How to Choose the Right Packaging for Shipping Products

How to Choose the Right Packaging for Shipping Products

Product packaging can make or break a business. And it’s probably not in the way that you think.

Why it pays to invest in the right packaging

Whilst the costs of choosing the wrong packaging for your products may seem obvious such as damaged stock and a downturn in customer satisfaction; the true cost of inadequate packaging is a loss of profitability, aka your bottom line. Extra time spent on customer service, discounts, fluctuations in stock levels, reputational damage and freight claims all eats time and money, leaving your business in danger of going into the red. 

For micro-business, small manufacturers and large manufacturers alike, it is far more cost effective to invest in the right packaging than on returns for damaged goods. Consumer research backs this up too. A recent poll identified that 30% of consumers believe that packaging was unsuitable for their home deliveries and was the reason for damaged goods. Furthermore, of this percentage, over half directly attributed too little packaging as the cause of damage. When you consider that some 5 billion parcels were shipped in the UK alone in 2020, getting the right packaging should be a top business priority.

So, how can online stores and retailers find fit for purpose packaging? Continue reading as we answer this very question and more. 

How to pick the right size box

box measurement guide

When it comes to finding the right size box for shipping, you should first measure your product. This may sound simple, but it is a step that can easily be overlooked when you are busy running a business. Always measure your product in the following order: length, width, and height. 

Once you have this information you should choose a box that is just a little larger than the product. Choose a box that is too big and you’ll end up paying more on inner packaging to secure the item, more in postage costs and reduce the sustainability of your overall operation. 

Pro tip: You can search for your ideal box using the Boxed-Up box finder tool. Simply input the dimensions you need and we’ll do the rest! 

Internal and external box dimensions guidelines for packaging

Any retailer or ecommerce store must also be aware of the important distinction between inner and outer box dimensions as this can directly affect your costs and ultimately, profits. 

At Boxed-Up, we measure our boxes based on internal dimensions using the length, width, and height convention. For example, our small brown subscription box has an inner length of 140mm, an inner width of 112mm, and an inner height of 33mm. It is measured this way so that you can be safe in the knowledge that your product will fit in the box. However, some out of the box thinking is also needed - external box dimensions are crucially important when it comes to postage and sending goods via Royal Mail. Thankfully, the team at Boxed-Up has taken this headache away and stocked a range of sizes that are suitable for shipping through the postal system. Simply look for the product description and we’ll tell you right away if that box is letter or parcel compliant for Royal Mail postage. 

Understanding box sizes pay dividends long-term. Take the following example: you dispatch 20 2kg parcels using a “medium” parcel size on first-class delivery every working day. Choosing a medium size rather than a “small parcel” size equates to an extra £69 per day; an extra £365 per week or an extra £19,000 per year. Regardless of your business size, the importance of the correct size packaging cannot be underestimated. 

Pro tip: confused by mm, cm and inches? Check out the Boxed-Up conversion calculator for an easy quick reference guide. 

What should packaging include?

It stands to reason that choosing durable packaging that can withstand the transit process is a priority but it’s important to also consider the end user. For breakable or delicate products you will want to consider void fill or protective packaging such a bubble wrap to keep your goods safe on route. You may also be able to ship multiple products in one box (yes Amazon we’re looking at you) yet you should always remember that the packaging must be easy to open for the end user. 

Pro tip: For further hints and tips to help ensure your products arrive safely and securely, check out our small parcel packaging guide or medium parcel packaging guide. 

How to pack irregular products 

Non-standard size products can pose a challenge to retailers from a packaging perspective but the thought process remains the same. Measure your product and opt for a box that is just a little larger taking into account that extra inner packaging may be required. Boxed-Up is always on hand to help too; we can manufacture custom size boxes to suit your exact requirements. 

Pro tip: Get complete peace of mind that your product will arrive safe and secure by requesting a box sample from Boxed-Up. No guesswork is required!

What packaging type and design is best for me? 

Boxes for shipping products come in many different types. Whether you need a single wall, double wall, postal or other boxes all relates to what you are shipping and how. Single wall cardboard boxes are frequently the best solution for goods under 10kg whereas double wall cardboard boxes offer the best protection for heavier goods. Keeping costs in mind, postal boxes are ideal for goods that need to be delivered via a letter box such as subscription packages. 

Pro tip: bulk buy packaging boxes to unlock discounts and to help ensure that you are not caught short. 

You asked we answered - packaging questions from retailers

As a corrugated cardboard manufacturer, Boxed-Up has first-hand knowledge of what matters most to retailers and ecommerce stores. Our friendly customer service team is always on hand to help businesses find the right packaging solution. Here are some common FAQs and their answers. 

Q: Which size box can I fit 3 x SW 7x5x5 into? 

A: The SW 17x13x6 is a perfect fit. 

Q: My product is 5.5” wide & 6.5” long could you help find a box that will fit? 

A: SW 7x5x5 or SW 7x7x5.

Q: Would your DW 4x4x13 box be suitable for shipping glass bottles? 

A: Absolutely! We would also advise that a protective inner is used.

Q: Do you have a box to store model trains? 

A: Depending upon sizing, the SW 12x9x4, SW 10x7x3, and SW 12x9x6 are suitable for model trains.

Can’t see your question here? Check out our full FAQs: or get in touch at [email protected].

Where to get packaging for shipping

Once you know what box is perfect for you, the next step is to choose where to get the packaging for shipping. At Boxed-Up, we believe the answer to this question is simple: We are dedicated to servicing businesses of all sizes - from micro businesses to small manufacturers and more - the Boxed-Up team has helped hundreds of retailers to ship their products safely and securely. With no hidden costs and next working day delivery included as standard in our prices, our corrugated boxes are cost-effective, time-efficient solutions for low product runs and bulk orders alike. 

To get your products shipped by Boxed-Up or to learn more about our pricing and service options, complete a quick online enquiry form.