Inside Sustainable and Branded Packaging

Industry News and Perspectives

13 Apr 2018 How to Reduce the Cost of E-commerce (D2C) Shipping Boxes

How to Reduce the Cost of E-commerce (D2C) Shipping Boxes

Print on Kraft boxes, e-commerce boxes, Salazar packaging, shipping boxes, subscription packagingIf you have not heard, a corrugated price increase has been announced and will be effective within the next few weeks. As a result, customers are looking for ways to minimize and even reduce the cost of their e-commerce boxes. Here are a few suggestions of how we can help you accomplish that:

Eliminate inside printing – in many cases, any type of inside print adds 20 to 30% to the cost of any die cut box. Eliminating inside print initially or temporarily can result in an immediate cost reduction. Keep in mind you can always add/resume inside printing when your volume makes it more feasible, economically.

Kraft versus white corrugated – White board is usually 5 to 6% more expensive PER SIDE (in and out) compared to corrugated (brown) board so if your graphic design permits it, a savings of 10 to 12% can be anticipated.

Right sizing your packaging – Most people initially order boxes that prove to be too large in normal use. That “just in case” box size approach is costly in many ways including in and out shipping, as well as storage. This is a good time to review your sizing and consider reducing it.

Are you using the correct process for your graphic design? – Many people start out with short run digital because initially they were only ordering a few hundred boxes. As your volume grows, flexographic printing for example – can dramatically reduce your box cost.

Increase your order size – Compared to a 1,000-box order (our MOQ), a 2,000-box order is typically over 20% less expensive. If you have the storage space, the resulting freight savings can be substantial as well as the lower box cost.

One solution - size appropriate boxes, e-commerce boxes, Salazar packaging, subscription packagingWhat does NOT reduce your box cost.

Reducing ink coverage or even the number of ink colors used on your graphic design. Fewer colors does mean fewer plates but that is a onetime cost. However, whether we use a teaspoon or table spoon of ink on your box, really does not impact your cost much at all.

A related question is, “Can I save money if I only print two sides of the box?” Keep in mind that at lower quantity order volumes, set up cost is much more critical than material/ink costs, so the percentage of ink coverage is relatively insignificant.

No cost, no obligation review

Whether we are your supplier or someone else is, please allow one of our branded packaging advisors to review and update where you are today and suggest any possible changes. If your business is a year old or ten years old, we can help you make sure your packaging is as up to date as your marketing and web site. Take this from a company that is eleven years old and has rebranded twice since our start-up days.

Please call us at 630-551-1700 or email us at Salazar Packaging so we can help you reduce cost and increase the impact of your packaging.


Related posts:

Read More

28 Mar 2018 Cooler Boxes at Wholesale Industrial Prices!

Cooler Boxes at Wholesale Industrial Prices!Boxes with thermal inserts, cooler boxes, RSC cooler boxes, Salazar Packaging

Our green packaging store, now features five stock cooler RSC style boxes at low, bulk purchase pricing. Our low prices and inexpensive shipping costs are available to you in the following five sizes:

  • 6” X 6” X 6”
  • 8” X 8” X 8”
  • 10” X 10” X 10”
  • 11” X 8” X 6”
  • 12” X 10” X 9”

Stock Cooler Solutions

Box liners and pouches, cooler boxes, cold shipping, Salazar packagingBoxes and cooler liners are all available in 4 case (100-unit) minimums. The RSC boxes are constructed of 32 ECT Kraft board and the insulating liners are FDA food contact approved providing excellent barrier properties without adding weight or much space.  The box liners also feature a press and seal self-adhesive strip for secure, temperature contained closure.

If you need a one source supplier for your coolant as well, we stock Ice Brix gel packs in various sizes as well.

Custom Cooler Solutions 

The above stock RSC boxes are unprinted, standard boxes but if you want your stock or non-stock boxes custom printed, we can deliver them with a low 1,000 MOQ per size.

Unprinted custom size RSC style boxes are also available with a 1,000 MOQ. Custom size box liners are also available and the MOQ will vary depending on size needed.

