Types of Shipping Boxes | Preparing Boxed Packaged Goods

Getting the best box for international shipping

It is very important to use a good-quality corrugated cardboard box for shipping or moving to ensure a smooth experience. Before packing your box for international shipping or moving, check our guidelines on the different types of shipping boxes and choose the best packing material for your needs. Find out how to choose the right box for shipping in Europe and overseas, as well as where to find cardboard boxes.

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TYPES OF BOXES

Choosing the right materials for boxed packaged goods

Boxes for shipping or moving vary in terms of material and strength. It is important to choose the right transporting box when preparing boxed packaged goods. The right material will depend on what you are shipping nationally or internationally.

  • Single wall corrugated box – the most common corrugated cardboard boxes. Ideal for light or small shipments, such as books and clothing.
  • Double or triple wall corrugated box – thicker and stronger corrugated boxes, ideal for providing extra protection. Recommended for heavier shipments.
  • Bottle boxes – specially shaped boxes designed to protect bottles and prevent any movement during transport. It is advisable to place these boxes inside a second box for better protection.
  • Wooden crates – wooden crates and boxes offer greater protection due to their rigid surface. However, they should be shipped on a pallet due to their heavier weight.
  • Plastic boxes – rigid plastic boxes are easily damaged by impact or high pressure and therefore should not be used as packaging for shipping.

BUYING BOXES

Where to buy different types of boxes for shipping or moving

You can get corrugated cardboard boxes and other types of shipping boxes in various stores and also online. It is possible to reuse cardboard boxes for shipping in Europe or abroad as long as they are still in good condition. Below is a list of where you can buy boxes for shipping or moving internationally:

  • Hardware stores – corrugated cardboard boxes for shipping
  • DIY stores (such as B&Q, Hunts of Marlow, The Range, Pickels, Homebase, Toolstation, Moles) – heavy-duty cardboard boxes and other types of shipping boxes
  • Stationery stores – various types of shipping boxes depending on availability
  • Post office – boxes for sending by post or courier
  • Supermarkets and general stores – used cardboard boxes
  • Amazon and other online stores – all types of shipping boxes

Stores that sell boxes for international shipping in Europe

Check the list of stores where you can buy cardboard corrugated boxes for shipping in Europe.


Austria
OBI, Bauhaus, Hornbach


Belgium
Brico, Gamma, Karwei


Bulgaria
Bauhaus, Mr. Bricolage, Masterhaus, Praktiker


Croatia
Bauhaus, Baumax, Merkur, Obi, Bricostore


Czech Republic
Bauhaus, Hornbach, Obi


Estonia
Bauhaus, Bauhof


Finland
Starkki, Hartman, K-rauta, Väritukku Oy/Värisilmä, Bauhaus, RTV, Puukeskus


France
Castorama, Leroy merlin, Bricorama, Mr. Bricolage, Brico dépôt


Germany
Bauhaus, Hornbach, Obi, Zeus


Greece
Kotsovolos, Praktiker


Hungary
Bauhaus, Obi, Baumax, Praktiker


Ireland
B&Q, Hunts of Marlow, The Range, Pickels, Homebase, Toolstation, Moles


Italy
Obi, Brico Center, Leroy Merlin


Latvia
Depo DIY


Lithuania
Depo DIY


Luxembourg
Gamma, Karwei, Bauhaus, Hornbach, Brico


Netherlands
Gamma, Karwei, Bauhaus, Hornbach, Praxis, Formido


Poland
Obi, Praktiker


Portugal
Leroy Merlin, Aki, Maxmat, Bricomarché, Brico Cash, Brico dépôt


Romania
Hornbach, Praktiker


Slovakia
Bauhaus, Hornbach, Baumax


Slovenia
Bauhaus, Obi, Merkur


Spain
Batkor, Bauhaus, Brico dépôt, Aki


Sweden
Bauhaus, Hornbach


United Kingdom
B&Q, Hunts of Marlow, The Range, Pickels, Homebase, Toolstation, Moles


HOW TO SHIP

Courier services for shipping boxes internationally

Depending on the boxed packaged goods and the urgency of your shipment, you can choose from several box shipping options to suit your needs:

Have a different request? See all our services

PACKING GUIDELINES

How to pack a corrugated cardboard box for shipping or moving

Follow these instructions for packing your shipping boxes safely when preparing boxed packaged goods:

Choose the right box
Corrugated cardboard boxes are the best choice when shipping internationally. The box should be slightly bigger than the item.

Internal cushioning
Insert foam padding and packing peanuts to fill up empty spaces inside the transporting box. This will prevent the contents from moving.

Seal the box
Apply at least three strips of tape evenly and cover all flaps and seams on the top and bottom. Use straps for larger boxes.

Attach the label
Remove old labels. Stick the label on a flat surface on top of the transporting box, so that the courier can scan the barcode easily.

Measure your boxes after you have packed them and use our size checker tool to see which type of service fits best for your shipment.

Watch our step-by-step video guide on packing boxes for shipping

What are the maximum box sizes for shipping in Europe or globally?

The maximum weight and dimensions for boxed packaged goods will depend on the type of service and the courier selected. Check the the shipping box sizes below for each of our package services:

Regular
Weight: up to 30 kg (40 kg on some routes)
Maximum length: 175 cm
Length (in cm) + 2x width (in cm) + 2x height (in cm) less than 300 cm

Regular Plus
Weight: up to 70 kg
Dimensions: Maximum length of one side up to 240 cm

Express
Weight: up to 70 kg
Maximum size: 300 cm (a single dimension cannot exceed 120 cm)

Check our guides

Packaging guidelines for other types of shipments:

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FAQ on shipping with different types of boxes

What is the difference between shipping vs moving vs packing boxes?
There is not much of a visible difference between these materials when shipping boxed packaged goods. In the end, it depends on how they are used:
  • Shipping boxes are used for sending parcels by postal or courier service.
  • Moving boxes are used for transporting personal belongings during a local or international relocation.
  • Packing boxes are used for general storage or shipping internationally.
When should I ship with wooden boxes?
Wooden crates and boxes are suitable for shipping fragile or oddly-shaped items on pallets, such as plants, a piano or a motorbike. Due to the considerable weight and size of such items and their packaging, palletised shipping is recommended.
Can I ship a plastic box?
One or more plastic boxes can be shipped if they are packed inside a sturdy cardboard box. Most postal and courier services do not accept plastic boxes as external packaging because they can damage easily.
Can I ship multiple boxes in Europe and overseas?
Yes, you can ship multiple boxes either by booking a package service and indicating the number of parcels or booking the Pallet Delivery service. If you select a package service, each of your boxes will be assigned a unique label and tracking number. If you opt for Pallet Delivery, you will have to stack the boxed packaged goods on a pallet before shipping.
Can I ship boxed packaged goods of different sizes in one order?
Yes, you can ship boxes of different dimensions and weights in the same order. Each parcel will be individually labelled and handled as a single package. When booking shipments with different package sizes, always remember to specify the size and weight of each individual box.
How should I attach the label to the shipping box?
Stick the shipping label on a smooth flat surface of the box. You can also put a copy inside the parcel, in case the external label gets damaged in transit. See our shipping label page for more details and information.