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An Overview of Box Dimensions and Measurements For Shipping

Rashmi Sharma

Specialist Content Marketing @ Shiprocket

May 7, 2021

5 min read

Shipping boxes are ideal if you tend to move goods from one place to another at regular intervals. These boxes offer easy and better packaging and protect your goods from any harm during transit. However, do ensure that you buy shipping boxes from an excellent and reliable company as boxes made out of poor quality can easily give way, and they may not be able to take up the load.

Box Dimensions & Measurements for Shipping

Regardless of which service you choose, the cost associated with shipping a package will vary depending on its size. To make sure you’re paying the right amount for shipping, it’s essential to know the exact dimensions of the box you’re sending your item in. Use a dependable measuring tool to find the length, width, and height of the box. You can then use these measurements to calculate other metrics like total size and dimensional weight, contributing to the package’s billable weight. This guide will help you choose the correct shipping box dimension to fit your business needs.

how to take box dimensions & measurements

How To Take Box Dimensions & Measurements 

To produce the right-sized box for your product, you need to communicate your desired box dimensions to your packaging provider. However, knowing how to measure a box accurately isn’t as straightforward as it seems. A simple mismeasurement can cause a costly and time-consuming setback to your packaging project.

Interior vs. Exterior Box Dimensions Of A Package

Corrugated boxes have two sets of dimensions: interior and exterior. The interior box dimensions are the industry standard measurement used to determine the fit of the product that goes inside. When ordering boxes, the measures you see relate to the interior dimension unless stated otherwise by your packaging provider. However, it can be helpful to know the exterior dimensions of a box for shipping and inventory purposes.

Three dimensions always express the size of a corrugated box: Length, Width, and Depth, or L x W x D. Length is always the longest side of the box that has a flap. The width also has a flap, but this side is shorter than the length. The depth relates to the area between the top and bottom scores that create the height of the box.

Measuring The Interior Dimensions Of A Box

When you measure the interior dimensions, position the unglued box in front of you, with the inside of the box facing up. Draw a line on the score lines where the box folds to create different panels. Mark the two scores that make up the length, width, and depth of the box.

Next, use a tape measure to measure the length between each of these scores to the nearest tenth of an inch. These measurements are used to calculate the interior dimensions of the box.

Measuring The Exterior Dimensions Of A Box

After packing and securing your box with the desired product inside, measuring the exterior dimensions is quite similar to the interior following the formula of L x W x D. With the box in front of you, use a tape measure to measure the length, width, and depth to the nearest tenth of an inch. These measurements are used to calculate the exterior dimensions of the box.

Box Measurement Considerations

Be sure to consider that the measurements when the panels are flat are not the actual usable space in a box. Once the package is folded, and the flaps are in place, some of that space is occupied by the thickness of the material folding and creating the corners. The flaps also require some space when they are folded down. This is referred to as “scoring allowances” in the packaging industry.

Custom packaging providers such as The BoxMaker can produce a right-sized box based on your product size constraints (accounting for cushioning and protection space). To do this, you will need to accurately measure the exact dimensions of your product and communicate this information to the packaging manufacturer. Most providers will request that you send a sample of your product to them for proper measurement.

What Is A Standard Size Shipping Box?

There is no exact requirement for the standard size shipping box. Looking at your own business and personal packages, you’re likely to see containers with a wide range of shapes and sizes. You can find a box to meet nearly any shipping box need.

How Do I Know What Size Box I Need?

Measure your product to ensure you don’t pick a box that’s too small or too big, taking into account added space for padding. You may want to test multiple box sizes to find the right fit for your product. Also, be mindful of significant shipping providers’ so you don’t pick a box outside of maximum box size requirements.

What Is The Cheapest Size Box To Ship?

The cheapest size box to ship varies by the shipping company and method you choose. Generally, the smaller and lighter-weight boxes are the most affordable size box to ship. This is an important reason to test multiple sizes and various options once padding is added. Choosing the minimum required size could help your business save significantly on both box and shipping costs.

Over To You

When you buy shipping boxes, you need not have to do a lot of legwork. You can search online and place your order. You can simply make your choice and place your order, and the boxes get delivered to your place in no time. However, first, do your homework and compare prices before you place your order! You would not want to spend more unnecessarily. This is why it is best to compare different shipping box companies and see which one can offer the best price.

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