If a presentation box is more what you have in mind for your cooler needs, we offer over 150 different size die cut mailer boxes that are also available for cooler projects.  These are ideal when shipping out gourmet foods, pharmaceuticals, or any product requiring an upscale packaging container.

Contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 to discuss your needs with our branded packaging advisors. We are confident that we can help you achieve whatever you are trying to accomplish in terms of temperature-controlled packaging.

Related posts:

Read More

26 Mar 2018 Branded Packaging Made Easy: Custom Printed Stayflats® Rigid Mailer Envelopes

Branded Packaging Made Easy: Custom Printed Stayflats® Rigid Mailer Envelopes

custom printing with low 2500 MOQ, Salazar packagingOver the years we have accumulated one of the best assortments of mailer envelopes in the industry on our Globe Guard® green packaging store. All types, ranging from our padded bubble lined poly mailers to our unpadded Kraft mailer envelopes, always available stock, plain or custom printed with your message or logo.

One of the least understood and appreciated options is our terrific line of Stayflats® rigid mailer envelopes. They are most often used for shipping documents, photographs, printed brochures or anything relatively low in profile. Not only are they very protective of the contents being mailed or shipped, they are also green and easily recycled after use. They can also be custom printed in a relatively low MOQ (2,500) and we have yet to see a design that is not printable. Add gloss/shine, perhaps embossing, and you have a truly unique shipping container that represents you and your company well.

Custom Printed Packaging Capabilities

Your graphic design will help determine whether flexographic or offset printing is best for your application. We can do up to seven colors and can print on white or natural Kraft. Flood coat colors are usually printed over white board for best results and consistent color.  As the photos below show, flood coat colors feature 100% ink coverage, and are sharp and bright because of the great substrate we print on.

Flood coat custom printing, Salazar PackagingFree Review of Your Graphic Design

Give us a call at 630-551-1700 or email us at Salazar Packaging to discuss your project. If you are using stock rigid mailers and applying labels, let us show you how much you can save and how much more eye catching we can help you make your envelopes. Our branded packaging advisors are experienced and eager to help you.

 Related Posts:

Read More

13 Feb 2018 Box Insert Options for D2C E-commerce Packaging

Scored sheet insert, e-commerce packaging, Salazar PackagingBox Insert Options for D2C E-commerce Packaging

A quick search on the internet will confirm that there are many companies that sell boxes. Online catalog houses and retailer providers ranging from office supply stores to truck rental facilities all sell boxes in their basic, simplest form.
What we do is much more sophisticated and goes far beyond providing a shipping container to ship a product from the shipper to the on-line customer. We enhance the value of our shipping products by providing a variety of direct to consumer packaging design solutions that accomplish two critical things:

Protection – preventing damage in shipment
Presentation – delivering the best possible unboxing experience for the consumer

die cut 4 cavaty insert, e-commerce packaging, Salazar PackagingInserts of various types and styles

Inserts (inside protective packaging) is one of the ways we accomplish that within the box. We have created inserts, partitions and dividers in many different forms including molded and engineered foams, die cut paperboard designs, multilayer paper honeycomb designs, molded pulp and our most popular – die cut corrugated designs.

Why are die cut and scored sheet inserts the most popular option?

