How to Choose between Poly Bags and Boxes

Should You Choose Poly Bags or Boxes for Your Product?

Determining the best way to package and ship your products is not always an easy task, but it’s an important one. Choosing the right packaging for shipments will affect everything from your shipping costs to whether your product arrives to your customers in one piece. It’s tough to turn a profit if you’re paying too much for packaging, but it’s also tough to build a customer base if your products are often damaged during shipping.

The question is, are poly bags or boxes better for mailing your product? Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of both.

Poly bags

Also referred to as poly mailers or plastic mailing bags, poly bags are lightweight, malleable, and typically do not take up much space. They come in various sizes and styles that may include bubble wrap padding or are just simple plastic bags with a seal.

Here are the benefits of using poly bags to ship your product:

  • Low cost – Poly bags reduce the need for void fill and will usually have both a lower dimensional weight and lower actual weight than shipping the same product in boxes.
  • Quick packaging process – Poly mailers just require a two step packaging process, packing the item and sealing the bag or mailer. Other packaging materials involve more complex prep work, like building the boxes. Shortening this process makes your packaging process more efficient.
  • Choose your level of built in protection – With varying levels of protection, poly bags let you decide what’s the best option for your products. A simple plastic bag may be great for clothing, while a padded mailer may be required by more fragile items, like jewelry or electronics to give them greater cushion and impact resistance.
  • Moisture resistance – Many types of poly bags are waterproof, which will help prevent damage to your product.
  • Eye catching – You can include your brand colors and logo on the material as well as custom printed designs, boosting brand awareness.
  • Curbside recyclable – Most poly bags are made from recyclable materials can be placed in residential recycling bins, making it easy to reuse the material and avoid waste.

Here are some potential drawbacks to using poly bags:

  • Less durable – Poly bags will usually offer less protection than corrugated boxes, because they can be easily punctured or crushed between larger packages during shipment.
  • Lower capacity – With boxes you can fit multiple order items in the same shipment, but most poly bags can only handle one item at a time, unless the items are small.
  • Recyclability limitations – most poly bags can be recycled, but some require store drop-off, similar to a grocery bag, and aren’t suitable for a regular municipal recycling stream.
Corrugated boxes

Corrugated boxes are one of the most common ways to ship products to customers. They are made of ridged paper that contains multiple air columns that increase the strength of the material. Corrugated boxes are durable and come in a wide variety of different shapes and sizes.

Here are the benefits of using corrugated boxes to ship your product:

  • Strength – Corrugated boxes are sturdier than poly bags and offer excellent protection for the products that are stored within them. They can usually also handle larger, heavier products than poly bags can.
  • Environmentally friendly – Most corrugated cardboard boxes are both biodegradable and easily recyclable, so it is easy for customers to dispose of them in an environmentally conscious way.
  • Easy to customize – Corrugated boxes come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes based on the needs of your specific product.

Here are some potential drawbacks to using corrugated boxes:

  • Higher dimensional weight – Dimensional weight is based on the size of the item being shipped. Having a small, lightweight item in a box that contains a lot of empty space will cost you more than using a poly bag.
  • Not waterproof – Unlike plastic bags, corrugated material is usually not waterproof; your product might get wet if the package is left in wet conditions like rain.
  • More expensive materials – Corrugated boxes are sturdy and strong, but typically you are paying more for that advantage than with plastic bags.
Poly bags vs. boxes? Pioneer can help you decide

At Pioneer we can analyze your product, budget, and other requirements to help you determine whether poly bags or corrugated boxes are your best choice. We offer a variety of both types of products, so you’ll have exactly what your business needs.

Contact Pioneer today to find the best packaging for your products!