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Are All Shipping Boxes Created Equal? 

The short answer: no. Shipping boxes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Depending on the size of items being shipped, certain boxes offer better protection. Likewise, heavily used boxes or poor-quality boxes aren’t the best choice when shipping dorm stuff home or shipping items to school. 

Ultimately, selecting the right type of shipping box can mean the difference between a safe delivery or having your belongings damaged before reaching the destination. Better yet, using the right shipping box can also save you money on shipping costs. Even more reason to make the right decision! 

When you’re ready to ship that comfy sweater that was left behind, or ship a thoughtful care package to a hungry college student, use this guide to be sure you’re using the best shipping box for the job. 

Types of Cardboard Boxes 

Did you know there are different types of cardboard boxes? It’s true. In fact, what many people consider a “cardboard box” isn’t even a cardboard box at all. The boxes we turn to for storage, moving, and shipping are technically corrugated fiberboard boxes (AKA corrugated cardboard). Corrugated cardboard boxes have three layers – a middle, ‘flute’ layer and two outer liners that hold the flute in place. This unique construction makes them incredibly strong and durable, making them the perfect choice for student shipping. 

There are two types of corrugated boxes – single and double wall. 

  • Single Wall – One layer of fluting, with two liners holding the flute in place. 
  • Double Wall – Two layers of fluting, with three liners. Double the protection! 

What are the Best Shipping Boxes? 

Without a doubt, double wall (or double corrugated) boxes are the best choice when shipping to college (or anywhere for that matter). The two layers of fluting off the best protection from punctures, crushing, and other mishaps that can occur during transport. These boxes are designed to withstand the rigors of the shipping process, ensuring that your items arrive safely and securely.

It’s easy to tell if a box is double wall or single wall – just look at the edges. You’ll quickly be able to spot whether the box has one or two layers of fluting. See below: 

A graphic showing single wall vs double wall boxes.

Which Boxes Are NOT Best For Shipping? 

Single wall cardboard boxes typically shouldn’t be used for shipping purposes. As the college shipping experts, we’ve seen too many students use standard, single wall moving boxes to save time or money (or both), only to be disappointed with the result. 

This isn’t to say that you can’t use a standard moving box to ship items to and from your dorm room – but when you happen to be shipping heavy or fragile items, you will be thankful you shipped in double wall boxes.   

Choosing a Shipping Box for Your Student Shipping Needs 

So, you know you need a double wall box – but do you know what size? There are what seems like infinite standard shipping box sizes. Even custom sizes in some cases. Rather than focusing on the box size, consider the items you’re shipping. That measurement will narrow down what size box you need. 

If you’re shipping a single item, it shouldn’t be difficult to find an approximate measurement. If you’re shipping multiple items, you may need to bundle them together to get a better idea. Whatever measurement you end up with, add 2-3 inches to ensure you have space for packaging material.  

When you’re ready to pack, use our guide for preparing items for shipping to get the best result. 

Try the Collegeboxes Signature Box 

If you want a shipping box that’s sturdy, look no further than our signature Collegeboxes box. This box is double walled for maximum impact protection. It’s also perfectly sized for navigating narrow dorm room doorways while still having plenty of space to pack your college essentials. Use it for moving, storage, or shipping for college students. Learn more about out signature box! 

If you’re new to Collegeboxes, check out our college shipping and moving services, and sign up today!