Primarily because it is flexible and versatile. It is also affordable on a per piece basis and in terms of tooling cost, which is minimal compared to other forms and options. If the product lines or count changes, the insert can easily be modified or replaced. It is also easier to use when packing and cleaner when unpacking. Decorative fill (peanuts, shredded paper, etc.) offers questionable protection because most often the fill product shifts and settles during shipment. As attractive as you may think decorative loose fill is, I have yet to meet a consumer who enjoys the unpacking mess and clean up.
Corrugated inserts are also a greener option compared to most because they are easily removed and recycled. They are printable and can also be made of 100% recycled corrugated board.
From a design perspective, they provide endless options and possibilities in structure and shape. Here are three different designs for the same four pack of deodorant sticks.
1. Scored sheet divider – this is a low cost, effective design that does not require a cutting die investment. Mailing and storage costs are also minimized because in this case the product does not require a protective perimeter air cell, for a very tight, clean, simple and economical design.
Angled presentation insert, e-commerce packaging, Salazar2. Die cut cavities – in situations where space around the product is desired the insert can be cut with as many openings or cavities as necessary. Most custom cutting dies require a $300 to $600 onetime investment but save hours of valuable packing time if designed properly.
3. Elevated and angled die cut design – For a unique presentation that really shows off the product, many products can be placed in an insert at an angle or eye-catching configuration. Reproducing the instore, retail experience when shipping direct to the consumer is not always easy but a creative design can help you create that Instagram worthy look.
This is just a brief look at a few things we can do to help you impress your e-commerce customer. If you want to learn more and discuss the specifics of your product and application, call us at 630-551-1700 or contact Salazar Packaging via email. We have designed and printed millions of boxes for thousands of customers, so we are confident we can use that experience to save you time and money while creating a great looking D2C package for you.

Related posts:

DTC (Direct to Consumer) E-commerce Packaging for Start-up Companies and New Products

Printed Die Cut Corrugated Inserts for Ecommerce and Subscription Boxes.

Buyers Guide to Partitions, Dividers, and Die Cut Inserts for  E-commerce and Subscription Boxes

Read More

25 Jan 2018 E-commerce Packaging for Feminine Hygiene Products

Packaging for feminine hygene products, e-commerce packaging, Salazar packaging, ecommerce, custom printingE-commerce Packaging for Feminine Hygiene Products

Whether the driving force is convenience, security, or privacy, feminine hygiene products have been a popular direct to consumer (D2C) market. They are also an ideal product for subscription programs.

We have done well over a dozen different boxes in that space and the photos below shows just a few of them. What they all have in common is:

  • Great graphics – attractive colors and designs that are typically low cost with only one-color printing.
  • Secure containers – pilfer proof and designed for privacy.
  • Compact – for the lowest possible shipping cost whatever the product or count.
  • Easy assembly and packing – Shipping multiples of any product can be laborious but proper design and inserts/dividers can minimize fulfillment costs.

A great unboxing experience made easy!

Once we help you determine the best size shipping container for your products, we provide you with a die line so you can design your custom look. We know how to get the most out of one or two colors and have some great options:

  • White or natural Kraft (brown board)
  • Thin e-flute for a more retail, less industrial look
  • Triple white board eliminates the brown medium (middle) layer for a cleaner look
  • Inside prints for maximum print area on a small box usually dominated by a shipping label
  • Digital prints for complex graphics, sophisticated logos as well as variable or seasonal messages

Triple white e-flute board, e-commerce packaging, subscription packaging, Salazar PackagingYour e-commerce packaging partner

Whether you need a food referral to a fulfillment company or a graphic designer who understands packaging, we can help you assemble the correct people for your team.  This may be your first venture in subscription or direct to consumer packaging, but it is not our first time. After producing literally millions of boxes, we have the experience to help you create the best looking, most effective box at the lowest possible cost.

Please contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 for a free analysis of your packaging design or redesign project.

Related posts:

Read More

18 Jan 2018 Buyers Guide to Digitally Printed Corrugated E-commerce Boxes

D2C intro special packaging, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce boxesBuyers Guide to Digitally Printed Corrugated E-commerce Boxes

Reason # 4 to go digital – limited run or “one and done” applications    

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts focused on digital printing to help potential e-commerce box customers determine when digital may be the best custom printing option.  The three other posts (linked below in related posts) suggests going digital:

  1. When printing complex and/or multi-color graphics
  2. To eliminate expensive flexographic print plate costs
  3. When printing multiple versions (flavors, scents, etc.) of the same box size and shape.

This post is focused on situations when a box is going to be run one time for a special promotion or event that is not going to repeat. It could be a new product introduction, special promotion, an award, customer gift, or other limited run (usually one time) event.

Printing plates are costly from many perspectives including the time it takes to design them. Add to that design time cost, the actual plate cost that is typically around $500 per color, inside or outside, and the total can easily end up being thousands of dollars. Yet flexographic printing (if the graphic design permits it) can be a best long-term investment because the cost per unit is usually lower. If you plan to run tens of thousands over the next several years, paying for flexographic print plates can be a wise and economical way to go.

