Five cardboard box alternatives for online order fulfilment

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Many retailers experience “record breaking” orders for their goods online, some are also managing the difficulties of corrugate shortages driven by the unprecedented demand for boxes.

If you are struggling to source boxes to fulfil customer orders, here are five cardboard box alternatives that you may want to consider switching to:

Mailing bags

Mailing Bags

Obviously taking the size of your items into consideration, soft mailers are a great way to ensure that your products can be delivered through the letterbox, reducing the need for to leave parcels on the doorstep or “whilst you were out…” notifications.

For non-fragile items with no hard corners, like clothing or soft furnishings, mailing bags are a great option. Traditionally available in plastic, there are now 100% paper options available if you are looking to improve the sustainability of your packaging.

Cushioned Envelopes

Cushioned Envelopes

For more fragile items, or items with rigid corners that could incur damage, use a cushioned envelope. They are available in a variety of linings including bubble wrap, paper fluting or padded with recycled paper and therefore offer excellent cushioning. They are great for protecting your products from knocks and drops in transit.

Solid Board Envelopes

Solid Board Envelopes

For items like books or video games, consider using solid board postal envelopes. The rigid outer provides good product protection.  Envelopes are gusseted to expand to a width of 30mm, making them suitable for use with a variety of items

postal wrap

Postal wraps

Not quite a box and not an envelope… a postal wrap falls somewhere in between. Cleverly designed, these wraps fit tightly around flat profiled items. They are great for items such as books, board games and jigsaws. They close neatly with a self-sealing strip so no additional packaging is required.

postal tubes

Postal tubes

Use postal tubes for longer “odd” shaped items – not just posters! Products such as umbrellas, golf clubs, flask bottles and cooking utensils work well.  They come with a plastic end cap to hold your products in place. We recommend closing with tape too if you are shipping heavy items.


If you are looking for a packaging solution to meet your product range or cardboard box alternatives, why not contact Macfarlane Packaging today?

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