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Are cardboard boxes cost effective?

11 January 2024 by
Quickbox Manufacturing Ltd, Lorna Donnelly

Cardboard boxes are used worldwide. A variety of industries from food & beverage, household appliances, automotive, to industrial goods and consumer electronics use cardboard boxes from custom box suppliers. But to most people, they are just a cardboard box. In this blog we look at different reasons to answer the question – Are cardboard boxes cost effective?


Corrugated cardboard is one of the most versatile substrates on the market when it comes to packaging. From a simple 0201 outer box, to a diecut box with divider cells or fittings, corrugated cardboard can package almost anything. There is multiple ways your custom box supplier can make your cardboard boxes more cost effective when designed properly. For example, you can cut back on expensive void fill solutions such as bubble wrap by using a box that fits your products correctly. In addition, a custom box design ensures that board waste is minimal saving you money on raw materials.

Board Grade

Corrugated cardboard comes in many different varieties. There are single wall boards and double wall boards. Choosing the correct grade that works for your packaging needs can help you to save money on your overall packaging costs. Considering factors such as the way you store and ship your products is essential, as this has an impact on the material needed for your boxes. You don’t always need the most expensive board grade if your box design is correct.

Transportation Costs

Cardboard is a lightweight material. Therefore it doesn’t add a lot of weight to your product, meaning it will keep the shipping costs of your goods down. Cardboard boxes are mainly send out pre-glued and unassembled on pallets for delivery, which ensures full use of the lorry. This not only keeps the price of shipping down as you can maximise your pallet loads, but it can also reduce your carbon footprint by saving on journeys and subsequently lowering fuel usage.

A good cardboard box design will not only fit your product, but will also maximise pallet usage. This again maximises pallet space and keeps shipping costs to a minimum.

Transit Damage

Sending out products in substandard packaging may result in damages and product returns, costing both time and money whilst also affecting reputation. Cardboard offers many packaging solutions to make sure that your product arrives to the end user in the some condition as it left. Using made-to-measure boxes in the correct grade of cardboard is an easy way to achieve this. Also, adding cardboard dividers with or without a buffer cell, or by adding cardboard fittings or inserts to hold the products in place are other great options. Working alongside the packaging designer at your custom box supplier can be a key factor in making this work. A happy customer is more likely to re-order than an unhappy customer.


Printing on cardboard is a very simple process. A striking box design is a proven method for increasing brand recognition in the market place which can also result in enhancing sales. Even by simply adding a company logo and contact details can result in brand awareness and an increase in sales. Once your name is out there people will recognise the product and you will be able to easily grow your business through a trusted brand image.

Box Assembly

By amending the style of the box used, you can save time in box assembly. This can then save you money by improving efficiency on the packing line. It may be as simple choosing a bespoke, correctly fitting box, rather than a stock box, which requires less time to pack out the box with unneccessary void fill. A glued crashlock self assembly box can also speed up production. By using this style, it not only saves on labour costs but it also means you don’t need to tape the base of your boxes, therefore saving money on tape.

Short Runs

Short runs are a good way of saving money. For example, a new start up business won’t want to commit to the high MOQ’s of most box suppliers as they may not know how well their products will launch. By starting off with a short run, they can sound out the market to see how successful their product is before having to commit to a large order quantity. Another advantage of short runs is that you don’t have to fill up your warehouse with packaging that sits around for months on end. This means you don’t need to have money tied up in stock which improves cash flow. Also, if packaging is in storage for a period of time, there is a chance that may sustain damage. This potentially results in extra costs to replace it. 


Corrugated cardboard is made up of recycled material and is fully recyclable. This is not only great for the environment, by not filling up landfill sites, but some companies will actually pay to collect waste corrugated board. This means that if you are using boxes internally, you can recycle the cardboard and actually receive payment for doing so.

Corrugated V Plastic

Corrugated cardboard is a very cost effective substrate. Many consider it to be particularly cheap in comparison to alternatives such as plastic. It also has much cheaper set up costs than plastic packaging, and as previously mentioned, it is recyclable.

I think all of the above is proof enough to say that corrugated cardboard boxes are indeed cost-effective as a packaging solution. If you’re needing boxes contact the team, or got to our instant box calculator to receive a quote.

Quickbox Manufacturing Ltd, Lorna Donnelly 11 January 2024

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