Ever since the Scottsman Robert Gair invented the first prefabricated, fold-up cardboard box in 1890, people have been trying to improve on his idea. The results are quite creative. Nowadays, we have several different options when it comes to shipping and mailing items.
But how do you know which option is best for your business? That largely depends on the size, weight, and shape of the product to be mailed. Of course, the box needs to suit its contents. It shouldn’t be too large or too small, too thick or too thin, too bulky or too plain. In fact, it needs to be like Goldilocks’ porridge: just right!
In order to help you get to know more about mailer boxes, here is a primer on the four basic types of boxes you can use in your business.
Box With Flaps
This shallow box somewhat resembles a pizza box because of its front flap and “wings” that can be tucked in, but it is actually much sturdier than a pizza box. The interlocking flaps enclose items quite securely, keeping them from accidentally slipping out, and they also provide a firm, semi-rigid structure to the box itself.
Boxes of this type do not require tape and can even be made with double-sided walls.
The most common type of folder box is the one-piece folder, otherwise known as the “opf.” As the name implies, it is fabricated from only one piece and is easily assembled into shape. It’s useful when shipping fairly flat items such as books or magazines.
There is also such a thing as a five-panel folder box, which wraps around itself, resulting in reinforced ends. The five-panel folder box can be useful for shipping long, narrow items such as curtain rods.
Also known as a “regular slotted container” or simply a “cardboard box,” this design is as classic as it gets. Its four flaps on top can be of equal size, with the outer flaps meeting each other in the middle, or they can be constructed with some overlap.
Generally, shipping boxes are light yet durable. They are the perfect choice for packing and stacking heavy contents.
Tubes, triangle-shaped, and even telescoping boxes have been created for specific purposes. Documents such as maps and posters have been rolled up and shipped in tubes in the past, but triangles provide more rigidity and will remain wherever you set them down, rather than inconveniently rolling away.
Of course, each of these basic designs can be customized by adding features such as logos, lettering, slots, tabs, double or triple walls, and partitions, if needed. Packaging has come a long way since Robert Gair’s day!
Mailing boxes have an important purpose: to get your product from here to there, quickly and safely. But beyond that, they’re an opportunity to reflect your brand in a positive light, so choose wisely. After all, you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression!