Posted on June 24, 2021 by Dennis Salazar

FAQ: DTC Internal Packaging for Shipping Boxes

We have specialized in e-commerce boxes for so long that we receive numerous phone calls and web inquiries every month. One of the greatest areas of interest is DTC internal packaging. Whether the goal is to display products for a better unboxing experience, reduce packing time, or solve a breakage/damage problem we have the answers. Here are a few of the questions most asked:

How much does adding an insert cost?

By far the most often asked question and the toughest to answer. Every product and application is unique, so is our internal packaging. It comes in many different forms and all designs are custom, but we have enough experience that with a few quick questions we can probably estimate it. As always, order quantity has the greatest impact on pricing.

A better question might be, how much is NOT using internal packaging costing you? When you add shipping, storage, and assembly or packaging costs, your “inexpensive void fill solution” may be costing you much more than you realize.

Is there a ballpark estimate for your internal or protective packaging? 

Semi-custom , stock box size with custom insert by Salazar PackagingIf you need a rough estimate for budgeting purposes, we will tell you to figure 40 to 50% of the cost of the shipping box. For example, if the shipper costs $1.00, a custom insert will likely cost half of that. Why? Because the insert typically uses about half as much board as the shipper box. That of course will vary on the style and quantity ordered. Also, the newest trend is to make the insert part of the graphic design so if you want that custom printed, it of course will add cost.

Do inserts require special, expensive tooling?

That is a great question because basic partitions and most dividers do not require custom tooling. They are made without special tooling on equipment designed to be adjustable and versatile. Custom cavity inserts are die cut so a cutting die will likely be required. Tooling is a onetime cost while most inserts save time and money in the packing area and that is forever. Typically, a great investment with a super-fast ROI.

Does custom printing add a lot of cost to inserts?

custom printed, die cut inserts by Salazar PackagingKeep in mind that the two standard colors that are available on ANY corrugated box or insert are kraft (brown) or white. Any other color, standard or Pantone, must be printed on the corrugated board. Solid, edge to edge or flood coat colors do not require a print plate. However, a design or copy of any type will require the one-time cost of a print plate. Like all printing, the cost of adding color or graphics to an insert will vary depending on number of ink colors, percent of ink coverage, and of course, order quantity.

Can we use molded pulp or foam rather than corrugated inserts?

Foam and/or pulp may be the best solution in some rare applications, but to be frank we avoid them whenever possible. Molded pulp usually has a high MOQ and may require costly tooling. Most foams are not biodegradable or easily recycled. So, while both forms of interior packaging can be very protective, they may not be the lowest cost or greenest solutions. Add shipping and storage costs and you may understand how custom designed corrugated can be ideal for your needs.

Is internal packaging for glass safe and affordable?

Please read the first “related post” below. All glass products are not the same, but we say yes a lot more than we say no. Chances are we have done something similar and that will save you time and money.

How can I determine the “best” DTC internal packaging option?                

Our suggestion is to trust a company like ours that has reviewed hundreds of unique applications over the course of 14 years. A no cost, no obligation conference call to discuss your specific needs will help us quickly determine if we are a good fit and can help you accomplish your packaging goals whether they are esthetic, protective, or economic focused.

Call us at 630-551-1700 or contact us to schedule a conversation. We look forward to learning more about your requirements.


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