Inside Sustainable Packaging

06 Feb 2017 How to Select a Packaging Supplier for your E-Commerce or Subscription Box Application

e-commerce, custom printing, Salazar PackagingIn case you have not noticed, (we certainly have) there are a lot of people dabbling in packaging for e-commerce, and specifically branded packaging. As part of an extensive New Year market analysis we reviewed many of our competitors and compared our list of products and services to theirs.

What we found are a lot of good companies who do just a few things well and that is probably a wise approach for them, especially if they are relatively new to the industry. At our company, our principals have over sixty years of combined experience, our company is on the verge of celebrating our tenth anniversary and we are proud to say we are one of the pioneers in ecofriendly, custom printed e-commerce packaging. We are considered a market innovator, enhancing consumers unboxing experience before it became trendy or the WOW factor was labeled as such.

A Checklist to Help you Make a Good, Long-term Choice

Here are the specifics we suggest you compare and consider when searching for a new supplier to satisfy your e-commerce packaging needs:

  • Does the potential supplier offer a selection of green, eco-friendly packaging options?
  • Does the company offer a variety of branded packaging solutions such as mailer envelopes, and other styles/types of custom boxes such as rigid wall and folding paperboard?.
  • In corrugated, do they have a variety of design options such as FOL, RSC, die cuts or book folds?
  • Does the company have a variety of printing process options such as digital, flexographic or offset?
  • Can they help guide you in terms of graphic design to maximize the impact and minimize prepress (plate/art) charges?
  • Do they have the ability to create custom designs and sizes?
  • Can they create custom internal packaging solutions for protection and presentation such as molded pulp, foam, die cut corrugated, etc?
  • Have they helped create hundreds of successful, attractive e-commerce boxes? (Please see our web site gallery for examples)

All of the Above?

Few companies can claim a positive answer to all of the questions listed above but without hesitation we can. In this age when there are so many “specialists” focused on one thing, a broader and more experienced perspective can save you valuable time and money.

Will branded RSC boxes or mailer envelopes cost less to implement? How can you reduce your labor or shipping cost? What is the best way to cushion and protect your product? How can you best print your five color logo? Is digital the best print option for my graphic design?

Putting ink on a box is easy. Printing a great looking box is considerably more difficult and developing a perfect packaging solution or strategy is not something that everyone is equipped to do.

For “packaging that communicates” please feel free to contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700* for a no cost, no obligation review of your specific needs.

*Please note our new number    

Related posts:

https://salazarpackaging.com/drives-e-commerce-subscription-box-redesign-rebranding/

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/e-commerce-subscription-boxes-make-great-impression-unique-inside-prints/

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/want-launch-subscription-box/

https://salazarpackaging.com/e-commerce-boxes-that-sparkle-and-shine/

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31 Oct 2016 Genial Day Selects Salazar Packaging and Corrugated Board for New Eivi Packaging

custom-print-on-triple-white-board, packaging, custom printingThose of us who have been in packaging for a few decades know that the rules were pretty firm: you use paperboard for custom printed retail packaging and corrugated board for shipping applications. Period.

However, that strict line has become fuzzy over time, thanks to improved ink and substrates in corrugated packaging, but more importantly, a demand by the market for dual purpose packaging. That is packaging that has great graphics for retail display AND can also serve as a shipper for e-commerce applications.

Genial Day – Great New Product for Women

They were looking for dual purpose packaging and after considering a paperboard folding carton, saw some of the great looking corrugated boxes we have created on our website gallery.

After reviewing their application and graphics requirements, we were pleased to tell them we could direct print using a lower cost flexographic print process and help them avoid a much more costly litho label process. (See first “options” related blog post below).

triple-white-boardKeep in mind not all graphics are able to be printed using a flexographic print process but because we are used to printing high quality, challenging designs, it was a good fit for us. For a little cleaner look we also suggested triple white board that eliminated the brown fluting visible on the cut box edges. The end result is a great looking, custom printed box at the lowest possible cost.

Check out the Genial Day web site and Kickstarter video.

