These days, you can ship just about anything in a box.

There’s a box for nearly any size or shape item.

Need a box for some perishable meat? No problem. A bulky mattress? That can easily be delivered – in a box. A fragile 18th-century chandelier? Too easy.

Rest assured, if you need to ship it, there’s a box for you.

Let’s dive right into how to measure a box, so you’ll know how to pick the right box size and style for your specific needs.

First off, you need to get the box size right.  

You’ve probably heard that old saying, “measure twice and cut once.”

Well, it’s relevant to box measurements as well. Before you place a large order for custom boxes, you need to make sure you’re ordering the right size for your printing and distribution processes. And simply eye-balling your measurements isn’t going to cut it.

If you want a jumping-off point measure to help gauge standard box sizes, consider the most common size shipping box is 16”x12”x12”, a 1.5 cubic foot box.

The critical and crucial thing to remember when measuring the dimension of a box is that there are only dimension of two measurements – the interior and exterior measurement. A common 16″x12″x12″ box? Those are the inside box measurements. Outside, that same box measures 16 3/8×12 3/8×12 5/8″.

As you can see, often these box dimensions can be close, but you need to know which is which to avoid costly mistakes. You’d hate to measure a box to have its dimensions be just a ½ inch off and not be able to fit any of your products in the box.

When you see the box measurements listed in a catalog or a website, they’re typically referring to the interior dimensions.

Box sizes are measured by their internal dimensions, and are are listed in the order of length, width, and height (L x W x H). 

If you’re measuring for a custom box, you should measure the exact cubic size to the closest 1/10th of an inch. That’s pretty precise, so double-check your numbers with a ruler or a tape measure.

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