Cover Image

Why cardboard boxes are making a comeback

January 12, 2020
Reading time: 3 minutes

In a world with a strong division of labour and therefore a networked world, the trade in goods is growing disproportionately. Packaging materials, such as cardboard boxes, are needed to protect the goods during transport between the individual production sites and ultimately to bring them safely to the shop and to the end customer.

This used to be different: the division of labor was not very pronounced. Often products were manufactured entirely within one company. This had the advantage that no transport routes and thus sophisticated logistics were necessary.

Increasing specialisation increased the need for logistics. Today's automobile manufacturers have hundreds or even thousands of suppliers. These are also spread all over the world. In addition to coordination, there is also the need to protect the goods, as already mentioned, mostly in cartons, which are additionally transported in containers in order to prevent damage during transport as far as possible.

But cartons are also needed in other areas. Due to the increasingly necessary mobility of employees, removals have become more frequent than just a few decades ago. Those who did their apprenticeship in a company often stayed there until their retirement. If he changed his job, a new one was usually sought and found in the vicinity. Today, it is quite common in the course of one's career to consider longer distances when looking for a job. More frequent and further relocations are the result. The obligatory moving box is therefore booming.

The Internet has greatly expanded the purchase of goods to the Internet. While 40 years ago the mail order business was still rather the exception, as most of its products were bought in the local store, today a great deal of goods are ordered via the Internet and delivered to the home by parcel services. The products are often shipped in mail-order bags. However, size and especially heavy items are packed in cartons, which offer a higher level of protection. The cuboid shape of the parcel is also an advantage for the parcel service provider, allowing a maximum number of parcels to be accommodated in a small space in delivery vans and warehouses.

Cardboard boxes (German: Kartonagen) are available in various sizes and thicknesses. This makes it possible to find the right product for every application. Particularly when sending by post, senders should choose the carton rather generously so that filling material can prevent damage to sensitive goods.

For reasons of sustainability and environmental protection, cartons should be reused. The production of cartons also consumes valuable resources. Now some might think it would be more environmentally friendly if less was shipped, especially to the end customer. But this is a fallacy. Even the presentation of goods in retail stores costs money (heating costs, electricity for lighting, etc.). And if every customer has to drive to the product to buy it instead of delivering the goods directly to the customer, nothing is gained for the environment either.