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Everything You Need to Pack Your Shipping Boxes

When shipping your products to your customers, you’ll want them to arrive in perfect condition, just as you packed it when you shipped it off.

But the reality is that no matter which shipping carrier you use, you won’t be able to prevent the bumps, handling or even accidental drops during the delivery process.

How do you protect your product so that it still arrives at your customer’s door intact? Whether you’re shipping with USPS, UPS or FedEx, you’ll learn how to safely pack your products.

But first, here are all the packing materials for shipping you will need:

Find the Correct Box Size

We receive this question regularly at Brandable Box, and rightly so, as finding your box is the first packing material for shipping you'll need to think about. While we don’t have a direct answer for which box size will be best, we can recommend some steps to take for you to find the best box size.

As box sizes go, the standard box measures 17 x 12 ⅜ x 12 ⅜. It’s also commonly referred to as “the book box” because it was designed to accommodate heavier items like books, albums, records, CDs, hand tools and more. It’s the most common size offered at shipping centers, and it’s typically the most cost-efficient in terms of size, weight and price.

However, just because it’s the standard box size doesn’t mean it’s standard for you. When you ship products in a box that’s too large or too small, you risk your package arriving damaged, or not being shipped at all. You can also avoid higher shipping costs by ensuring that your box is a snug fit for your items. 

Measure your items

Before we get started with box size, we recommend taking a look at your products and items. To find the best box size, you’ll need to gather your products and items together as you would pack them in a shipping box. When you gather your products together, imagine how you’d like your customer to see your products when they open their shipping box from you. 

After you gather your products together, measure the length, width and height of your pile. Take note of these measurements.

Measure your box

The first thing to note: the dimensions you see on boxes are always measured from the inside of the box. The measurements are also consistently formatted by length x width x height. Here’s what you need to know about each.

Length: The first quantity to measure is also the easiest to find, as it’s the longest side of the box with a flap and is measured horizontally.

Width: This measurement is typically the second in terms of the longest side, and you can distinguish it from the height measurement because it also has a flap and is also measured horizontally.

Height: Height is measured vertically from the bottom of the box to the top, and is the only measurement not to include the flaps.

Ideally, you’ll want to allow for two extra inches of space around your product in the box for packing materials.

Still not sure which box size is right for you? Try taking our quiz here.

Protect Your Product

Now that you have your perfect box size, you’re ready to move on to packing your products. The next packing material for shipping you'll need is packing paper or product protection.

If the item you are shipping has an opening or space, fill the empty space with crumpled up packing paper or bubble wrap. The purpose of packing paper and bubble wrap is to fill any voids or spaces in your shipping boxes. Remember when you would buy a toy at the store and it would be so difficult to get the toy out from its packaging? It seemed as though the toy was bolted to the package. This kept your toy in-place during transportation. Think of your own product in the same way. You’ll want to make sure your product is well protected during transportation, especially since the transportation will be fulfilled through a third party.

To protect your product, wrap your items in a layer of packing paper. Use a few pieces of tape to keep your paper in place on your product if needed. 

Then, add an extra layer of packing paper or bubble wrap around your items together. Make sure your packing paper covers all of your product. Use a few more pieces of tape to secure your wrapped product. 

Packing Your Shipping Box

It’s time to make use of those extra two inches of space inside your box. Start with the bottom, padding it with more packing paper. To make a secure cushion, crumple up your packing paper and stuff it into the corners of your box. 

Your goal is to prevent your product from having space to move around inside your shipping box. This will take a lot of packing paper, but thankfully, packing paper is recyclable.

As you place your item in the box, add more crumpled packing paper around your items. When you’re done, top off your packed box with a final layer of packing paper.

Test Your Packed Box

Once you’ve packed and sealed your boxes, it’s time to test them. The top flaps of your box should be able to close easily without bulging.

A good way to test how well your products are packed is to close your box, hold down the top flaps of the box with your hands or fingers (if your box is large, secure with tape), then vigorously shake the box up and down, then side to side for a few shakes. When you open the box back up, your product should still be in place and intact. If everything is in place, your box is ready to be shipped!

We hope these tips have been helpful to you as you pack your products and prepare to ship them off to your customers.

Shop packing paper here.

Shop our 2-pack tape here.

Shop all packing materials for shipping.

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