Paperboard is an Available Option

Please understand, we are not anti-paperboard. We makes boxes, cartons and trays in paperboard as well as corrugated. The key however, is to use the correct substrate for each application.  Since we offer both board options, we never have to force an application into a material that is not right for the customer or the product being packaged.

What is the right product and process for you? A free and brief consultation with one of our branded packaging advisors is sure to get you on the right path. Do not hesitate to contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700. We look forward to helping you with your project.

Related posts:

https://salazarpackaging.com/design-options-e-commerce-subscription-boxes/

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/flexo-friendly-art-design-for-subscription-and-e-commerce-boxes/

https://salazarpackaging.com/salazar-packaging-highlighted-washington-post-article/

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/4145/

https://salazarpackaging.com/drives-e-commerce-subscription-box-redesign-rebranding/

 

 

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22 Sep 2016 White Printing on Kraft (Brown) Corrugated Boxes

3-shades-of-white-on-kraft-boxesWhen I first started blogging about sustainable and branded packaging my concern was that I would run out of material after a few months. However, hundreds of posts and several years later, we are still going strong, mostly because of great questions and inquiries from customers and potential customers.

This week I was once again told by a customer that a different supplier had indicated “you cannot direct print white on Kraft corrugated board.” So I decided it would be a great blog post topic to correct this common misconception.

White on Kraft Branding – Tricky But Not Impossible

A quick visit to our gallery on our website shows several boxes that are printed white on Kraft, so obviously it can be done. The challenge is creating the specific shade of white a customer may want. We have successfully printed three slightly different versions:

  1. Low density – a transparent, almost white wash look which is the common preference for many ecofriendly products because of its soft, “natural” look.
  2. Medium density – semi opaque for slightly sharper graphics
  3. High density – a pure white that we can apply heavily to achieve almost full opacity for greatest white to Kraft color contrast.

To accomplish the third (high intensity) level we typically use an ink formulation that our people helped develop. Our ink supplier has named it “Salazar White” because it differs from most other whites in that opacity is achieved without reducing the overall whiteness. In other words, we do not create opacity by making the white more gray.

inside-reverse-print-on-white-boardTotal Opacity Guarantee?

The big variables in direct printing are board porosity and board color. Natural Kraft board can range from a light brown (tan) to a darker shade of brown and even at times with a hint of red. Just like no two trees are identical, no two boxes are identical. That color difference can be even greater on high recycled content board like we offer.

Corrugated board also varies in porosity which determines how it absorbs ink, a large contributing factor in ink color density. Corrugated is like a sponge and it absorbs humidity. So a box will print differently on a cold January day than it will on a hot and steamy July day. We cannot control how much ink soaks into the board and how much sits on top of the board creating the printed copy. We can try to manage white density and we succeed the vast majority of the time, but there are variables we simply cannot control.

The only way we or anyone can guarantee 100% opacity of white is to reverse print it with a flood coat over white board. By reverse printing the copy, we are actually printing color around the white which is actually not printed at all. The white comes from the board color itself.

If all this sounds complicated, it can be, but not for our branded packaging advisors who have the experience and tools to print just about any color you want on any of our boxes.

Please feel free to contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 if you have any question on this or any other facet of your branded packaging program.

Related posts:

https://salazarpackaging.com/custom-printing-corrugated-boxes-ink-color-faq/

https://salazarpackaging.com/twelve-new-photos-added-salazar-packaging-gallery/

https://salazarpackaging.com/drives-e-commerce-subscription-box-redesign-rebranding/

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/flexo-friendly-art-design-for-subscription-and-e-commerce-boxes/

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13 Sep 2016 Corrugated Box Increase Coming!

rising-corrugated-box-pricesIt has been over three years since the corrugated industry has had an increase so it should not be a total surprise, and I don’t want to be guilty of sounding a false or premature alarm, but it presently looks like an increase is inevitable and imminent.

This is NOT a Formal Increase Announcement…Yet.

