10,000 Solutions: Why I’m Allergic to Corrugate Boxes


After 35+ years of inventing packaging and printing solutions, I think I have developed an allergy to wasted money. I can smell it from a mile away. My all-time favorite overspending faux pas is the over-use of dependable, ever-present, and most importantly, cheap corrugate boxes to mail small items, reports, presentation folders, books and the like.

Here are 5 reasons boxes give me hay fever :

1.  Its basic physics.  Boxes are always bigger than their contents, requiring “void fill” materials like bubble wrap, air bags, foam peanuts. Void fill = wasted money.

2.  Lack of flexibility.  An assortment of different-sized boxes are required to handle a range of tasks. Ordering small quantities of different sizes costs more money then buying a few sizes in greater quantities.

3.  Wasted space.  Corrugate inventory takes up a ton of space in your office or warehouse.

4.  Excess postage.  Boxes shipped via USPS fall into the most expensive postal category, parcels. No matter what you put in a box, it will be a Parcel and will cost you more to ship.

5.  Weight.  Even small boxes are heavy. In first class mail, each ounce costs $0.17; standard class mail costs roughly $0.05 per ounce.

Don’t get me wrong; boxes have their place. I just find them often used where they are not appropriate. As a packaging innovator, my goal is to overcome the legacy of these products. Maybe it is the thrill of the hunt and finding the right solution, but I say, the greater the challenge, the more pleasure I find in creating the solution.

If you really want to ruffle my feathers, ask me what I think of bubble mailers…

by Marv Makofsky

Marvin Makofsky’s “10,000 Solutions” series reveals tips and tricks he has learned in his 38 years (10,000 days) of working on the bleeding edge of the printing and packaging industry.

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