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Why are Cardboard Boxes Expensive for Packaging in 2023?

Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes have recently become more expensive because the packaging material is now four times more expensive. During the past few years, raw materials such as cellulose related to cardboard production have increased by 60-80%, drastically impacting the eCommerce sector. 

Those who run online stores have already felt the impact of rising packaging costs. What is the reason for the price increase? Can cardboard boxes be replaced with cheaper alternatives? How to minimize the effects of these increases? 

Here we will discuss these factors in more detail to get more accurate and up-to-date information regarding the current price of cardboard packaging boxes. 

Why is Cardboard Packaging More Expensive?

Compared to the beginning of 2021 now, cardboard prices have increased by 100%. It’s enough to get the attention of every stakeholder, from manufacturers to distributors to end customers. Why is the price of cardboard increasing so dramatically? 

First, the pandemic has disrupted the global raw material supply for packaging and everything else. The same supply chain issues are affecting paper mills worldwide with predictable results, which is why cartons and other packing materials have become more expensive.

Consequently, tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, and other cellulose-based products have also increased. Secondly, the eCommerce industry has grown rapidly during COVID-19, as online shopping has become more popular. 

Therefore, online retailers use cardboard boxes to pack their products, increasing packaging demand. No one strategy will completely protect you from increases, but applying the methods listed below will minimize their impact.

4 Reasons Why Cardboard Boxes are Expensive?

The reasons for the increased cost of cardboard boxes in 2023 may vary depending on market conditions, industry trends, and regional factors. However, several other factors also affect the price.

It is easy to judge as the custom packaging demand is increasing vastly; it also raises the material’s importance, use, and need. However, here is general information about factors that could influence the cost of cardboard boxes for packaging. 

Cost of Raw Material

Firstly, raw material cost is a major reason why cardboard boxes are expensive. Paper pulp is the primary source from which these boxes are manufactured.

Many factors can affect raw material prices, including changes in supply and demand, transportation costs, and environmental regulations. Moreover, increasing raw material costs can increase the price of further cardboard products. 

You will incur higher costs if you choose finer paper, either bleached or simple brown cardboard.

Cost of Production

Next, we need to consider the cost of production. After getting the paper material, the next step is to mold it into the desired size, shape, and design. Moreover, cutting paper into various aspects causes waste. There are several stages involved in manufacturing cardboard boxes, including:

  • Pressing
  • Cutting
  • Shaping

The production cost can rise due to the use of machinery, energy, labor, and maintenance. The price of cardboard boxes may rise if these costs increase.

Supply & Demand  

The price of packaging can be affected by an increase in demand. Prices will increase as demand increases. Custom packaging is a unique display method for today’s customers, who only believe in products with it. The following factors contribute to the higher demand for cardboard boxes: 

  • E-commerce
  • Shipping
  • Packaging

Higher demand, however, leads to higher prices. Additionally, let’s assume there are disruptions in the supply chain, such as delays in delivering raw materials or manufacturing capacity constraints. That could result in a shortage of cardboard and increased costs.

Environmental Regulations

In the age of technology, environmental pollution is increasing too rapidly. The business must, however, use eco-friendly cardboard packaging. Sustainable packaging and environmental waste reduction must be the primary goal of any business. 

Additionally, the government and regulatory agencies may introduce stricter environmental regulations that affect cardboard paper production and use. 

As a result, manufacturers might need to buy new equipment or adopt more environmentally friendly solutions to comply with these regulations, thus increasing the cost of production.

Important Tips for Reducing Costs

Do you manufacture various products and need cardboard boxes to meet your demands? You may only be able to afford custom packaging if it is affordable. As these boxes are necessary for packaging and branding, how can you minimize the cost and keep using them? The following tips will help you:

Identify your needs and be specific

Many brands use boxes in large, irregular shapes with various unusual designs, wasting resources. Make sure your needs are specific. The paper should be cut professionally according to the need. Don’t waste raw materials. 

Additionally, the box size should be reduced to meet specific requirements. Before cutting the paper through the cardboard boxes, you should determine the type and purpose of the box. Despite this, the boxes are the perfect size, keeping the product safe and reducing shipping costs.

Unique Design While Keeping It Simple  

You can also make your box unique with a simple shape style, printing text, and other necessary elements by keeping the box design as simple as possible. 

Investing in something different than extraordinary designs, other luxuries, and unique finishes would be better and simultaneously increase production costs. It is also much easier to create packaging that is simple, unique, and much better if you first analyze your product packaging needs. 

Consider specific customization options 

If you consider your packaging requirements in depth-first, it would be great. If you are selling luxury products, premium packaging is a must that reflects productivity, but if you are selling other products, it is just a waste of money.

It would help if you also looked for ways to reduce the costs associated with customization and design. First, determine how custom packaging will help your product achieve its goals, as well as the budget. 

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