All domestic corrugated sheet manufacturers have been announcing increases of between 8 and 10% and it is beginning to trickle down to the companies that make corrugated boxes from that higher priced board. Some stock box suppliers have already announced a 10% increase but we are not there yet. It is our intention to resist and delay any increase as long as possible and not put through an increase that hopefully might be rescinded in part or in whole.

So we are all in a wait-and-see mode and keep in mind, I could be wrong. Please see the bottom related post below where in May 2013 I warned of an increase that was later rolled back. However, now I think an increase is really overdue and the mills are going to get something.

No one likes to see rising prices but I am equally concerned about what this can do to lead times as we head into the busiest time of the packaging year. Any increase, especially a large one can and will cause extended lead times.

Our Advice to All Friends and Customers

Not knowing exactly when an increase on boxes is going to be announced and enforced, my suggestion is to not wait to place any year end or holiday order you may be contemplating. If you wait until the increase becomes fact, it will probably already be too late and the normal lead time could jump quickly from a fairly predictable one to two weeks to as much as four weeks or even more. There will be a big buy-in to avoid any increase and that will make the production line a long one.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 if you have any questions. We may not have all the answers regarding this industry wide increase but I can assure you we will do everything possible to minimize the negative impact on you and your business.

Related posts

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/subscription-boxes-cost-estimates-versus-quotes/

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/seven-reasons-right-size-subscription-box/

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/want-launch-subscription-box/

https://salazarpackaging.com/corrugated-price-increase-on-the-immediate-horizon/

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02 Aug 2016 Twelve New Photos Added to Salazar Packaging Gallery

Custom branded envelopes and boxesCustomers and potential customers really enjoy the volume of information we provide to help them learn more about subscription program or e-commerce packaging and the variety of different styles, types and formats we offer. Our blogs at Salazar Packaging and www.GreenPackaging.com are loaded with money saving advice and information. The objective is always to help our friends make informed decisions on whatever it is they want to accomplish in packaging.

Salazar Packaging Gallery

Since its inception a few years ago, our gallery has been a favorite for visitors to see what is possible in packaging when you add a little ink. They also understand why we are known coast to coast as the company that creates “packaging that communicates”.

There you will also see photos that show some of the most common packaging product options available, to help you decide between:

  • RSC or FOL boxes versus die cut mailers
  • Corrugated boxes versus mailer envelopes
  • Plastic versus paper, mailer envelopes
  • Branding tape versus branding packaging containers

 

Packaging Photo Gallery Covering New Areas

As always our work is a direct result of the customers and markets we serve. Some of the new additions are:

  • Packaging for textiles and clothing
  • Right sizing applications to reduce waste and costs
  • Pantone (PMS) colors now available in a lower 3,000 MOQ
  • Unusual die cuts with handles for tote and carry applications
  • No cost color change options
  • Packaging for gifts being shipped via UPS, FedEx and USPS

 

We hope you enjoy these new additions to our site and welcome any questions. Please feel free to contact Salazar Packaging via email or call us at 630-551-1700.

We are grateful to the customers shown in our gallery and the many others who trusted us to create their branded packaging.

Related Posts:

https://salazarpackaging.com/salazar-packaging-the-company-specializing-in-custom-printed-subscription-boxes/

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/change-the-look-of-your-subscription-or-e-commerce-box-by-changing-board-or-ink-colors/

https://salazarpackaging.com/drives-e-commerce-subscription-box-redesign-rebranding/

https://salazarpackaging.com/pookis-mahi-great-taste-and-frustration-free-packaging/

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07 Apr 2016 Crate Joy’s “Subscription School” Interview with Salazar Packaging

great looking shippable boxesFrom the inception of our company in 2007, we have strived to be a leading resource to anyone interested in launching or improving a subscription box or other e-commerce platform, by providing the best packaging products and advice. So it is very natural that we would work with great companies like Cratejoy who have many of the same goals and serve the same market.