However, what if you never plan to run the box again?

packaging for new product launches, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce boxesFor example, a gift going out to celebrate a 10th anniversary or a new product launch? Neither is likely to ever repeat so in that case, unless the volume is huge, it is probably a good idea to avoid the cost of flexographic plates and print using a plate-less digital process. The cost per box may be a bit higher (compared to flexographic) but not when you factor in the plate costs that are going to end up as waste at the end of the run. In that case running digital is economical and less wasteful.

Of course, we are talking about custom printing applications in general terms. Every situation and customer is slightly different and our branded packaging advisors are specially trained to provide you with facts that will help you make an informed decision.

Please contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 to speak with one of our people. For more online information on printing digitally, please check out the digital box printing page at or our newest web site:

Related posts:

Read More

12 Jan 2018 Closure Options for Direct to Consumer (DTC) E-commerce Mailer Boxes

Closure Options for Direct to Consumer (DTC) E-commerce Mailer Boxes

front lock version of our 7x7x2 box, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce boxI’m proud to say we offer our customers innovative options to help them not only minimize cost but also to help them stand out in any increasingly competitive market. No matter what you are selling, there are new companies every day, trying to do it better, faster, and at a lower cost. Everyone wants to make sure their ecommerce packaging delivers a memorable and pleasing unboxing experience.

A few of the options we offer include:

  • Multi-color interior packaging to eliminate costly labeling.
  • Custom design inserts to protect and present while eliminating expensive and messy ancillary void fill.
  • Unique board combinations like our triple white structures (see related post below) for that finished retail look.
  • High speed, digital printing for maximum graphics (see our newest site: )

top tuck version of our 7x7x2 box, Salazar Packaging, e-commerceClosure Options for Ecommerce Boxes 

Unlike many companies, we offer three distinct ways to hold a box closed:

  1. Top tuck – This is when the top/lid of the box has an extra flap that folds INTO the box. This is probably the most basic, simple option, but can be difficult to close depending on the box contents and how it is packed.
  2. Front lock – The most secure option because the front flap “cherry locks” fold into the front of the box and hold it closed. This is the customer favorite because when combined with side “dust flaps” it is pilfer-resistant.
  3. Tab lock – Probably the most attractive option for customers who want a “less industrial/ more retail” look to their DTC packaging.

Tab lock mailer, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce mailerOver 150 Stock Cutting Dies Available!

These dies include a wide variety of sizes and all three closure methods, so the objective is to match what you want with what we have. Since each custom die costs around $800 it saves you time and money if you can work with a die on hand. However, if you need a specific size, and/or specific design, we can be very creative with the one -time, prepress costs to help you totally customize your box.

Tab lock mailer, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce mailerWhat combination of box features is best for your specific application? A brief chat with one of our branded packaging advisors can help you quickly determine that for the most attractive, lowest cost packaging design for your customers and products being shipped.

Contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 for a no cost, no obligation evaluation of your ecommerce goals and requirements.

Related posts:

Read More

21 Dec 2017 Buyers Guide to Digitally Printed Corrugated E-commerce Boxes

Buyers Guide to Digitally Printed Corrugated E-commerce Boxes

Various copies and bar codes easily handled, digitally printed, Salazar Packaging, e-commerceReason # 3 to go Digital – multiple versions of same box size  

As branding becomes more geographic and market specific, the challenge is how to custom print them without spending thousands of dollars on flexographic print plates for every “version”.

The most obvious example of this is how companies market their product in conjunction with sports teams. Customers in southern California have little interest in New York teams or personalities so companies produce packaging that will appeal in a specific geographic area. Another great example is different flavors, seasonal product shifts, or even for holidays and events. A Valentine’s Day print has little appeal on February 15th.

You can always print a generic box and then customize it with stamps or labels. You see this most often for varying scents, colors, or flavors. That is not only costly, it rarely delivers the look or image desired.

