Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Cardboard for Shipping

Whether you are starting a business or adding a new offering to your product line, it is important to consider how you will package items for shipping. In particular, the type of carton you use is crucial. Many businesses choose cardboard boxes, but are they right for your needs?

 Before you make a purchase, it is important to consider the pros and cons of cardboard shipping cartons from many perspectives. In the article below, we cover some of the key characteristics of these containers and the benefits and drawbacks of going with cardboard.

Before you make a purchase, it is important to consider the pros and cons of cardboard shipping cartons from many perspectives.


Shipping cartons need to survive the rigors of whatever shipping channels you use. How does cardboard measure up?


  • Cardboard—specifically, corrugated cardboard—has excellent strength.
  • Cardboard has a good strength-to-weight ratio.
  • Corrugated cardboard cartons do a great job of protecting their contents from damage in the shipping stream.
  • Cardboard cartons can be reused by recipients.


  • Not for extremely heavy items. If the wrong carton size or insufficient padding is used, cardboard shipping cartons may not be effective with weighty items.
  • May deform under pressure. Despite its strength, cardboard can be crushed, dented, or otherwise damaged under some conditions.
  • Not weatherproof. Cardboard cannot withstand certain weather conditions like rain or snow.

corruguate side view


Is cardboard cost-effective? This is an important consideration.


  • Easy storage. Cardboard shipping cartons can be stored flat and built as needed. This can reduce your delivery costs.
  • Sustainable resource. Cardboard is made from a renewable material, which minimizes the environmental cost.
  • Cardboard containers can be recycled, giving them a “second life.” This can take some of the sting out of it when a carton is damaged during packing and a new one must be used.


  • Recurring need. Unlike returnable/reusable cartons such as hard plastic shipping containers, the need for new cardboard boxes is ongoing.

Buying in Bulk

Purchasing large quantities of cardboard cartons can be helpful.


  • Cost savings. Buying cardboard containers in bulk can save your company money.
  • Extended storage. As long as cartons are protected from water, they can be stored for long periods of time.


  • Upfront investment. Buying in bulk means paying more upfront to enjoy the long-term benefit.
  • Storage space. To get the advantage of purchasing large quantities of cardboard cartons, you must have the space to store them.

Sealing Solutions

How will you seal your shipping cartons? You should research your options before you make a purchase.



Carefully Considering Cardboard Pays Off

Ultimately, spending some time considering the advantages and disadvantages of using cardboard shipping cartons pays off. You get the type of container that is ideal for your needs and can move ahead with your shipping operations confident you have chosen wisely.

Better Packages and IPG, together, work to provide you the Gold Standard in Secure, Efficient and Reliable carton closure. For more information about the range of Water Activated Tapes available to you from our parent company IPG, please visit us at or contact your local representative for demonstrations and trials of our complete packaging solutions.

If you have questions about our Better Packages dispenser products and how they can help you improve your shipping operations, we’re here to help. Please contact us at your convenience.

Is your shipping tape providing optimal ROI?  We can help you make that determination.