How to Measure Box Dimensions

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Corrugated (cardboard) packaging provides a solution for just about every type of packaging problem. It’s durable, versatile, lightweight and innovative. The corrugated industry has thrived for more than 100 years as other industries have slipped into oblivion because corrugated is an agile product. It can morph into new structures to protect and promote new products or traditional products in new, unique ways. As with any packaging product, it's essential that your boxes be designed for your application. Size, strength and style are all important factors in making a box work optimally for you.

Corrugated boxes are defined by three inside dimensions: length, width and depth. The length and the width are the opening dimensions and the length is equal to or greater than the width. The depth is perpendicular to the box opening.

The ideal dimensions for a box will depend on:

  • The desired box quantity or weight
  • Strength - boxes closest to a cube shape are the strongest
  • Economy - the most efficient use of material is also a cube
  • Palletizing requirements

Below are the two ways to measure a box - the quick method for an existing set-up box and the correct/proper method by laying the box flat and then measuring. We encourage you to contact us with any questions, as we have over 15 years experience in the corrugated box industry - we are here to help!

Quick Measuring Method for a Set-up Box

Measuring set-up boxes is as easy as 1-2-3. Box measurements always corresponds to the INNER dimensions of the box. This is done to ensure a snug and protective fit around your product.

Simply measure the length, width, and depth (or height) of what you would like to pack and record the dimensions in this order:

  1. length - is a longer panel
  2. width - is a shorter panel
  3. depth - is a vertical panel (always measures distance between TOP and BOTTOM)

Allow a minimum of 1" (3mm) extra to each dimension for the fitting . Be sure that the length and width do correspond to the opening of the box. The TOP and BOTTOM sides of the box are always those sides containing openings (flaps). When giving a 3-number measurement, please be sure to specify which number is the Height - thus it will be understood that the other 2 are Length and Width.

You can also provide us with a board size of the box. To do this fully open out the carton until it is just a single flat sheet and measure the length and width of the board. Please see "Proper Method for Measuring a Box". As always, if you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us, as we have over 15 years experrience in the corrugated industry and are here to help!

Proper Method of Measuring a Box

The proper or correct method of measuring a box involves the following 4 step process:

  1. Cut open a knocked-down box at the closure.
  2. With a pencil, mark the score centres as accurately as possible.
  3. . Measure the score-to-score dimensions and write them on the panels. Measure the length and width of the sheet, and check that the sum of the panels adds up to the sheet size.
  4. . Look up the allowances for the flute and box style; subtract these from the score to score measurements. This method will give you the correct inside dimesions.

There is a also a "quick method" of measuring a box, and we encourage you to contact us if you have any questions. We have over 15 years experience in the corrugated industry and are here to help!