customer or season specific messageIf you are one of the many subscription box or e-commerce companies using die cut custom mailers to ship your product, you may have encountered a need for a way to prevent an item from getting lost within the box. It is relatively easy for paper work, a gift card, an invoice, or perhaps a business card or thank you note to get mixed up with the items being shipped, the loose fill, or other ancillary packaging.

The perfect way and place to get the customer’s attention

We have always said that die cut mailers, compared to standard RSC shipping boxes are more of a presentation box than just a shipping container. A die cut mailer opens up, with a hinged lid, similar to the way a cigar box opens. There is a reason why that inside lid of a cigar box is always highly decorated – because it is so obvious for the consumer to see. That makes the inside lid of any die cut mailer an ideal place to print copy and it is also the perfect location to apply an adhesive pouch – where it cannot be missed and is certain to get the consumer’s attention.

Can't miss it insert on inside mailer lidAdhesive Pouches and Packets

They are not shown on our store YET, but we have a variety of clear, unprinted stock sizes that are readily available by the case. The sizes range from the very popular business card size, to an 8-1/2” X 14” legal size. There are also a variety of vertical (example – 4-1/4” X 11”) and horizontal (example 5-1/2” X 8-1/2”) pockets and even a half round designed to hold a CD or audio disc. All have a convenient peel and seal strip for easy application to your mailer box.

For those who want a can’t-miss custom message or color, we also offer custom printed adhesive pouches with a minimum starting at 5,000. Spot or full litho graphics can be printed up to seven colors. The possibilities are almost unlimited when added to or used in place of inside printed mailers.

stock business card size pouchPlease contact Salazar Packaging or Globe Guard Products if you have any questions or interest. We are very excited about this new product line and we can assure you that you will be hearing more about them in the days ahead.

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How to Reduce Shipping Weight and Cost

Corrugated Board FlutesAs a result of dramatically increased shipping rates and costs, many shippers today are looking for ways to reduce the overall package weight in an effort to reduce the shipping cost. Being over or under a particular weight (for example, one pound) can make a shipping cost difference of over two dollars per package. That is huge if you are shipping thousands of boxes per month.

After working with dozens of companies to accomplish lower shipping rates, we offer these possible solutions:

Using the best shipping container for your product

Here I often use clothing as an example because I don’t understand why anyone would want to use a box if they don’t have to. The fact is that most clothing and soft goods can ship in paper or plastic mailer envelopes, eliminating the box as well as the void fill or other ancillary packaging that may be required. Keep in mind, void fill not only adds purchase, inbound shipping and storage cost, but also adds weight.

E-flute board for clean, retail look, NOT weight reductionRight sizing can lead to big packaging cost and weight reductions

This may be the most obvious advice I provide but you would be surprised at how many shippers are using boxes that are too large because that size is a “stock” size for their supplier, or because they occasionally get a larger order that requires the larger shipping box. For example, our 7x7x2 die cut corrugated mailer box weighs 3.1 ounces. Our smaller 5x5x2 mailer weighs 2.1 ounces. Using a smaller, size appropriate corrugated box also results in inbound shipping cost and storage savings.

Weight reduction by using thinner board

If you would like to use a smaller flute board to make your boxes to make them look more retail and less industrial, that is a great idea, but in most cases it does NOT reduce the weight of the box.

We have been involved in many cost analysis and in almost all cases, there is no significant weight reduction. In some cases there could actually be an increase in weight when you go from C flute to B flute or even from B flute to E or F flute corrugated board. As the photo shows, even though the overall board thickness is reduced because flutes are smaller and thinner, there are more of them, resulting in approximately the same weight.

However, we have been able to deliver significant weight savings by modifying the construction of the board and using either thinner paper inside or outside or even a lighter medium. This can get rather complicated but suffice to say that we know how to accomplish the objective without compromising the container’s integrity or the graphics that are printed on it. Keep in mind that for some “non-standard” paper and board combinations, minimums may apply, but if you are shipping more than a few thousand boxes per month, you likely qualify for the lighter board combinations.

Weight reduction by container design

We have done much work in this area reducing the overall board usage (square inches minus scrap) significantly by using an Eco Mailer Box design or Indestructo design but neither of those are guaranteed to reduce the weight of the finished box. Front lock versus top tuck, dust flaps versus no dust flaps, can all impact shipping weight if it is done properly. (See related posts at the end of this post)

Remember that the container being used still has to keep the product safe as it ships from point A to point B and that probably none of these options are a stand-alone solution. No two shipping and packing applications are identical so we will review the overall application to determine the best way to reduce the desired weight. In many cases, substantial weight reductions are best made possible by using a combination of box manufacturing techniques.

Contact Salazar Packaging or call us at 815-609-3600 for a no cost, no obligation review of your needs.