Digital Printing – Varying copy with no print plate costs

The major disadvantage of flexographic printing is that every ink color that is being printed in or out, requires its own print plate. Flexographic plates vary in cost. but we always use $500 as the average anticipated expense.

Different flavors, same brand, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce packagingIf the packaging for every version (size, color, scent, etc.) requires a change of color or copy, a new plate must be produced and used. You can see how this can really add up quickly if a company is producing five or more versions.

Digital printing allows these changes in color or copy to be made electronically so no print plates are required.

Brand Consistency

Just as important as saving money, digital printing makes it easier for companies to maintain their overall brand identity while creating different colors to attract and make it easier for customers to find what they want. We can connect you with a graphic artist who understands this and can help you maximize the impact of your branded, custom printed packaging, at minimal cost.

Please contact us at Salazar Packaging, call us at 630-551-1700 or check out our newest website to learn more about how and when digital printing is the best printing option for you.

Related posts:

Read More

15 Dec 2017 DTC (Direct to Consumer) E-commerce Packaging for Start-up Companies and New Products

e-commerce packaging, Salazar Packaging, DTC (Direct to Consumer) E-commerce Packaging for Start-up Companies and New Products

Creating e-commerce packaging is easy if you have the time, money, experience and history to be able to design and produce what you want. Unfortunately, most start-ups and even mature companies with new products usually don’t have those luxuries. As listed the challenges include:

Time – by the time they get around to packaging, projects tend to be late with launch deadlines looming. Or they have been talking about packaging for months and no commitments nor decisions have been made. We understand this and have a long list of products we delivered within two weeks of receiving final artwork.

Money – same as with time, much has been spent to get to where you are. The packaging budget that at one time in preplanning might have been $2.00 is now ideal at under a dollar a unit as the realities of storage, shipping, and other expenses kick in. We can do a lot with a little by being creative, redesigning, and offering many money saving options and ideas to help reduce the cost per unit.

e-commerce packaging, Salazar PackagingExperience –  After ten years, and making millions of packages for thousands of companies, we know how to fast track a project without sacrificing quality. As I often tell customers, “we know where the potholes in the road are and will help you avoid them.” The less experience you have in designing e-commerce packaging, the more you can benefit from having a good partner to work with.

History – many of our packaging recommendations and the pricing are based on usage and order size. What do you do when you have no history to work from? You create versatile packaging that will enable you to make modifications and changes as necessary. Chances are, we have worked with a similar application in the past and that can help us help you.

e-commerce packaging, Salazar PackagingWe specialize in creating incredible e-commerce packaging quickly and at minimal cost. Please check us out at or call us at 630-551-1700. You can also contact us through our web site contact form to connect with one of our branded packaging advisors or visit our gallery to see examples of recent work we’ve done.

Related posts:

Read More

12 Dec 2017 E-Commerce Success: Congratulations to Owl Crate for Forbes Article!

Owlcrate JR Outside print, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce, subscription packagingCongratulations to Owl Crate for Forbes Article!

One of the things we most enjoy about doing what we do is watching and helping e-commerce and subscription start-ups become great success stories. I cannot describe the pleasure and pride we feel when one of our DTC (Direct to Consumer) customers is featured in a magazine, newspaper or even on TV.

Owlcrate Jr. Inside print. Salazar Packaging, e-commerce, subscription packagingOne of our oldest and favorite customers is whose artistic creativity does not fail to challenge our print capabilities. The result is always a great looking box that is cost effective and memorable, delivering the maximum positive unboxing experience.

Check out the December 12th issue of Forbes magazine (page 30) to read all about this neat company and their packaging.

Salazar Packaging, e-commerce, subscription packagingWe are so grateful for the opportunity to play even a small role in the success of our customers. We have grown steadily by helping our customers please their customers and attracting attention in this increasingly competitive market place. Kudos to Owl Crate and the many companies we serve, who work hard, work smart, and understand the value of quality packaging.

Are you getting the most from your e-commerce packaging? If you would like to discuss your branding or rebranding application, please contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 for a confidential discussion on how we can help you.

Related posts:

Read More