Custom cardboard boxes – what we need to know

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Many of the requests we get for quotes for custom cardboard boxes are from people who have been in the business for years, and they can usually easily reel off the exact specification they need without blinking. Just as many, if not more, come from beginners to the subject. If you’re in this latter category, you might need a few pointers to make sure you ask us the right questions and end up with exactly the box you want.

The first thing we need to know is what style of box you’re after – whether it’s a standard box with flaps, one with a separate lid and so on. There are a few of the more common styles available illustrated alongside our online form, or you can download the complete FEFCO guide to the different styles available here.


Size matters

Next, we’ll need the dimensions of your box. We always specify box dimensions in millimetres and in the format length x width x height. We also always use internal dimensions – that means no one has to worry about taking the thickness of the board into account, just the amount of space you’ll have available to use. Don’t forget that when making boxes, the exact dimensions may not always be possible to achieve, so it’s wise to leave a few millimetres spare, rather than ask for a box exactly the same size as whatever you want to put in it.

If the box you’re after is going to be very narrow – under 100mm in height – you’re probably going to need to order at least 500 to make it viable. Making boxes of that size requires a special tool which can cost upwards of £250 on its own, so small orders will make the unit cost prohibitively high. If you do need a small quantity of narrow boxes, you’ll be better off finding something from our stock range; if you can’t find one, try calling our Sales team and they’ll be happy to take a look for you.


Number crunching

You also need to think about how strong you’re going to need the box to be. The rule of thumb is that our single wall boxes are good for up to 10kg, while double wall cardboard boxes will hold 30kg. Don’t worry if you need something even stronger, because we also have heavy duty double wall boxes, and even triple wall boxes which are more than capable! By the way, if you’re going to send your boxes abroad, you’ll probably want at least a double wall box, because of the extra bashing about it’s likely to suffer en route.

Last but not least, we need to know how many boxes you’ll need and, as with most things, the more you buy, the cheaper the unit cost. We can do just one, but it’ll probably cost you about £30. It might be worth asking us to quote for both the smallest and highest quantity you think you might need, so you can get a clear idea of how the price is affected.

The other thing you might want to do is have your boxes printed. Generally – although this is not an exact science – you’ll probably be needing to order at least 500. If you want less, you’ll usually be much better off printing on labels and attaching them yourself.

If there’s anything else you think might affect the box’s performance – if you’re going to subject it to extremes of heat, cold or humidity, for example – these are also worth noting when submitting your quote. In fact, it never hurts to tell us what you’re planning to use your box for, and it might just mean we can find a more efficient or cost effective solution for you!

To ask for a quote for custom cardboard boxes, fill in our online form, or email your requirements to

The following two tabs change content below.

Remy Courtois

Remy has been a contributing author since late 2011, when he arrived at Davpack from a major packaging competitor. Originally a product buyer with many years of specialist knowledge in the fields of custom cardboard boxes and corrugated products, Remy now combines his purchasing and literary skills to maximum effect in our marketing team as a content writer. Born to French and British parents in Nottingham, Remy had a bilingual upbringing and has lived for the past twelve years just South of Paris. He presently commutes twice a month to France but is in the process of re-locating to his birthplace. Davpack

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *