Pros and Cons of Custom Corrugated Packaging

Posted by Bob Janik on Feb 28, 2019 1:13:05 PM

When it comes to packaging, is the stock route or the custom route right for you? Stock packaging is exactly what it sounds like — packaging that comes ready-made and in standard formats.

Custom packaging, on the other hand, can be tailor-made to fit a specific product, promote brand awareness or relay a message right on the box.

So what’s best for you?

Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of custom corrugated packaging for you to consider when it comes to selecting your next packaging run:

4 Pros of Custom Corrugated Packaging

There are many significant advantages to going the custom corrugated route. Some of them are as follows:

1. Brand Building

This is one of the biggest benefits to going the custom route for your next run of corrugated packaging. Customizing boxes can help differentiate your brand from your competitors.

Whether it’s an advanced box design, a high-quality printing job or some sort of value-added feature, sometimes investing in a custom package format can also provide a competitive advantage and help build further brand awareness. These benefits alone are usually enough to placing a custom packaging order.

2. Purpose-Built Packaging

With a standard package, you’re essentially purchasing a box to fit the product. Conversely, with a custom package, you can take the product and create packaging to fit it to the box.

This can help eliminate any wasted space, decrease the necessity for protective packaging materials, which can save money, and even result in cheaper shipping prices due to decreased weight.

3. Enhanced Protection

Arguably the biggest benefit of custom industrial packaging is the ability to offer enhanced product protection. Like we noted earlier, a package that’s custom-made to fit a product means you can also fine-tune the protective packaging that’s used. In addition to this, a package that fits the product also helps keep the product more snug and secure as it is.

And finally, a better protected product also helps build trust with consumers, as there’s perhaps nothing more disappointing than opening a package only to find that the product inside is broken or damaged.

Custom corrugated packages are especially ideal for high-value or fragile items, such as electronics, glass and more. Just think of how many people might interact with a package before it reaches its final destination. For many companies, customization to ensure safekeeping is a very worthwhile investment.

4. Recyclability

This final benefit doesn’t have so much to do with the customization as it does with the corrugated material the package is being made from. And by that, we're referring to the recyclability of corrugated material, which is a key differentiator from its plastic packaging counterparts.

Customizing packaging that’s also recyclable can offer a nice one-two punch, serving both as a brand building tool and helping to establish your company as one with sustainability in mind.

If sustainability is important to your company, you can even convey that message to the end user on your custom package.

3 Cons of Custom Corrugated Packaging

Though the pros of custom packaging are notable, there are some disadvantages to going this route that also bear mentioning:

1. Cost

This is arguably the biggest disadvantage of going the custom corrugated packaging route, as any package that’s not standardized is going to cost more. This may especially be a challenge for startup firms or small businesses that may not be able to absorb the price increase of custom packaging and are also unable or unwilling to pass any additional cost on to their customers.

2. Lead Time

Stock packaging is usually always readily available. The same can’t be said for custom packaging. Custom packages aren’t just lying around the warehouse waiting for someone to place an order, they need to be created.

Depending on the scope of the custom package, this can add some significant lead time to packaging runs, which aren’t always ideal in this first-to-market world that most companies operate in these days.

3. Additional Details

Finally, another potentially complicating factor with custom packaging is that more tooling, inks and dyes may be required to create the package that is desired. This can lead to both of the aforementioned: increased costs and increased lead time.

How much of an increase there is in both categories is largely specific to the package that’s needed, but it’s something that must be considered when weighing the pros and cons of custom corrugated packaging.

What Type of Corrugated Packaging is Best for You?

What type of corrugated packaging is right for your company and your application?

Both stock and custom packaging have their place, it’s just up to you to determine what type of format fits with the product or application you’re offering.

Topics: Packing Materials, Types of Packaging, Product Packaging, Product Safety, Protective Packaging