When it comes to product marketing and distribution, packaging is an important business decision. Beyond ensuring product safety, packaging choices will come down to budget, functional use and a wide range of marketing opportunities.

When thinking about the types of boxes that your company will use, consider the weight of your product, its fragility and how it will be transported. And because cardboard boxes offer so many opportunities for promotion and marketing, choosing your packaging will be as much about product placement as it will be about distribution.

To help you start thinking about the possibilities, here are 11 types of boxes used for packaging products:

1. Collapsible Boxes

Offering a range of options in strength and style, collapsible boxes are valued for their ability to reduce both shipping costs and storage space. With design options virtually open-ended, these types of boxes can be effective tools for operations, distribution and marketing.

2. Corrugated Cardboard Boxes

Highly functional and relatively inexpensive to produce, corrugated cardboard is an excellent packaging choice for business-use boxes. Die cut corrugated boxes can be made into almost any shape, allowing for operational and marketing objectives to be met. In addition, corrugated cardboard can be constructed with variable flute options, allowing you to choose your board strength, as per your performance requirements.

3. Rigid Boxes

These sturdy boxes offer top quality protection and a high-end finish. They are often used for presentation purposes, as they protect both brand image and product integrity. Rigid boxes cannot be collapsed for shipping and are therefore usually made in smaller sizes.

4. Shelf-Ready Boxes

These types of boxes are designed for retail use, allowing stores to showcase products with ease. They often allow store owners to simply display the boxes on shelves, rather than unpack and store individual items. From marketing perspective, they maintain brand integrity and can provide an eye-catching display.

5. Slotted Containers

These durable, efficient boxes are highly versatile, but are often used for storage and transportation. In a Regular Slotted Container (RSC), the four flaps have equal length, with the two outer flaps meeting in the middle. They require tape, glue or staples to close securely, but are an excellent choice for a wide range of business uses. A Half Slotted Container (HSC) has only one set of flaps. They are useful for storage and quick transportation within a building.

6. Mailer Boxes

Used specifically for mailing small products, these types of boxes fit easily into both mail boxes and post boxes. This allows a business to reduce costs by delivering efficiently, through regular mail.

7. Telescope Boxes

A telescope box consists of two separate pieces. Designed with a base and a lid, these boxes are often used for their brand appeal. They are designed to store and transport high end products, providing the experience of a product reveal when the box is opened.

8. Full Overlap Boxes

Ideal for boxes that are relatively narrow, Full Overlap Boxes (FOB) are generally made from one piece of cardboard, where the outer flaps overlap the entire width of the box. With relatively few seams, these boxes are extremely durable.

9. Roll End with Tuck Top Boxes

These boxes are unglued and assembled by folding. They are typically put together by hand and are easy to assemble and load. The entire box is connected with a front lid panel and two locking flaps, which tuck into two side panels. Sturdy and dependable, these boxes make excellent tools for shipping and are easily transformed into effective marketing tools. Brand messaging can easily be displayed on front, top and side panels.

10. Triple Wall Boxes and Bins

Composed of three layers of fluted corrugated cardboard, triple wall boxes are a lightweight shipping solution that can often be used in place of wooden containers. As strong as wood, but half the weight, triple wall boxes can be used to ship heavy items and reliable enough to ship fragile or highly delicate items. Similarly, triple wall bins offer heavy duty strength for reliable storage. Often octagonal in shape, these bins are ideal containers for almost any heavy, bulk-shipped product.

11. Point of Purchase Displays

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Specialized boxes make ideal Point of Purchase (POP) displays. Easy to set up and transport, cardboard POP displays can be used at the end of an aisle, at the checkout counter, or on countertops. Options for these boxes include 3-D promotional displays, countertop displays, floor displays, pallet displays, and corrugated die cut displays. All allow for eye-catching marketing and product promotion.

When your business has a product to ship and market to retail customers, packaging is a fundamental decision. With advances in cardboard technology, you have plenty of options for both your functional needs and your marketing potential. Start by choosing which of the many types of boxes suit your needs, then decide how best to display your brand, marketing and promotional material. Don’t forget, if you don’t think a standard box will do your job, cardboard boxes are easily customizable.