Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Three Different Types of Packaging

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People may say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but they can’t deny that there’s only one chance to make an excellent first impression. A product’s packaging helps the consumer decide whether the item is worth buying. An impressive packaging adds to the perception that the item it holds has high quality and value.

Remember, though, that the perfect packaging has a healthy balance of form and functionality. While it’s true that aesthetics will catch the consumer’s eye, the packaging still needs to be able to protect the product from damage during transport.

There are several kinds of materials you can use for logistics packaging. You only need to consider the purpose and features of each type.

Mailing Envelopes

If you have small and light items, a mailing envelope is the ideal packaging. It is cheaper than boxes in the following ways:

1. You won’t need to spend a lot on storage fees and inbound shipping since envelopes aren’t bulky.

2. A customer won’t need to pay additional charges for a parcel that’s oversized. The items can be of different sizes, but they need to be soft goods that aren’t easily broken.

3. Envelopes have a lower cost per unit and lower minimum required number of orders.

Mailer envelopes can be made of paper or plastic, and either material can be mixed with recyclable content to make the packaging eco-friendly. These envelopes can store documents, clothes, and even CDs. For the more fragile items, you may include bubble wrap or padding for added protection.

While envelopes are great for lightweight items, they are susceptible to getting wet and torn if they don’t have a special coating. A customized envelope may also have limited design options. Mailer envelopes are printed using flexographic machines, which use plates for each color. More colors will mean spending more money on plates and more time to set up the printer.

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Cardboard/Corrugated Boxes

For heavier and fragile items, you can use cardboard boxes. A cardboard box is made with corrugated paper, which has three layers: inner lining, outer lining, and the fluting (corrugated medium). The fluting is composed of rows of air columns and is produced by a flute lamination machine.

Corrugated boxes are used for subscription boxes as well as for items like shoes, cosmetics, and stationery. These boxes can be custom designed and are often used for branded packaging. You have more freedom to be more creative when printing on corrugated boxes, and this allows you to make the packaging more attractive and promote your brand.

Cardboard boxes are more durable than envelopes, and they are easy to assemble or disassemble. They can protect items better from external pressure, as boxes can be stacked without deforming their surface or crushing the contents. Remember to use the right amount of cushioning inside the box to avoid the breakage of any item.

Like paper envelopes, cardboard boxes can be made from recyclable material. Today, people are becoming more aware of their carbon footprint, so cardboard boxes are sustainable and environment-friendly packaging options.

Plastic Boxes

A plastic box is actually cheap to produce, priced between $0.75 and $0.95 per unit. Of the three types of packaging materials mentioned here, it’s the plastic box that allows the customer to quickly decide whether or not to buy a product. You can see the product from all angles when you have a transparent plastic box, so you know what to expect.

If the items are sharp, a plastic box makes the ideal container because it’s thick enough to withstand punctures. If you have food products, an airtight container prevents spoilage and contamination. This ensures the retention of food quality.

Like the other packaging types, a plastic box has its own downsides. For one, it’s not as bendable as a cardboard box is, so it’s prone to breaking. Two, the plastic box itself may be heavy, so it will contribute to additional shipping costs. Three, not all types of plastic boxes can be recycled. Also, it may be difficult to find plastic boxes with customized sizes.

Enhancing the Customer Experience

A good business owner knows what they need to do to keep their customers happy and satisfied. Part of delivering exceptional customer service is keeping items in superior condition as they’re being transported. Paying careful attention to this detail reaps mutual benefits to the seller and the customer.

For example, businessmen who are planning to sell online can create eye-catching packaging that showcases their brand. This creative endeavor will help influence purchasing decisions and make the unboxing experience just as pleasant as the transaction has been. Sellers avoid the profit loss that results from product returns and refunds.

Customers can expect to get their money’s worth when they know their purchased items have been handled carefully. Ultimately, gaining the loyalty and unwavering support of a customer base will secure the longevity of a business.


By Sam

Sam Lowy is a writer, actor, comedian, musician, and everything in between. A true jack of all trades, Sam is constantly striving to learn and grow. Whether it's for a festival or just a once-in-a-lifetime club show, Sam loves to travel across the country to catch the best artists around. When he's at home in Tempe, AZ, Sam enjoys reading, playing guitar, and watching Frasier, Seinfeld, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.