Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Packaging boxes: An absolute necessity for shipping products

Packaging Boxes
Each one of us must have wondered at least once in our lifetime about “ what we would do and how would our life be without packaging boxes”. As unexpected as it sounds, the above mentioned anecdote is definitely true. Let's accept it, from being used to carry gifts for get together or occasions like birthdays, marriages etc. to being used for delivering products in the industrial and commercial sectors, packaging boxes are used almost everywhere. In fact the packaging industry is a multi billion dollar industry in it's own right, consisting of global behemoths who constantly undertake R & D to improve upon their products.

As many would know, packaging boxes come in innumerable varieties, dimensions and with various features. Some notable example of packaging boxes are delivery boxes, shipping boxes, plastic boxes, duplex cartons, mono cartons and many more. Depending on the requirement, a wide range of materials such as plastic, wood, steel and many more are generally used to manufacture these boxes. Moreover, these are available in differing designs also, from plain to decorative.

History and evolution of packaging boxes:

Since in ancient times essential products such as food were grown and consumed locally, naturally there wasn't any need of packaging boxes. The first references to the usage of packaging boxes can be found during the medieval age, with a certain degree of suspicion still there about whether the products that are being referred to as packaging boxes can be called as such?

Industrial revolution in Europe created a sudden demand for better products as trade flourished across nations. During this time, the materials used to make packaging boxes were expensive, so only products having a high monetary value were deemed fit to be packaged before shipping. The usage of packaging boxes gradually kept on increasing across everywhere, receiving a bump during the great depression years as this was the time when the supermarket culture became famous, making the usage of packaging boxes absolutely necessary. The popularity of these boxes kept on increasing during the middle and latter part of the 20th century.

The digital revolution in the late 20th & early 21st century enabled industries to scale up their operations with ease. This created additional demands for packaging boxes as industries were required to deliver the products to customers who might be anywhere, be it next door or be it in the other half of the world.

Essential attributes all packaging boxes must have
  • All packaging boxes should be tamper proof and should be durable to some extent
     
  • As far as possible, the boxes should not allow the product(s) to come in direct contact of any external material
     
  • Packaging boxes that are used to carry delicate products should have optimal tolerance to weather, shocks and vibrations
     
  • These should also be environment friendly
     
  • These should provide requisite protection to the object stored inside in case of accidental drops
     
  • These should be resistant to chips and winding
  Most commonly used packaging boxes

 It won't be an exaggeration to state that there are 3 types of packaging boxes that are most commonly used. These are following,
  • Folding cartons Also known as paperboard cartons or paperboard boxes, these are most commonly found at retail stores, supermarkets etc.
     
  • Rigid boxes Unlike folding cartons, these do not fold or collapse and are also comparatively sturdier. Commonly used when the product to be stored is heavier and requires extra support
     
  • Corrugated boxes – For the uninitiated, these are the same brown colored cardboard boxes. These are perfect for moving various objects such as personal belongings, large number of papers etc.