Opportunity Costs and Cardboard Boxes


Opportunity costs – and I mean this most sincerely, folks* – is a way of measuring the cost of a process in terms of the value of the alternative. In other words, were the gains made by choosing option A worth what you missed out on by not choosing option B?

This theory is essentially a means of expressing economically the idea that what you gain on the swings, you lose on the roundabouts. Looked at yet another way, it’s a means of turning a cliche into a rewarding academic career.

From the perspective of choosing the right cardboard boxes for a packing line, these are the sort of decisions any production manager worth his or her salt needs to weigh up carefully if they’re going to get the best value out of the process.


Double your money?

The default option for many will be to choose a standard 0201 cardboard box, delivered flat packed. And why not? In purely financial terms, they’re almost certainly the lowest cost option. If you do a straight comparison with our crash lock boxes, for example, then at first glance it looks like a no brainer. Buying a pack of standard 457 x 305 x 305mm single wall boxes costs about £1.54 per box, while the nearest crash lock equivalent (445 x 315 x 300mm) works out at about £2.88 per box

But if you start to examine what the crash lock box can do, that difference can start to diminish pretty quickly, and it may even be that in the long run they offer even better value. How can that be?


Time is money

Firstly, they come with pre-glued bases, so they’re a lot quicker to construct. They’re still delivered flat packed, but when you unfold them, the bottom just clicks into place. You may think it doesn’t take long to fold and seal the base of one box, but multiply that over all your operators over the course of a whole shift. The extra productivity may mean more orders fulfilled per day and more profits.

Secondly, unless you have products that fit perfectly into your boxes, so you can just pack and seal, chances are that you’ll need to use some kind of loose fill to fill the gap to the top. Our crash lock boxes have a series of creases built into the sides, so that they can quickly fold down to the exact size of your product – this is a smart idea that not only saves the time and costs involved in using loose fill, but also leaves you with a smaller box, thereby potentially reducing your delivery costs.

Last but not least, these cardboard boxes also come with a tamper-evident peel-and-seal strip to close the top. Again, this may seem like it will save only a few seconds on each box, but that can mean a lot of extra time over each shift.

And we haven’t even mentioned all the packaging tape you won’t have to buy!

Crash lock boxes may not be the answer for everyone, but if you think the extra speed they could bring to your packing is just what you need, then why not call our Sales team on 0844 800 9844 or visit www.davpack.co.uk to find out more?

*Apologies to those under 40 who have probably never heard of Hughie Green and may therefore not understand this joke

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Dave Smith

With a background that has included spells in marketing and editorial management in the publishing and performing arts industries, Dave is now a valued member of Davpack’s marketing team, where he is our lead blogger and senior copywriter. Still relatively new to the business, he will be aiming to look at the world of cardboard boxes and packaging materials from a slightly different angle to the usual. Davpack

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