How reconfiguring your boxes can save you thousands

What if I told you there was a simple way to save costs on your packaging without changing materials, volume, or quality?  Are you laughing yet?Slight modifications to the boxes you use to ship can help you save money.

What if I told you that it were as easy as the phrase “Deeper = Cheaper”?  OK, now I’m sure you’re definitely laughing.  (I giggle at that phrase too.)

Changing the opening orientation of your boxes

When it comes to using a regularly slotted case (a RSC) in the packaging world, changing the orientation of the opening can have the potential to save you money.  Using a lot of fancy math theorems and algorithims (I rely completely on my Packaging Engineers to tell me that this math works because I am not a math person), you can prove the theory:

Imagine your company is using 5,000 boxes at 15 x 15 x 10, which has a blank size of 10.89 sq feet.  At your company’s standard daily quantity, each box requires 54,453 square feet of corrugated board.  So: 15 x 15 x 10 = 54,453.

If we change the box’s orientation to a 15 x 10 x 15, we lose no internal holding capacity, but when you use the fancy math formula, you determine that this box has a blank size of 9.12 square feet, meaning it would only require 45, 599 square feet of corrugate to manufacture the 5,000 daily quantity your company uses.  So: 15 x 10 x 15 = 45,999.

That’s a difference of 16% in material need by just shifting the orientation of the box.

Now imagine that material cost $60 per 1,000 square feet to manufacture the boxes.  Your company would save an average of $531 per day on the cost of the boxes you’d already be using, and you’d lose no capacity, whatsoever.

Finally, consider the total you’d save if you ran 5 days per week, 50 weeks per year.  You’d be saving nearly $133,000 just by getting a deeper box, rather than a wider one.

Ship more boxes per pallet

With some reconfiguration of your boxes, you can save money by using less materials and shipping more boxes per pallet.If you’re considering a totally different packout option, reconfiguring the orientation can not only save you cost in blank board area, but also in the number of cases you can ship per pallet.

One case study that we conducted showed that changing the configuration of the box from a 15.25 x 8 x 4.75 to a 10.5 x 7.375 x 7.5 allowed for an increase in internal volume, a decrease in blank board area needed for manufacture, and increased the number of cases that could fit on each pallet, when using the same standard 48″ pallet height.

Rules of thumb

  • If you can configure your box so that it opens on the smallest dimensions and the largest dimension is the deepest, this allows for the least amount corrugated to be used to produce the box.
  • By reducing the weight of your packout, you can reduce your single shipment costs.  Also changing the box size to allow for more of your product on a pallet can increase the total product shipped and in full truckloads or even LTL this can reduce your freight per product.

I guess it’s safe to say that sometimes deeper DOES equal cheaper!


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