Recently I was asked to answer a few questions by an old friend Jesse Richardson, who runs Cratejoy’s highly acclaimed “Subscription School” program. Jesse and I first crossed paths many years ago when he was a co-founder and principal of Conscious Box, one of the pioneers and first great success stores in the subscription box space. With our combined experience, what resulted was a pretty in depth Q and A session, covering a lot of details that should prove valuable to anyone interested in packaging for e-commerce and specifically, subscription programs.

Check out this interview at:   http://subscriptionschool.com/guide/creating-custom-packaging-for-subscription-boxes-an-interview-with-salazar-packaging/

We are confident you will find it worth reading and if you have any follow up questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700. You may also find the blog posts below helpful.

Related posts:

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/want-launch-subscription-box/

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/branding-options-for-low-volume-corrugated-packaging-applications/

https://salazarpackaging.com/e-commerce-boxes-that-sparkle-and-shine/

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17 Mar 2016 Madison Reed Selects Salazar Packaging for New Custom Printed, E-Commerce Box

SAM_0709Madison Reed takes great pride in the innovative hair color products they make. Their mission is to make personal care more personal by providing exceptional service and building authentic relationships. Coincidentally, that is identical to our approach to e-commerce packaging.

Madison Reed had a great looking package; (solid purple display box), but they wanted something more compact, lighter and consistent with their healthy and environmental values.

Since 2007, we have been talking about the importance of being “eco consistent” and making sure the packaging does not contradict the green message our customers are trying to convey to their customers. We make “packaging that communicates”™ and have challenged our customers and clients to analyze what their packaging is saying about them, their company and their products. Madison Reed came to us with this challenge in mind and decided to contact Salazar Packaging to help guide them through the process.

SAM_0711E-Commerce Application Review Process

The Design team at Madison Reed was very clear on what they wanted to accomplish, but were also receptive to input. We suggested a corrugated insert made of one material and delivering a 100% recyclable experience. The insert we incorporated into the design is built in and one piece making it easier to order, stock and use. It also enabled us to reduce the overall box size and weight.

Each product component being shipped is visible, attractively displayed and held securely to avoid damage. Madison Reed is so committed to complete customer satisfaction that the design we created underwent some of the most intense and vigorous testing we have ever seen. We were confident going in and the design performed like a champ, keeping each component safe, secure and looking great.

A Clear Path to Fast, Beautiful Results

A change like this does not have to be time consuming and our first meeting with Madison Reed was the Monday after Thanksgiving. Even with the holidays, and the prolonged testing they required, the new package was being shipped by the end of February. People are often amazed at our ability to deliver a new design within a few short weeks because we are wired to do this quickly and perfectly each and every time.

If you want to check out a fantastic hair color company, visit www.MadisonReed.com. If you want to see what we can do for you and your brand, please visit Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700.

Related posts:

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/smart-organizations-understand-value-eye-catching-custom-printed-branded-box/

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/authenticity-50-bedding-e-commerce-boxes-right/

https://salazarpackaging.com/e-commerce-boxes-that-sparkle-and-shine/

https://salazarpackaging.com/danones-new-nutrimom-program-selects-salazar-packaging-for-their-mailer-boxes/

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07 Dec 2015 Save Big Money by NOT Buying Stock Size RSC Shipping Boxes!

unprinted-custom-size-stock-boxesWe often meet people who buy stock boxes over the internet, from an office supply company, or even a local moving and storage operation. These RSC style STOCK boxes are typically available in Kraft 32 ECT board and available in the most common and popular standard sizes.

Have you outgrown your stock box supplier?

Buying a standard size box in small quantities is indeed the right thing to do when you are first getting started and perhaps buying as few as twenty-five or fifty boxes at one time. However, as your usage increases and you begin purchasing hundreds of boxes, you may be paying a great deal more than necessary for the convenience and small order capability you no longer need.

To put it plainly, if you are buying hundreds of boxes at one time, you no longer have to buy off the shelf and a short, custom run can be a much better deal for you.

Made to order RSC boxes!