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Gift look, two color exteriorWe have helped many companies create boxes for their E-commerce or subscription programs and one of the things we most appreciate is the uniqueness of their graphic design.

Some prefer the understated elegance of a minimalist design while others choose a graphic design that explodes with color and complexity. The Bride Box is one of the latter with a design that typifies the WOW factor.

The celebration begins with the box!

Check out and you will see a great gift idea for that newly engaged lady you know. Each month she receives, gifts, samples, and information that is sure to be appreciated and useful as she prepares for the biggest day of her life.

It was important for the nice people at The Bride Box that the box being shipped to the new subscriber celebrates the event, consistent with the excitement and happiness the bride-to-be is experiencing. Congratulations to them on a job well done!

Beautiful two color interiorProducing a great looking mailer box.

I will admit the first time we saw the graphic design concept (check out that interior print) we knew it would be challenging. However, we were sure with a few tweaks we would be able to deliver the look the customer was striving for. The team effort, including our graphic artist, our plate maker, and our printer made sure every detail was covered so the end result would be perfect.

If you are looking for that great gift idea for a bride-to-be, please visit The Bride Box web site to learn more about their program. If you want to create a great looking box for your subscription or e-commerce business, please contact Salazar Packaging or call us at 815-609-3600 for a free and confidential review of your needs.

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gallery-bannerWe are always very proud of the customers we work with and the packaging products and custom printed boxes we help them design. We freely share photos of our branded packaging work on our blog, our web site, and also on the very popular web site.

It was time we collect the many photos of our work and presented them in one easy to find, easy to navigate web page and we did at There you will see a large sampling of the variety of work we have done, including:

Colorful Subscription Boxes

We have printed well over forty different subscription boxes for products ranging from snacks to shaving gear. While some prefer a minimalist approach to graphic design, others create boxes that explode with color and are not shy about complex graphics.

Semi-Custom printed shipping containers

In our gallery we show some of the most popular sizes we have cutting dies for enabling new customers to use our available dies to save time and money. I am sure you will notice how many different looks you can create with the same box style and size, making it ideal for your customers and market.

Inside Printing

Many companies will not bother promoting or featuring inside box capabilities but we encourage it. Sure it adds cost but not as much as you might think and it is sure to impress your customers.

Mailer Envelopes

One of our most popular products thanks to a low one case minimum for custom printing. They are available Kraft or white, flat or gusseted, making them a great low cost shipping option for tee shirts and other clothing.

Internal Packaging

We are able to save customers time and money by combining stock size or custom boxes and customized inserts that can be made to fit their specific product or application. The types of materials used include molded pulp, molded foam, die cut corrugated, as well as partitions and dividers. A properly designed insert can reduce packing time, eliminate layers of packaging or loose void fill and reduce shipping damage and replacement costs.

What you see on our new gallery page is just a small sampling of our work. If you have an idea or concept you want to discuss, please contact us at Salazar Packaging. We are certain to be able to guide you to a branded box you will be proud of at the lowest possible cost.

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great looking shippable boxesAmazon is one of many excellent companies that will do everything from storing to picking and packing your customers’ orders for you. They are so much better equipped to handle fluctuations in orders and in general, handling the operational side of the business. Most people (including us) are in business because of our sales and marketing skills, not because we understand inventory management or logistics. We have become firm believers in letting the experts do what they do best.

Shipping your packaging within their box?

Whether you are an e-commerce company or have created a successful subscription box program, the product you are shipping and how it is packaged will determine if Amazon and others will:

  1. Ship your box or container within one of their boxes (secondary packaging)
  2. Ship your product directly to your customer in the container you provide (primary packaging)

Depending on what your fulfillment operation charges you for packaging, this could be a good or not so good deal for you. However, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you will understand why option #1 above deprives you of a great branding and presentation opportunity. Do you want the first thing your customer sees to be your logo or that famous, all too familiar “smile”?

Additional benefits to you when using “shippable packaging”

Aside from promoting your brand, you also control the customer experience. You determine what type of impression you want to make on YOUR customer.

Green minded customers are usually quick to point out layers of unnecessary and redundant packaging. Shipping a box within a box also adds costs for everyone involved in the process.

In the era of “dimensional weight” shipping, using as small container as possible reduces outbound shipping cost. Keep in mind that you are also paying for inbound shipping costs as well as storage costs for any packaging you buy or use.

Custom printed and branded “shippable” packaging is what we do

If your current packaging requires some attention, we are more than qualified to help you make that change:

  • Quickly – usually 2 to 3 weeks
  • Economically – many of our customers are surprised at how affordable custom printed packaging can be.
  • Effectively – damaged product can be avoided or eliminated
  • Environmentally Friendly – most of our containers are 100% recycled content and 100% recyclable

Please contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 815-609-3600 for a no cost, no obligation review of your specific packaging needs.

