Let’s Talk Shipping Boxes

What’s the difference between regular boxes and shipping boxes?  Well, the simple answer is: not much.  The even simpler answer: not much at all.  Essentially you can use any type of cardboard box for shipping something, but sometimes there really are differences, and these are helpful to know.  It wouldn’t benefit you to use, say, a lightweight, two piece storage box for trying to ship something.

shipping boxes

Another term for shipping boxes is postal boxes, or even mailing boxes, and just like there are a ton of standard cardboard boxes there are a ton of shipping boxes too.  From foam-lined boxes for shipping the super delicate kind of stuff to white boxes for when presentation matters.  Nowadays a cardboard box isn’t just a cardboard box.  You’ve got triple thick sides, you’ve got shockproof.  The options are pretty endless.

One type that I prefer to use myself are the flat brown postal boxes, which are very shallow boxes and usually used as an alternative to mailing bags because they are more sturdy.  Any time I send something in mailing bag it winds up crushed or bent, and the flat boxes take care of that.

A new kind of box that is becoming more and more popular is the book box.  Nowadays people are renting textbooks from online websites and ordering used books from small booksellers off of bigger websites like Amazon.  A lot of times you will receive the new book in an actual book box, that opens like a book and closes with an adhesive strip.  Due to the practical sizes, you are paying less since you are essentially getting less box.  A square or rectangle box is just too much when sending something as simple as a book.

You can also get foam boxes that come already lined with foam, you just have to fold them and they are ready to go.  This saves quite a few steps, and ensures the most protection.

Cardboard boxes are cardboard boxes, but shipping boxes come in all manner of specialties.  Specialized mug boxes with extra thick walls and that fit a single mug like a glove.  Tube boxes for sending posters and papers (they even come in clear plastic!).  The book boxes.  Boxes that slide into into another cardboard sleeve.  Extra long.  For garments. For lamps. For glassware.  Extra flat and super mini.  The exact size of CDs and DVDs.  When it comes to shipping boxes, there is never any reason to settle.

Let’s Talk Cardboard Boxes

If you would have told the guy who invented cardboard that there would wind up being thousands of different types of cardboard boxes he probably would have been flabbergasted.  He could not have comprehended how such a thing would even be possible.  I mean, a box is a box is a box, right?  Is it possible to have so many variations?  Yes.  The answer is yes.

Cardboard Boxes

It turns out that people have developed into particular and fickle creatures and when we send something in the mail we want to send it in a package that properly represents.  Do you want to send hand-painted mugs to your parents and in-laws for Mother’s and Father’s Day?  Than you are surely going to want to send them in mug boxes, which basically fit a single mug as perfectly as you could want a single mug to fit into a box.  You don’t need any filler, no cushion.  The design is perfect and the mug will arrive the same as how you sent it off.

How about book boxes?  Let’s not waste our time on trying to find cardboard boxes that will fit the size of book we are trying to mail.  Let’s just use book boxes, which are a very simple design, no unnecessary packaging or protection added because, let’s face it, books simply don’t need it.  A book box is a single layer of cardboard that wraps around the book like a cover and seals with an adhesive strip.  Badda bing badda boom.

Standard boxes.  Document boxes. Bottle boxes (these are what my friend gets her wine sent to her in.  That is always her best day…).  Yes, even adjustable and telescopic boxes exist.  Did you know that a certain amount of engineering has gone into designing these?  For example, perfectly square boxes are what you would use for packing or sending round items.

Do you remember the scenes in movies where the detective takes the elevator down into the bowels of the police station to check the evidence boxes?  There is usually a woman with a perm wearing a Hawaiian shirt that he makes eyes at who gives him unlimited access… to the boxes.  And the boxes are stacked from floor to ceiling.  These are called archival boxes, specifically designed with large areas to write on and handle holes in each side.  You gotta love it.  The more I learn about cardboard boxes the more I love them.