Why would you want to go through the “trouble” of custom boxes? Here are a few great reasons:

  • You can decide on the board grade being used. If you need something a little different than standard 32 ECT or 200# test board most stock box makers use, your boxes can be made using a heavier (or lighter) board.
  • Most stock boxes are Kraft (brown) but you can also order white if that is your preference.
  • You can have the EXACT size you need. Perhaps 12x12x12 is a good fit for you but what if the true correct size is really 11” X 10-1/2” X 9-1/2”? You can get the size you need without any tooling costs.
  • Right sizing a box saves money on the box as well as inbound (to you) and outbound (to your customer) shipping costs.
  • Right sizing can also prevent damage and eliminate expensive filler or cushioning material.
  • Adding branding will only add a few cents of cost in most cases. Boxes with your logo and brand are affordable and only require a small one time investment in print plates.

 

RSC-style-shipper-and-cooler-boxes--300x200

The custom box minimum is lower than you think

If the box you need is smaller than one cubic foot (12”x12”x12”) the MOQ is 1,000 boxes. If it is larger, the MOQ is 500. Obviously the key cost factor is set up time so the price per box is greatly reduced as your order quantity increases. People ordering thousands of stock, unprinted boxes can easily afford a custom size and a custom brand and in most cases their cost per box is actually reduced.

Is a custom box run in your best interest? Is a mailer envelope or a die cut mailer box a better shipping container for your product and customers? We can help you determine that with quick, no cost, no obligation, application review.

You can contact us through our Globe Guard Products web site or call us at 630-551-1700

Related posts:

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/seven-reasons-right-size-subscription-box/

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/branding-re-branding-subscription-e-commerce-box/

https://salazarpackaging.com/sustainable-products/reduce-shipping-costs-by-using-mailer-envelopes-rather-than-boxes/

https://salazarpackaging.com/sustainable-packaging/reducing-the-cost-of-shipping-e-commerce-and-subscription-boxes-via-usps/

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12 Nov 2015 Custom Printed Unpadded Paper Mailer Envelopes – FREE print plates through December 31, 2015

37Our Kraft (brown) and white mailer envelopes are a customer favorite for shipping out a wide variety of products, including and especially clothing such as tee shirts, sweat shirts and other soft goods. They are available flat or gusseted, in a wide variety of sizes; are inexpensively custom printed and branded with one or two colors, on one or both sides.

FREE PRINT PLATES!

Print plates are typically a very affordable onetime expense of up to $125 per color and per side but for a limited period of time (until 12/31/15) we will provide your one color print plates for you at no charge. The only restrictions are that the order has to be for two or more cases for one sided/one color print or five or more cases for a two sided/one color print.

Great Time to Step Up to Branded Mailer Envelopes

If you have been using one of our many unprinted stock sizes from our green packaging store, www.GlobeGuardProducts.com, this is the ideal time to make the move to custom printed mailers and eliminating the cost of labels or hand stamping.

Or if you have changed your logo or rebranded, you can update your look at minimal expense.

Other Custom Printed Packaging Options

In addition to these unpadded, paper mailers, we also can custom print padded and unpadded poly mailers, paperboard rigid mailers and of course our Globe Guard corrugated RSC style shipping boxes and mailer boxes.

Which option is best for you and your product? One of our experienced people will be glad to help you through that decision process as well as estimate all costs for you. Contact us via email or call us at 630-551-1700 for a free consultation.

We make packaging that communicates. What is your packaging saying about you?

Related posts:

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/mailers-envelopes/custom-branded-shipper-envelopes-in-five-easy-steps/

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/shipping-clothing-dilemma-branding-custom-printed-boxes-custom-printed-mailer-envelopes/

https://salazarpackaging.com/sustainable-packaging/unpadded-paper-mailer-envelopes-branded-packaging-at-minimal-start-up-expense/

https://salazarpackaging.com/sustainable-products/reduce-shipping-costs-by-using-mailer-envelopes-rather-than-boxes/

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29 Oct 2015 Reducing the Cost of Shipping E-Commerce and Subscription Boxes via USPS

shipping costRecently we have received several inquiries regarding USPS tier shipping which is their version of UPS’s “DIM (dimensional) Weight” rate program. Essentially it means that the larger a package is, the more it will cost you to ship it, and that package weight and shipping distance are no longer the only factors determining shipping costs.