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close out with textYou may already know that we are getting out of the stock RSC shipping box business and are offering our remaining inventory at 40% off for this month only. On October 1st, all remaining stock will be liquidated so if you have been waiting for the best prices EVER on Globe Guard boxes, this is it!

Globe Guard® RSC boxes Are Still Available on a Custom Run Basis

Keep in mind we can still custom run any RSC style box you may need in any size, standard or FOL, printed or unprinted (minimums vary) but we are simply no longer stocking any sizes.  Don’t let the term “custom run” scare you because it only means we will run them specifically for you. The pricing we can afford to give you because we do not have to make boxes and store them will probably be a pleasant surprise to you.

Remember that for only slightly more, we can custom print and brand your boxes while we run them. In most cases, the labels currently being used to accomplish branding are more expensive that the custom printing cost. Imagine getting custom printed and branded boxes for less than you are currently paying for plain/unprinted boxes plus the addition of one or more labels?

For custom printing, the only other additional cost is a onetime investment in print plates and we can show you how to minimize that expense as well.

Best Box Prices on the Internet

Our Globe Guard® clearance prices can’t be beat but inventory is moving quickly. We are down to only 19 different sizes still available so please check availability and order them today.

Please contact Globe Guard Products if you have any questions on remaining RSC stock or would like to discuss a custom run, either unprinted or custom printed.

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GCMI chart scanMost of our best blog posts are a result of great questions asked by active and potential customers. Our thought has always been, if one person out there is wondering about this, there are likely others with the same question or concern. This is one of those posts about the questions people ask when they see this included in their quote: “printed with standard or GCMI colors”.

What exactly are GCMI colors?

Ironically they are a selection of sixty colors that are offered by the Glass Container Manufacturers Institute. The corrugated industry adopted them long ago and they are the standard colors that are used when printing short runs of boxes. In most cases under 5,000 boxes.

Why is that necessary or important?

I usually compare this to the selection of paint colors you might see at a big box home improvement retail store. There are typically a few dozen pre-mixed colors available that are less expensive and readily available. This compared to the hundred or even thousands of paint colors that can be mixed to order.

By using a premixed standard color, the ink cost is reduced making the box more affordable. Perhaps more important—premixed colors are also more consistent and easier to duplicate for different products and different runs.

Two colors with screens on whiteWhy can I not use or spec Pantone colors?

When you check out the available colors at this link, you will see all GCMI colors show a PMS or Pantone equivalent. So in essence, they are Pantone/PMS colors, but the menu or palette of colors is limited.

Doesn’t this limit my creative options?

When you check out the available colors, it is true you only see one red but you also see eight different shades of green and 16 different variations of blue. There are several options to select from that satisfy the vast majority of our customer’s needs.

How can I maximize the impact of my color choices?

The answer to this varies a great deal depending on your graphic design. Sometimes a background color, especially white, can create a lot of POP making the colors you select appear sharper. On a different design, we might suggest the use of screens to create different densities of the same ink color to create contrast.

What if I need help with my graphic design?

We can help guide you and are glad to make suggestions at no charge.  However, if you need to create a design from scratch, or around your logo, we can recommend one of several good graphic designers we have worked with in the past.

As we remind people, not every good web graphic designer is a good packaging graphic designer. Working with someone that is familiar with the flexographic print process for corrugated can save you money and create a more attractive finished product.

Here is the most important “take with” from this post—custom printing boxes is NOT complicated if you are working with an experienced partner who offers the right resources and knows how to deliver a great product at an affordable cost.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at Salazar Packaging with your questions. We are glad to help you and who knows, they may lead to another helpful blog post like this one.

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White on Parade Blue sample pack 1We have been offering this product for over two years and it remains one of the most popular products on our green packaging store,

It is a very eco-friendly product and on most applications it protects costly, fragile products as well or better than either foam or bubble packaging.

Custom Packaging Look with a Stock, Off the Shelf Product

Geami GreenWrap Ready Rolls have too many features and benefits to list them all but one of the things our customers like most is the 36 different color combinations that are available in a product that can be ordered at a one case minimum.

Just a few of the 36 available color combinationsYou can combine the three different Kraft paper color options with one of the twelve available inner tissue colors to create a look that is your own. Perhaps you want to mimic your company colors (red and black) or maybe have a fall seasonal look (Kraft and orange) or an Easter pastel combination in white and lavender.

All of these color combinations may look custom but they are in stock at an affordable price with no long lead times, and no costly minimums.

Free shipping too!

This product can be shipped anywhere in the continental USA, at no cost when ordered on our green packaging store. You can see the available colors and details here:

Please contact us at Salazar Packaging if you have any questions or would like to see a sample of this unique product.

