shipping boxes, making them the most cost-effective and widely available option.

White corrugated boxes are a little pricier and show dirt a little easier, but catches the eye far more than kraft does.

Color corrugated boxes and printed corrugated boxes are custom-made shipping boxes, perfect for creating unboxing experiences and showing off your branding.

What’s the size of your product?

Once you know its measurements, keep the following facts in mind. They’ll help you determine how tight or spacious your shipping boxes should be.

The inside dimensions of a box are its usable space, and are the numbers used for stating box size (e.g.: 12x12x12”). If your product’s measurements are smaller, you know it’ll fit.

The outside dimensions of a box are important to know for shipping purposes. Now that dimensional weight is used to calculate delivery costs, you’ll want to find a happy medium between inside and outside dimensions (a proper fit for your product, without taking a hard hit to your shipping budget).

Avoid wasted space as much as you can. An oversized box will rack up heavy shipping charges, require more void fill and carton-sealing tape, and increase the risk of your products bouncing around and suffering damage.

What exactly is your product?

What your product is—or any special considerations it has—will influence your choice of shipping boxes or other packaging supplies.

Food products, medicines or other perishables will need protection from temperature and humidity changes. Insulated shipping kits (and optional items like cold packs) will help create sealed and protected environments.

Clothing and hand-made goods need shipping boxes that keep them snug and unmoving, while leaving enough room for void fill or other padding.

Breakable items need as many layers of protection as you can give them. You’ll want them snug, but not too snug (because you don’t want any pressure or tension on them), while still restricting their movement as much as you can.

Extra tips for packing your chosen shipping boxes.

Avoid bad packaging choices. Stick with new and undamaged corrugated boxes, as used ones can have dents and tears, or unseen issues like water damage. If you’re able, use reinforced WAT (water-activated tape) for sealing your boxes. It’s stronger than standard packing tape, and leaves obvious evidence in the case of packaging tampering.

Avoid wasteful packaging choices. Stick with bubble cushion, foam sheets or packing paper whenever you can. Packing tape is important, but over-taping doesn’t make for a more secure customer shipment.

Hopefully, you’ve narrowed down exactly what your products need, and are well on your way to protecting them in the best ways possible. For the corrugated shipping boxes and void fill packaging supplies your business needs, you’ve come to the right place. The Packaging Company is your e-commerce partner.