We have worked with hundreds of companies shipping an endless variety of products, and the one thing they all have in common is their need to minimize shipping costs. In almost all cases the shipping cost is likely to exceed the cost of the packaging being used and in some cases, it can even exceed the cost of the product being shipped. That is why managing your shipping cost has quickly become the single greatest objective for everyone in the e-commerce or subscription box markets.

How Is USPS Tier Pricing Calculated?

Cubic footage of any box being shipped is determined by multiplying the OUTSIDE (rounded DOWN to nearest ¼”) length x width x height and dividing that total by 1,728. That typically results in a digital number less than 1.

Example: Our stock 7-7-2 box has actual inside dimensions of 7-1/8” X 7” X 2-1/4” and the outside dimensions are 8” X 7.375 X 2.75”. We round them down to 8” X 7.25” X 2.75” and when we multiply them and divide them by 1,728 the result is $.0923. That is a GREAT box size because it is just under the .10 tier limit. You can read more about the brackets and calculations at this USPS web site link where you will find this chart:

Priority Mail Commercial Plus—Cubic

Large Envelopes (flats) & parcels

 

Cubic Ft. Range Up To Zone1,2
Local, 1 & 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
0.10 $4.58 $4.65 $4.74 $4.99 $5.23 $5.47 $5.82 $6.98
0.20 4.99 5.12 5.28 5.50 5.70 5.91 6.30 7.56
0.30 5.22 5.61 6.12 7.64 8.39 9.09 9.96 11.94
0.40 5.40 6.31 7.24 9.13 10.73 11.77 13.26 15.91
0.50 6.18 7.21 8.35 11.50 13.41 14.82 16.97 20.36

BTW, for your convenience, we have added exterior cubic footage to all of our stock die cut mailer boxes on our www.GlobeGuardProducts.com store.

Engineered and Designed for minimum shipping cost

designed to be under .1 and .2 cubic feetCheck out the link below to see our new Min-Weight™ boxes we just created for Universal Yums. Not only has the weight been reduced, both were sized and designed to fall under a specific tier limit. Tell us the objective and it is very likely we can help you accomplish it.

How to Beat Tier Priced Shipping Costs

Here are a few suggestions that will enable you to minimize your shipping cost while maximizing its effectiveness:

  1. Understand the way the system works for your specific carrier of choice. Know the rules and make an informed decision on which one you choose and what level of service makes the most sense for you, your customers, and the products you are shipping.
  2. Right size your box. Avoid the “I want a larger box, just in case” approach. We understand for some subscription boxes the items being shipped vary from month to month, but set an affordable size limit and stick to it. If the volume or size requirements change, adding a second or different size box may be the most economical choice.
  3. A custom size MAY make sense for you. A custom size cutting die is usually one time cost of around $800 but if you can save $2.00 per box and you ship more than 400 boxes in one month, the die will pay for itself in one month.
  4. Consider packaging options other than boxes. That may sound strange coming from a company that specializes in branded shipping boxes but we will admit that sometime a mailer envelope is less expensive to buy and ship.

As always, when in doubt, please ASK us because there may be a style, or board grade that can dramatically reduce your shipping costs. Resist the temptation to self-diagnose when our decade’s long expert advice is free for the asking.

Please feel free to visit our gallery to see examples of some of our custom printed packaging. You can contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700.

Related posts:

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/seven-reasons-right-size-subscription-box/

https://salazarpackaging.com/sustainable-packaging/globe-guard-min-weight-boxes-maximize-customer-value-and-minimize-shipping-costs-for-universal-yums/

https://salazarpackaging.com/sustainable-packaging/danones-new-nutrimom-program-selects-salazar-packaging-for-their-mailer-boxes/

https://salazarpackaging.com/sustainable-packaging/new-oversized-die-cut-mailer-size-when-great-things-come-in-large-packages/

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