The Rigid Box vs. Corrugated Shipping Boxes

Published April 21, 2020

Two of the most commonly-used boxes in the packaging industry are—if you’ve glanced at the title of this blog, you’ve already learned the answer—rigid boxes and corrugated boxes. Although these types of boxes are often described interchangeably by those less in-the-know, they’re actually quite different.

Let’s examine just how those differences appear, in both their physical makeup and in their general uses. From there, we’ll analyze the relative advantages of using each one in your packaging process. When it comes time for your business to pick out the secondary packaging machinery that best suits your needs, we hope that these insights will allow you to make the best decision possible.

Rigid Boxes: a Sleek and Sophisticated Approach


Rigid boxes don’t fold the way a flimsier shipping carton would. For that reason, they’re ideal for shipping high-end products, such as expensive electronics. You might also consider opting for a rigid box when your product is heavier and in need of more support.

Types of rigid boxes vary. Some are reminiscent of hat boxes, while others would fit a pair of shoes. There are even book-style rigid boxes with magnetic closures, as well as briefcase-style designs. The variation you choose depends almost entirely on what you’re planning to ship.

Advantages of Rigid Boxes


There are a number of perks to choosing a rigid box for your packaging and shipping, one of the biggest ones being just how customizable they can be. Board colors, lining interiors, wrap exteriors, and more features can be adjusted to make these shipping boxes bold and eye-catching. Subscription boxes, anyone?

The sturdy design also adds an air of quality to the products being packaged. That’s a big reason why sophisticated devices, such as iPhones, are shipped in such containers. Not only are these boxes high-quality, but they’re also more straightforward and elegant than the more standard types. If that’s not enough, consider the variations with the magnetic closures we mentioned earlier. What’s not to love?

Corrugated Boxes: Keeping It Firm and Functional


These are the types of boxes most often mistaken for cardboard, when in fact, corrugated material comprises several dense layers of paper. Even more specifically, a corrugated (or fluted) sheet pairs with at least one other layer of flat paper. Each additional layer, of course, increases the wall thickness.

Similarly to rigid boxes, corrugated boxes come in a seemingly endless number of configurations. These include octagonal double-cover containers, display trays, and classically-designed overlap slotted containers. Before settling on a particular type of corrugated box, ensure that it will work in concert with your existing case erector and case sealer.

Advantages of Corrugated Boxes


What’s the appeal of a corrugated box, when rigid boxes are so refined, you may ask? Well, for one, they’re incredibly lightweight, which makes shipping and moving them a breeze. Corrugated boxes are easily folded flat, too, which allows for greater flexibility—especially when you need to store a large number of them in a tight space. They’re customizable. They’re cost-effective. They’re easy to recycle. The list goes on and on!

Which Packaging Option Should I Choose?


Choosing between corrugated boxes and rigid boxes for your packaging needs shouldn’t be too difficult—simply keep the logistics of your packaged goods in mind. Consider your company’s unique circumstances, including the shape, size, and quality of the product you need to ship. Give some thought to how you’ll need to store your boxes when they’re not in use. How much are you willing to spend on shipping materials? What about on box making machinery, such as case erectors and case sealers?

Once you’ve got a sense of whether you’re going for rigid or corrugated, then you can delve into the many subtypes of these boxes that are available. All of this may sound overwhelming, but in simpler terms, you only need to decide between one of two categories. If your company has the means and relevant products to be packaged, you could even choose both.

Let INSITE Cater to All Your Packaging Needs


Here at INSITE, we focus on box-making machinery, which means we’ve got you covered, whether you’ve opted for a rigid box or a corrugated one. We’ve leveraged the latest technology to make our case sealers and case erectors smarter, simpler, and more versatile than ever.

Whether you’re in the market for new secondary packaging machinery or are looking for other ways to simplify your packaging process, we’ll be with you every step of the way. We encourage you to reach out as soon as you can—we’d love to start a conversation with you.

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