Types of shipping boxes - Each has a Purpose

Cardboard to Styrofoam

Corrugated and Palstic Boxes

Shipping boxes are by far the most widely used type of packaging for domestic and international freight. Boxes come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and materials, with certain boxes being designed to hold specific classes of goods.

The box or boxes that you select will depend on the type, size and weight of the items you are planning to ship. The maximum weight capacity and size limit applicable to a box will be listed either on its bottom or side flap. Under no circumstances whatsoever should you ever exceed these limits or you stand the chance of your box breaking during transit and your goods being damaged. Listed below are some of the varieties of shipping boxes, along with their main uses:

Single-wall corrugated boxes : the most widely used and economical variety of shipping box. Single-wall corrugated boxes are made out of strong corrugated cardboard and usually have durable outer liners. These boxes come in a variety of sizes and can hold almost any type of goods.

Double-wall cardboard boxes : identical to single-wall corrugated fiberboard boxes apart from the fact that they are constructed from two layers of corrugated cardboard as opposed to one. Ideal for heavier items or fragile good that require additional protection. For fragile goods, make sure that goods don’t touch the edges of the box and that spaces are sufficiently filled with support packaging such as bubble wrap or polystyrene chips.

Extra rigid fiberboard boxes: ideal for storing grains and powders. Make sure that you wrap boxes in plastic lining to give additional protection.

Miniature Styrofoam and hermetically sealed boxes and cylinders: ideal for storing liquids. Place these boxes in zip lock plastic bags to provide extra protection in the event that they leak during transit.

Triangular boxes: these boxes can usually hold a maximum of approximately 5kg and are specifically designed to store rolled up maps, blueprints and important documents. Use these instead of cylinders which tend to roll all over the place and do not pass through sorting equipment.

Boxes with built-in horizontal and vertical dividers: these boxes are designed to store fragile items as well as specific items such as books, CD’s, crockery, linen, cutlery and glassware.

Wooden boxes: these are ideal for both heavy items and fragile items as they provide extra support. If you are shipping fragile items, using dividers inside the box is highly recommended. Make sure that there are no splinters on the box and that sharp corners are taped. Something to keep in mind: if you are shipping goods to China in a wooden box you will need to obtain a certificate to say that the wood used to make the boxes has undergone special treatments and is both bark and pest free.

Extra large prefabricated box: this type of box can hold exceptionally large items and can be easily knocked down once goods have been delivered for maximum convenience.

Boxes with anti-static lining: these boxes are designed specifically to store electrical equipment that may become damaged by static.

Plastic corrugated boxes: utilize these boxes if you know your goods are going to be exposed to high humidity levels and wet conditions.




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