Stock vs. Custom Packaging Boxes: What's the Difference?

Posted by Bob Janik on Jun 15, 2018 1:42:52 PM

Sometimes the question of how to package a product comes out as an afterthought. The product is produced and ready to go out to customers, and somebody finally says, “So how are we going to ship this?”

The Importance of Selecting Stock or Custom Packaging Boxes

The job of selecting the right packaging should be considered as part of the entire production process. You want to find the perfect packaging to secure your contents safely inside and make a good impression for your company, but you don’t want to spend money on needless packaging when it’s not necessary.

That’s why it is helpful to know about the differences between stock packaging and custom packaging boxes.

What Is Stock Packaging?

This is the standard order packaging option that comes straight off the shelf of the packaging supplier. All you have to do is put your product in, add some filler or bubble wrap to lessen movement, and slap a shipping label on it to send it off to the customer.

Stock packaging is usually easy to find, and costs are relatively inexpensive, but there can be some limitations on size and style.

When Should You Use Stock Packaging?

In general, the best times to use stock packaging include:

  • If your product is not in danger of being damaged
  • If your product does not have unique dimensions requiring special accommodations
  • If you are just starting out and have tight budget restrictions
  • If you are shipping small quantities

It is also appropriate for lower-priced items such as food products or canned goods where there would not be a significant financial loss if the box or contents were damaged during shipping.

What Are Custom Packaging Boxes?

Custom packaging boxes are engineered and produced to meet a specific product purpose. This may require “drop tests” to determine vulnerability, and may often involve testing several prototypes before a design is finalized.

The packaging may also involve special tooling or dyes, as well as separate set-up costs as part of the manufacturing process. If a company wants to place a branding message on its packaging, it would likely involve the use of digital printing, which is another additional cost.

Generally, custom packaging is more expensive, involves minimum order quantities, and takes some time to come up with the perfect package, but the end result is worth it when the product arrives safely and the box makes a good impression.

When Should You Use Custom Packaging Boxes?

If you’re shipping sensitive products or ones that are easily damaged, you know that shipping can be dangerous. Often, boxes can be roughly jostled on conveyor belts, or thrown into trucks - and even sometimes dropped along the way.

Unless you have complete control over the entire shipping process, it’s best to protect your product as much as possible with custom packaging boxes.

Custom packaging is optimal for the following types of products:

  • Electronics
  • Glassware
  • High-end items
  • Uniquely-shaped items
  • Products that are high cost
  • Any other fragile, sensitive, or breakable products

The higher the product cost, the more you’ll need to look into custom packaging. If a customer is paying for your product, they likely want higher quality and security than a plain cardboard box!

To make sure your products are properly protected at the lowest possible price, look for an independent packaging distribution company which can provide a wide variety of stock products as well as custom packaging boxes.

Topics: Types of Packaging, Custom Supplies, Product Safety, Protective Packaging