Sometimes the question of how to package a product comes out as an afterthought. The product is produced and ready to go out to customers, and somebody finally says, “So how are we going to ship this?”
A frantic rush ensues to find boxes that appear to be the right size, but the effort to save a few pennies results in using packaging that just can’t do the job of protecting its contents.
It arrives crushed at the customer’s location, to be followed shortly by an angry phone call back to the supplier.
The Importance of Selecting Stock or Custom Packaging Boxes
The job of selecting the right packaging should be considered as part of the entire production process. You want to find the perfect packaging to secure your contents safely inside and make a good impression for your company, but you don’t want to spend money on needless packaging when it’s not necessary.
That’s why it is helpful to know about the differences between stock packaging and custom packaging boxes.
What Is Stock Packaging?
This is packaging that pretty much comes ready-made right off the shelf from the packaging supplier. You put your product in, add some filler or bubble wrap to lessen movement, and slap a shipping label on it to send it off to the customer.
Stock packaging is usually easy to find, and costs are relatively inexpensive, but there can be some limitations on size and style.
When Should You Use Stock Packaging?
In general, the best times to use stock packaging include:
- If your product is not in danger of being damaged
- If your product does not have unique dimensions requiring special accommodations
- If you are just starting out and have tight budget restrictions
- If you are shipping small quantities
It is also appropriate for lower-priced items such as food products or canned goods where there would not be a significant financial loss if the box or contents were damaged during shipping.
What Are Custom Packaging Boxes?
Custom packaging is when a box is engineered and produced to meet a specific product purpose. This may require “drop tests” to determine vulnerability, and may often require several prototypes before a final design is accepted.
The packaging may also involve special tooling or dyes, and separate set-up costs as part of the manufacturing process. Sometimes a company wants to place a branding message on its packaging, which may involve the use of digital printing.
Generally, custom packaging is more expensive, involves minimum order quantities, and takes some time to come up with the perfect package, but the end result is worth it when the product arrives safely and the box makes a good impression.
When Should You Use Custom Packaging Boxes?
If you’re shipping sensitive products or ones that are easily damaged, you know that shipping can be dangerous. Boxes are jostled on conveyor belts, thrown into trucks and sometimes dropped along the way.
Unless you have complete control over the entire shipping process, it’s best to protect your product as much as possible with custom packaging boxes.
Custom packaging makes the most sense for:
- High-end items
- Items that are uniquely shaped
- Products that are high cost
- Any other fragile or potentially breakable items
The higher the product cost, the more you’ll need to look into custom packaging. If somebody is paying a good dollar for your product, they don’t want it delivered in a plain cardboard box!
To make sure your products are properly protected at the lowest possible price, look for an independent packaging distribution company which can provide a wide variety of stock products as well as custom packaging boxes.