How to Choose Shipping Box Size, Shape and Strength

When you are shipping products, it is important to pick the correct shipping box in terms of size, shape and strength. Pick a box too small, and the items will be squeezed inside, and if you pick a box too large, you will only be increasing the shipping fees. With the many options available, it can be challenging to know where to start. The guide below has some tips for choosing the correct box for shipping, depending on your business needs.

Carriers of Shipping Boxes

A business can have many uses for shipping boxes, such as delivering orders to external customers, transferring internal supplies, storing goods, etc. Most shipping carriers charge based on weight, size, destination and how the product is being shipped. Also, keep in mind that there are weight and size restrictions. Be sure to check that your box does not go over the specified requirements.

Box Sizes

Boxes are either available in the traditional square and rectangular shape, or elongated sizes for particular uses. The first thing to consider is the size of the box. Here is a simple guide.

  • Cube boxes: The height, width and length measurements are all equal.
  • Long boxes: Such boxes have a longer length than their height and width. They are ideal for elongated items.
  • Multi-height boxes: They are designed in a way that you can choose among the different heights while still maintaining the length and width.
  • Tall boxes: They have a smaller length and width but a taller height. This makes them ideal for tall items that need to stay upright while being shipped.
  • Telescopic boxes: They are for long items that cannot fit into one box. They fit together, ensuring the item is properly packaged.
  • Side-loading boxes: Wide but thin with an opening on the side to load items, such as framed photos or posters.


Shipping boxes are often exposed to different types of abuse. For instance, a box can fall in a sorting facility whereas another can get punctured during transit. The strength of the box is what will prevent the item inside from being damaged. The strength of a shipping box is measured using ECT or edge crush test. It is important to understand that different boxes have different strengths. Shipping boxes for small businesses need to be chosen carefully to avoid losses.

The commonly used box strengths are 32 ECT and 200#. 32 ECT is for lightweight shipments and the 200# is for heavy-duty shipping. Other options for heavy-duty products include 44 ECT, 48 ECT, 51 ECT, 71 ECT and 90 ECT. Also, heavier items may need double or triple wall boxes.

As a business owner, it is your duty to ensure that you choose the right shipping boxes. This allows for products to get to your customers while they are still in good shape. If you are looking for a packaging solution for your business, contact Lamberson Packaging Solutions. We are a family-owned business that has been providing shipping supplies for more than 15 years. Our products and services are of quality and at affordable prices to ensure your business has everything it needs. Give us a call today, and we will deliver what you need.

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