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Many of us hear about customizing packaging, but few of us know how to measure a box. A box’s dimensions include its length, width, height, and depth, each of which means something different to each individual.

Properly measuring the box is key to product packaging design. You may think it’s simple to measure a box, but there’s more to it than you think. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into how to measure the inside and outside of your box, and how to properly document those measurements so you can accurately communicate them to your product packaging company.

Plus, we’ll explore how to measure box volume and why all of this is important when creating the ideal packaging for your product. To ensure we understand exactly which side of the package these terms refer to, we have created these size guides for easy reference and communication.

1. How to measure the shipping box?

You will need a ruler or tape measure to measure the box’s length, width, and height. The dimensions listed are always internal dimensions.

3 dimensions should be measured. First, the box’s length is measured, which is the longest side. Measure under the width of the box, which also has a flap on the width side, but on the shorter side.

Finally, measure the height of the package. Height is the only dimension without flaps. The height of the box should be measured from top to bottom. Flaps are not included in the altitude measurement. A manufacturing variation of +/- 1/8″ is acceptable.

Measure A Box

2. Start measuring the dimensions of the box

First, you must determine the dimensions of your product before creating a box. When measuring your product, use the same formula you use to calculate box dimensions, so you and your packaging supplier will stay on top of things. In general, your product box should be slightly larger than the product itself. Keeping wiggle room to a minimum will help prevent your product from moving around and getting damaged inside.

How to measure the outside or inside size of the box?

A common mistake when measuring box dimensions is to take outside measurements. When you measure the box size this way, you don’t account for the thickness of the box, especially if you use heavier materials. The double-walled construction of corrugated cardboard can add considerable extra volume.

Using the inner dimensions ensures a perfect fit for your product regardless of the thickness of its packaging walls. It is possible that if you use outside dimensions, the box will be too small, your product will be squeezed tightly against the container, or it will not fit at all. That’s why most companies that provide product packaging ask for box dimensions from the inside, not the outside.

When you purchase boxes from other distributors, the shipping box is measured using the inside dimensions. During this process, you will be able to see how your product fits. When you measure a box shipped by a carrier such as UPS or FedEx, you measure the outside dimensions of the box. Using the outside dimensions, the carrier can calculate how much space the package requires.

Measure A Box

3. How to calculate volumetric weight?

Most shipping companies charge by the volumetric weight or actual weight of the box, whichever is greater. They do this to maximize their profits, which makes it crucial for shippers to have the right size boxes for their products so they don’t overspend on shipping.

Calculating the volume of a box makes it easier to estimate how much space it will occupy. A pallet can be stacked with many boxes depending on the width of the pallet and the space that each box takes up in the warehouse. Calculating the volume is simply multiplying all the dimensions of the boxes. In the same way as box dimensions, volume is a function of length, width, and height. However, keep in mind that the final measurements will be in cubes — in other words, square inches, centimeters, or whatever unit you use to calculate box dimensions.

Cube dimensions are calculated by multiplying the length of the box by the width by the height.

Take the cubic dimensions of the box and divide them by the vector’s divisor. For FedEx and UPS, the retail volumetric weight factor is 139, and both DHL and USPS use 166 as the size factor for packages smaller than 1,728 cubic inches (or 1 cubic foot).

For the carrier, the fee depends on the size of the box and the destination to which the package is being shipped. The carrier will charge you a destination-based shipping fee based on the cubic dimensions of the package. For proper shipping, dimensional weight needs to be exact and not rounded at all. Dimensions of boxes are given as L for length, W for width, and H for height.

It may seem simple to measure a box, but the dimensions of your custom packaging are critical to its safety. Please indicate the size of your inner or outer box.

Box size is a critical part of any packaging, as box size affects materials required, production costs, and shipping and storage costs. For example, minimal room to move in boxes means minimal room for damage and lowers your overall costs. Measuring boxes accurately for custom packaging projects is more complicated than it appears.

Here, we list the top considerations and a step-by-step guide for measuring box dimensions. While theoretically, a square box should have equal sides, in packaging this is unlikely to be true. So be sure to measure each dimension accurately to ensure your packaging is to your product’s standards! For long boxes, as shown in the figure below, the depth and width will be much smaller than the length.

The type of box you choose will depend on the shape and size of your product. Regardless of the type of box, the dimensions required for production will still be determined by the length, width, and depth.

Measure A Box

4. Why is box measurement important?

Throughout the lifecycle of a product, the box serves several roles. First, they act like a miniature billboard, enticing customers to pick up your product to take a closer look (and hopefully put it in their physical or digital shopping cart!). Without attractive product packaging, your product will automatically be at a disadvantage, and competitors have already done their homework in creating product packaging.

Your product is also protected from damage during handling, storage, and shipping by the box, which is your first line of defense. Your product will pass through many hands before finally reaching your customer’s front door, mailbox, or shopping bag.

Therefore, the boxes in which your products are stored need to be designed to ensure that your goods are still in top condition when they are received by the customer. Boxes can also be used to store products that are designed to be stored in them after purchase, such as shoes or other more durable consumer goods solutions for the entire life of the product. Since so many things depend on your box, it’s important to get your box’s dimensions right the first time.

1) Importance of internal dimensions

Box dimensions are determined by internal measurements. The difference between internal and external dimensions is important in getting a package that fits your product perfectly. Provide more accurate internal dimensions for manufacturers and your products!

Most manufacturers are very specific about the size of their interior and exterior dimensions, and rightly so. After all, no one wants their product damaged by incorrect measurements.

While measuring the outside dimensions of a box may seem more natural and easier, it’s the inside dimensions that matter for your custom packaging project. This ensures your product will fit in the box and you can adjust the size to keep your product secure.

Leaving minimal room for movement inside the box keeps your products safe during shipping and handling and allows your business to deliver quality products every time.

2) The importance of external dimensions

As outside dimensions do not take into account the thickness of the box, measuring a box by its outside dimensions may prove problematic. in inadequate packaging. This can damage specific products that need to be tightly packed. That’s why calculating the size of the box by its internal dimensions removes any concerns.

Corrugated boxes feature a grooved texture woven between two pieces of cardboard, making the material thicker and adding a few millimeters to every measurement you take from the outer lining of the box. The inside dimensions of the box will give you more accurate measurements, making determining the box size easier.

Measure A Box

5. Conclusion

Boxes are a versatile tool in the world of product packaging, making your products look great while protecting them from damage when they reach consumers. Measuring the dimensions of the boxes needed for your product line is only the first step. We work with several companies to create customizable folding cartons that look great and are fully protected during shipping.

If you have any questions about carton sizes, label selection, or printing, please feel free to contact our team by phone or live chat.

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