The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Cardboard Box for Shipping

Whether shipping small items or something so big that it requires a truck, choosing the right cardboard box is crucial for a successful delivery, whether it’s the material specifications, fluting type or printing options, there are several things to consider when selecting the perfect packaging for your products.


Cardboard (also called cardboard fiber or corrugated fiberboard) is made of heavy paper pulp that can be flat or folded into boxes. It’s a versatile material that can be customized to suit any product and packaging needs.

Regarding shipping, the right cardboard box can make all the difference. Whether you’re an individual or a massive industrial company, you need packaging to protect your products from the elements and ensure they reach your customers in one piece.

Cardboard is a popular choice for this purpose. It’s inexpensive and durable, making it ideal for storing and transporting goods. It can also be printed with graphics and messages to promote your business and brand. Various options are available, from single-face and single-wall to double-face and double-wall corrugated.


Cardboard boxes are available in various sizes, shapes and strengths. There’s a box for nearly any item you want to ship. The key is to pick the right box for your products and shipping requirements.

The first step in choosing the right box size is to measure your product. Packaging companies display the dimensions of a box on the inside, which allows you to assess whether your products will fit properly. Box measurements are always shown in length x width x height (LxWxH).

Once you know your product’s dimensions, you can measure existing boxes to determine the most appropriate sizes. If you plan to use a recycled or used box, carefully clean it and remove any previous labels or markings with a heavy black marker.

Many shipping services have specific guidelines for box sizes, so make sure your boxes are within these limits. Oversized packages can be costly, especially if shipped through freight carriers. In addition, if you choose a box that’s too small for your products, they will likely be damaged in transit.


Cardboard boxes are available in various shapes, sizes and box strengths. It’s important to choose the right one for your products, as shipping services can charge based on weight and size – and picking a box too small could cause your product to get damaged during transportation.

The most common type of cardboard box is a corrugated one with three layers: a middle ‘flute’ layer and two outer liners. This structure makes it sturdier and stronger than standard cardboard.

To find the right box, measure your products’ length, width and height. Then, search online for a cardboard template that matches these dimensions. The lines & dimensions of the drawing on the template indicate where you should cut & fold the cardboard to construct a box.

If you don’t have a template or enough cardboard to make the box you need, try building it yourself instead. To do this, get a piece of cardboard at least as big as the longest dimension on your template (the L dimension). Then, follow the instructions for making a cardboard box by cutting the corrugated sheet into equal squares with a tape measure or a long straight-edge ruler.


Depending on the product inside, cardboard boxes might require special printing, including identifying codes like barcodes, lot numbers, and expiration dates. These codes can help prevent misdirect shipments, inventory management issues and even hefty fines from retailers.

When determining what type of printing process is best for your needs, you should start by deciding your goals. For example, if displaying your logo is one of your key priorities, you might choose a style that offers vibrant colors and crisp images.

Digital printing is an efficient option for small jobs that only need a small number of prints at a time, such as posters and signs. This printing method creates images directly from a computer, eliminating the need for printing plates. However, this printing technique can sometimes produce faded or dull prints. It also doesn’t work as well with certain materials.


Whether shipping a small package that can fit in one hand or a huge dining room table, choosing the right box can make all the difference, from shape and size to material specifications, fluting types and even ethical credentials, several details can make or break the right choice for your product.

Cardboard boxes come in a wide range of dimensions, and the first step is to determine how large or small your product needs to be. You’ll need to take your products’ length, width and height into account to get accurate measurements, but once you have those numbers, it should be easy to calculate the perfect box size.

Next, you’ll want to choose a color and finish option. Standard white cardboard is a classic choice that works well with any design, but premium white boxes can offer even more vibrancy. The right choice can also set your packaging apart, giving it a professional look that will impress. You can also opt for a laminated coating, which protects sensitive or high-quality items from moisture and dirt.