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How To Determine What Size Shipping Box You Need

by Tim Spicer May 14, 2019

finding the right size cardboard box

Many of us have family out of town and may be familiar with trying to send care packages. I just want to give everyone a little advice on how to determine what size shipping box you need. The easiest way that I have found to figure this out is to first, gather everything that you plan to ship. Now that you have everything in front of you, try to determine what may be fragile or require a little more care. For those items you can either wrap them in newsprint or bubble wrap. Hint: If you are shipping any clothing items another idea is to wrap the fragile items in the clothing items.

With that done, now you can begin stacking everything on a table as you plan to package it. Keep in mind you want to keep this package as small as possible, larger, bulky boxes often incur additional charges from USPS, UPS & Fed-Ex. Once you have your items stacked, take a tape measure and measure the length (left to right) width (front to back) & height (top to bottom). Next take those measurements, round them up to the next whole number.  For example if you measured 16-1/2” x 14-3/4” x 12-1/4”, you should round up to 17” x 15” x 13”. Now add an additional 1-2” to each number and now you know what size shipping box will work. Keep in mind this is not an exact science but should give you a very good idea on the size that you need. Also another useful bit of information, most shipping box retailers list the “inside usable space” of their boxes. If this doesn't work, just mail a greeting card! :)

Tim Spicer
Tim Spicer


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