How do I measure a cardboard box?


Measuring a box isn’t rocket science, but it is an exact science. You want your product to be properly packaged, whilst not over-packaged (as nobody likes waste or paying for more packaging than they need to).

There are three crucial dimensions required when you are measuring a box:

  1. Length
  2. Width (Breadth)
  3. Height (Depth)


These measurements (for example 500mm x 400mm x 300mm) will give you the boxes internal dimensions so you now know what to order. The industry works in millimetres so it’s best to measure in metric.

If you are ordering packaging for a product for the first time, you will need to measure the item or items that you would like to pack (this will give you the internal dimensions of the box).

It’s the same three things you need to remember:

  1. Length
  2. Width (Breadth)
  3. Height (Depth)

If you need to pack multiple items in a box, we can help advise on the best configuration to maximise your pallet load.  This can help you reduce your logistics costs.  It also has an environmental benefit, the less pallets being shipped, the better for the environment. 

Using this information as a starting point, we can then work with you to design a corrugated box or pack that best fits and protects your product.

Ullage is another word you’ve might have heard being mentioned by packaging companies.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, ullage is “the amount by which a container falls short of being full.” In the packaging world, ullage is essentially fresh air.  Nobody wants to be shipping fresh air so we need to keep ullage to a minimum by selecting the right size box for your product.  You may need to have some additional protective packaging or fitments within the cardboard packaging to protect the product during shipping.

You will also need to give some thought to some other areas:

  • Where are you shipping to?  You might need a stronger board grade if you are shipping abroad or via a courier so it can cope with the stresses placed on it through the supply chain.

  • What are you shipping? If the product is a hazardous good you might need a stronger board grade and hazardous goods labelling.
  • What is the purpose of the box? You may need a different design of boxing depending on whether you are shipping it direct to the customer or displaying it on the shelf.
  • Is the box part of the marketing of your product?  Consider printing on the outside and/or inside of the box to help make your product more attractive and to provide important information about your product.

Don’t forget, you can always call us to talk through the measurements if you are unsure.  We will supply a sample before we produce your cardboard boxes so that you can check the dimensions are right for your individual requirements. 

We like to meet our customers and see your products so we can fully understand your requirements.   Give Sarah and her team a call on 01939 260342 to arrange a design consultation (in person or online) or email

How can we help you? Get in touch about your packaging requirements

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