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Free shipping on all stretch filmsGuest post by Debbie Nottelmann

Determining your REAL stretch film cost

As I mentioned in Part 1, there are two ways of looking at cost: roll cost, and unit cost, which is the most accurate because it takes into consideration yield, number of wraps, etc. So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work on determining unit cost. First, you are going to need a few tools to measure all the variables. You can actually purchase a kit from Highlight Industries for $100.

  • A digital, or spring loaded scale that measures in ounces
  • A tape measure
  • A 10” wheel (that marks the film), or a magic marker
  • A spring loaded “fish scale” that measures in lbs.
  • A Force to Load Plate

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!

Have the operator attach the tail of the film to the pallet, hold the 10” star wheel against the roll of film (which places an ink mark on the unstretched film every 10 inches) and start the machine. Put on three good ink marks on the unstretched film. After the pallet is wrapped, located the ink marks and measure the distance between them. That number, minus 10 (the star wheel size) x 10 is your percent stretch. If the distance is 28 inches (28-10=18 x10=180% stretch). If you use a marker and put lines on the unstretched film 1” apart, then you will measure, subtract 1 x 100= % stretch. So if the distance is 3”, minus 1”=2×100= 200%. This helps you to know the yield of the film, the gears you have in your machine and whether you are maximizing the potential of the film.

Next, find a flat surface on the side of the load. I try to measure 10” over and 10” down and place the center of the force plate there. The important thing is to always use the same measurement. Hook the fish scale to the plate, cut a small hole in the film and place the tape measure in the hole while pulling the plate out 3” (again just stay consistent). When the film hits the 3” mark, read the scale and note the amount of force being applied on the load. That is the containment force this particular film is giving you. If you have not had complaints about loads shifting in transit, then the force is probably sufficient. This is a good measure to use when testing other films against your current film. There are films today that give higher yield, are thinner with more footage, and give you much lower costs and higher containment.

Stretch film costs results

Finally, cut the film off and weigh it on your digital or spring loaded scale and make a note of the weight of the film you are putting on the load.

Now you are ready to determine your real cost. You will need to know the specs of the film you are using.

For instance, a 20”, 80gauge, 6000 feet/roll: First determine the weight of the roll (20 x 6000 x 12 (inches/foot) x .8mil/ 30,000= 38.4lbs/roll of net poly (without the core).

Now determine cost/pound of film. If you are paying $45/roll / 38.4 lbs/roll; then the cost/lb of film is $1.17/lb. If the cut off film weighs 8 oz., then 8oz/16oz/lb=.5lb. So .5lb x1.17/lb=$0.586/load.

Of course if you know how many loads per year that gives you a base to compare annual savings with other films. That will be covered in a later post, but if you have questions, please contact us at Salazar Packaging.

Editor’s note please feel free to contact Debbie directly with any questions at . She will be happy to walk you through the process or answer any questions you may have.

Related post:

Two color custom print on exterior of stock boxHere is a piece of advice we frequently give our potential customers – don’t let the one time print plate cost discourage you from creating a GREAT printed box, rather than a nice printed box.

While I have written many times that we can produce a great one color print, especially on a white background, on a Kraft (brown) background a second color can make a print more interesting and provide contrast for an eye catching look.

Lather and Lotions: two colors, well done!

Stock 8-9-4 mailer printed one color insideWhether you visit their store site linked above or their very helpful, instructional blog:, you can get all the assistance and supplies you need to make your own soaps and lotions. If you are one of the growing number of people who are very careful about everything you eat, drink and apply to your body, this is a great site to visit.

After considering several different layouts and designs, they decided to go with a simple one color print on Kraft on the inside of one of our stock sizes (8-1/2” X 9” X 4” lock front mailer) and a two color design on Kraft on the outside of their box. You can see how the green and white they chose for the exterior complement each other and still achieve the great, soft, green image they wanted. I think you’ll agree either color without the other would have not been nearly as attractive.

The cost of the second color?

While it is true a second plate is necessary to print a second color, in most cases it costs between $400 and $600, and it is a onetime expense. The additional cost for the second color per box is usually pennies. The third color on any box is expensive (see the first “related post” below) but the second one is a deal at what is usually between five and 10 cents per box. Combined with a good graphic design, that buys a lot of impact for very little additional cost.

Whether you go with a one or two color print, our advice is NEVER be boring. Once you have made the commitment to brand your packaging, dare to be bold, to stand out in an ever increasingly crowded market.

Please contact Salazar Packaging or call us at 815-609-3600 for a no cost application review so we can help you determine the best way to communicate your message and make a lasting, positive impression.

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Have you seen the new Globe Guard Reusable Box Sealer