Which Box is Best For My Product?

Pack it up!

To ship anything, you need a box. Packaging is important to protect the contents within it. But which type of box is best for shipping and storing your products?

Understanding box types and common uses for each one can help narrow down your options and reduce shipping costs. Do you need a UN Rated box, durable and heavy-duty, or narrow? This list will help you decide which box is best for your product. 

What is Corrugated Material?


Boxes are made of corrugated material and have single, double, or triple wall construction. This durable cardboard is layered, offering protection and durability to your products. Boxes have an Edge Crush Test (ECT) that the box can hold. Use this to determine which is best for your product so it’s not damaged. Corrugated material also prevents dust and moisture from getting to the content inside. 

Corrugated boxes are all created with fluting. This is what makes a corrugated box, corrugated. Flute is a layer of paper inbetween the board that makes it more durable. Coming in a variety of sizes, each "profile" are designed with a letter. C flute being the most common type. 

5 common flute sizes include: 

  • A-Flute: about 36 flutes a foot
  • B-Flute: about 49 flutes a foot
  • C-Flute: about 41 flutes a foot
  • E-Flute: about 90 flutes a foot
  • F-Flute: about 128 flutes a foot

1. Heavy-Duty Boxes


Shipping bulky, large items will be best protected with a heavy-duty box. Items that require a sturdier base should be used with a heavy-duty box. These boxes are versatile to be used within any industry to ship any product.

Use a heavy-duty box for: 

  • Pillows/blankets
  • Clothing
  • Towels/tablecloths
  • Household materials 
  • Electronics 
  • Glassware

2. Mailers


Mailers offer excellent protection for shipping smaller items. With a variety of options to choose from, these boxes provide flexibility to be used for any product within any industry. Mailers are lightweight and durable. 

Common applications of mailers include:

  • Promotional materials
  • Food packs
  • Samples
  • Literature/business documents
  • Jars
  • Apparel

3. Hazardous Material Packaging


Hazmat boxes are UN rated to store and ship hazardous materials. These boxes are designed to safely transport and store materials that need extra caution. 

These boxes come printed with warning information to communicate the type of product that is within it. To properly meet UN rating requirements, the box is only UN rated when it matches the contents inside.

Use hazardous material boxes for: 

  • F-style bottles
  • Jugs
  • Paint cans
  • Pails

4. Foam Shippers


Foam shippers maximize protection of products that may be more fragile or need to stay in one place. Composed of two layers of foam inserts, these boxes are made of polyurethane convoluted foam designed to protect content from shocks and blows. 

Common uses for foam shippers include: 

  • Glassware
  • Jewelry 
  • Electronics 
  • Small art

5. Reshippers


Reshippers are designed to hold specific products to ship and store the items safely.  These boxes are printed to communicate about the contents that are within it. 

These boxes are meant for: 

  • F-style bottles
  • Paint pans
  • Pails
  • Jugs

6. Multi-Depth


Use multi-depth boxes to get the exact size box you need, without having excess boxes in your inventory. Cut on the premade scores in the box to make it smaller to desired height. Multi-depth boxes can be reused and recycled.

Use these boxes for: 

  • Clothing
  • Towels/tablecloths
  • Household materials
  • Electronics
  • Glassware

7. Telescoping Boxes


Meant for skinny, irregular shaped items like fishing poles, golf clubs, rolled documents, and rugs, telescoping boxes accommodate items of varying lengths. Flat telescoping boxes can be used for mirrors, picture frames, glass panels, trays, and more. 

Use telescoing boxes for: 

  • Fishing poles 
  • Golf clubs 
  • Rolled documents 
  • Rugs

8. Gaylord Containers


Useful for larger, odd-shaped items, gaylord boxes are great for storing and shipping these items.  Gaylord containers are eco-friendly and can be recycled. 

These boxes can be used for:

  • Materials
  • Equipment
  • Plastic pellets 
  • Dry materials: corn and flour

** Lid sold separately.


9. Bulk Cargo


Bulk cargo containers are meant for irregularly shaped items. These large boxes hold the same capacity as four 55-gallon drums but in less space. A flat top closure allows for ease of opening and closing. 

Use bulk cargo containers to ship or store: 

  • Powders 
  • Resins
  • Irregular shaped items

** A pallet is needed to easily move contents.


10. Insulated


Items that require temperature control will use insulated shippers for shipping and transportation. Insulation is needed to shield the products from contamination by allowing filtrated air to enter and exit. 

Common applications for insulated boxes include: 

  • Pharmaceuticals 
  • Food 
  • Chemicals

11. File Storage


Sort and keep documents organized with these durable file storage boxes. We offer a variety of styles including heavy-duty, interlocking flap, economy, string and button, and more. No tape or glue is needed on these boxes. These boxes have pre-printed labels to identify content and provide access.  

Use file storage boxes to organize within your office or home for: 

  • Paperwork 
  • Files
  • Books 
  • Pictures

12. Bins


Corrugated bins optimize organization on your shelves or work space. No tape, glue, or staples are needed to assemble these boxes. 

Common uses for bins include: 

  • Brochures 
  • Office supplies 

13. Displays


Corrugated displays showcase your content on table surfaces, counters, and shelves. Made of sturdy construction, these boxes display and fold together quickly without tape or glue. 

Use displays for: 

  • Magazines
  • Brochures 
  • Suggestion box 
  • Product displays

14. Overpack Cartons


Overpack cartons are used for shipping cartons, pails, containers, and more. These sturdy boxes are designed to carry multiple containers within one box. They are specific to container types so they can be packed efficiently.

Use overpack cartons for:

  • Pails 
  • F-Style bottles

Additional Box Accessories

The Cary Company offers a wide variety of shipping supplies to meet all your needs. We've got you covered no matter what you are shipping. Browse our shipping accessories that will keep your products safe during transit. 

Product Sourcing - Can't find the right size or type of shipping supply? We can help! The Cary Product Sourcing Team will work with you to find the best solution available. -- Call 630.629.6600!

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