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You should know about box ratios….

It’s a guess but I’d say 80% of cardboard boxes produced and used are FEFCO 0201 style, sometimes known also as the American Box due to its origins.

Well, there is a golden ratio to using the least amount of board to enclose a given capacity.

Most designers should know this, but alas I’ve found they don’t.

That ratio is 2:1:2. In other words, the length must be equal to the depth (height for some descriptions) and the width must be half that length or depth, i.e. 300 x 150 x 300mm. By getting near to this ratio you stand a chance of getting the most cost effective box. Not just for price but for the minimal usage of material too.

That’s partly why cereal boxes are a certain shape, along with practicalities too for fitting into cupboards and shippers etc.

Now of course not every item will allow you to do this, BUT….. There are lots of possibilities open to the creative packaging engineer. If you have access to pallet optimisation programmes, you can save time and hassle too.

I discovered a safety handling rule once, when working with a Logistics Company who ship product into the UK from the Far East. The containers they come in are handballed, i.e. no pallet. So when the crews takes them out of the container in the UK they are not allowed to build a pallet load above a certain height, due to weight restrictions. There’s an advisory limit to how much someone can lift above their shoulders.

By changing the shape of the box to nearer 2:1:2 it solved the problem but still carried the same amount of product. I’ll write more about this in another blog. Look out for it.

Thanks for reading..

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