Phone: (760) 471-1000

Toll Free: 1-888-776-8000

Made in the U.S.A. icon

Phone: (760) 471-1000

Toll Free: 1-888-776-8000

Fax: (760) 471-1099

Boxes and displays are MADE IN U.S.A.

Packing Fragile Items In Cardboard Cartons

Full overlap carton
Online shopping has made it easier for people to get whatever they want from the comfort of their homes. No more need to spend hours wandering through different stores to find the right item. Now all that is required is access to the internet and the considered choice of search keywords. E-commerce has also helped as even small and medium-sized businesses can afford to make their wares available online.

It can however be tricky to sell fragile items online. This is mainly due to their delicate nature which means they can be easily damaged during shipping. If damaged, the business may remain liable and have to replace the item at their own cost. This can prove expensive and even damage their reputation. Even with packing these items in corrugate cartons, a little extra care has to be taken to increase the chances the items will arrive in optimal condition.

Choose The Right Box

When packing even fragile items, you need to ensure the right size and type of box. It needs to be a good fit that will not allow the contents to shift. And if heavy and fragile, you need to consider the thickness of the box walls. They should have enough fluting to ensure sound protection, but not so much as to add unnecessary cost to shipping.

Use Filler

Even with a well-fitting box, some items can have an odd shape that will leave voids within the cardboard cartons. Fragile items should be kept in a fixed position within the box. Hence the need to fill up this empty space and reduce the risk of damage. There are different packing materials you can use for this including packing peanuts and old newspaper.

However, for the best immobilization, you may want to consider foam or cardboard inserts. These are customized to fit the exact shape of the items and work best in securing them. Be sure to choose eco-friendly packing materials that are functional yet sustainable.


It can also help to ensure your box is properly labeled. This will allow handlers to know that the contents are fragile and that they should take necessary precautions to avoid damage. Many stickers can also be applied, with captions such as “fragile”, “this end up”, and “keep refrigerated” being commonly used. If shipping internationally, you may want to consider labels that share the same message in different languages to ensure proper handling all the way.

Moisture Protection

Cardboard cartons can easily lose structural integrity if they come in contact with liquids. To help prevent such interference that could damage contents, it helps to create a barrier between the carton and such external threats. Judicious application of packaging tape can help here. You can also opt to include the use of vermiculite that helps absorb moisture and absorb impacts.

The Best Internal Packaging Materials When Shipping

Custom foam insert
When designing shipping boxes, there is usually some space allowance given between the item and the interior walls of the box. This space is not usually big, particularly with custom boxes. But it is necessary to provide space for packaging materials that will help provide added protection. These materials help to absorb shock and prevent the contents from shifting around. This padding is also important in case the box is perforated. There is less risk the product will be damaged. Here are some of the best options in interior packaging.

Foam Inserts

This is probably the most stable option for products. The foam material is typically quite rigid yet lightweight, providing an effective way for products to remain stable and insulated within a box. They are a good option for shipping & packing materials for expensive commodities like electronics whose mishandling can lead to internal damage. The inserts tend to be thick, ensuring any damage to the box does not get to the contents within. Cardboard inserts can be used for less expensive and smaller lightweight items.

Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap offers a great cushioning effect that is ideal for protecting fragile items. It is made up of air pockets or bubbles that ably absorb shocks and vibrations, preventing the contents of the box from becoming damaged. It is one of the most lightweight packaging materials, meaning little if any added cost of shipping. There are several variations of bubble wrap including those that come with different sized “bubbles” and self-adhesive options.


Different kinds of paper can be crumpled up and stuffed around objects in a box. They can also be wrapped around the items. This helps to stabilize them and absorb any shocks during transport. If several items are being kept in the same box, this also helps to ensure they do not bang into each other causing breakage. You can use just about any paper with newspaper and brown paper often being chosen.

Packing Peanuts

Traditionally made from polystyrene, these packaging materials are great for filling up awkward spaces around products that are being boxed. When filled in a box, they provide a soft barrier around the product that can absorb shocks, shaking, jostling, and other rough handling. They can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are also recyclable and biodegradable varieties that are safe for the environment. They have also been made non-toxic due to the frequent occurrence of children eating them.

Using A Custom Foam Insert and More to Create Luxury Packaging

Custom Foam Insert
Extra effort and careful consideration is a must when it comes to packaging high-end products. The unboxing experience must be made impressive and delightful. Often the box is considered an extension of the product itself, so its presentation must be up to a similarly high standard. Here are a few tips to help ensure you are meeting or exceeding expectations.

Custom Foam Insert

As part of the beautiful presentation, you need to have your product well protected and encased in a custom insert. And do not just let it be a plain plastic or foam insert. Go the extra mile by having the insert covered in some luxurious fabric like velvet or leather. Cradling the product this way makes for much better visual appeal. This is particularly important if you are using a box with a display window. The background to the product itself should be just as luxuriant for the right impact to be made. You can even embellish with some gold lettering.

Add Scent

Enticing both the visual and olfactory senses is a good way to hook a buyer. It is a common experience when visiting high-end boutiques to notice certain scents in the air designed to tempt shoppers. The scents should be matched to the targeted client of the product and the type of product too. Light flowery scents may be used more advantageously for products targeted at women while muskier smoky aromas will probably better appeal to men. It may be best to infuse such scents on the interior of the box, such as to the custom foam insert rather than the outer box where it will quickly diffuse.

Limit Colors

In the luxury market, it is better to be understated than bold. Many commercial brands like to make use of vivid colors to draw attention to their product. In the luxury segment, however, less is more. When designing your packaging, limit the mix of colors. You can still create a striking effect without using all the colors of the rainbow. Aim for an overall elegant look that reflects the identity and quality of your product.

Minimize Branding

Your packaging is a good way to promote your brand. But try to limit what you put on display. Use just your brand name or a specially designed logo. Let this and your brand colors denote your identity. If you are required to add details such as product ingredients, do so in small lettering at the back or side of the packaging. Choose a simple but attractive font and consider embossing.

How Do Custom Foam Insert Pieces Help in Packaging?

Custom Foam Insert
You may be experiencing excess amounts of damages for your items, products, equipment or components when shipping or transporting them. It may also be that your expensive tools are getting lost on-site or you need a professional way you can present your brand or samples in a sales presentation to help in boosting orders. Or you could be seeking brand differentiation in a retail market that is saturated. All these are possible situations where you may need to use custom foam inserts. Regardless of the industry, application, or budget, using a custom foam insert is able to help you meet these goals and it can have a direct positive impact not only on operations but also on the profitability of your retail business.

So how can foam inserts help your business?

Extra Layer of Packaging Protection

When you use a custom made foam inserts, they provide a cushioning for high-end items or high ticket items. When you place the inserts, they reduce the chances of damage and the cost of damage during transit. Your products arrive in good form and you don’t have to worry about breakages. For example, you can cushion items like smartphones, their accessories, TV sets, radios, appliances, and other high-end products.

Quality Finishes for Enhanced Sales

The inserts can have high-quality finishes to help enhance brand awareness and increase sales of high-end and luxury consumer products. Imagine how it would feel when you open a package and you find that it has a unique insert design with vibrant colors and probably some branding message on it? It feels more connected with the product or brand. The customer has the feeling that the product seller or the retail store understands the touchpoints to engage with their clients. It’s not typical for many brands to do this, however, when you do it, it distances you from the crowd. The customers you serve with the products will be proud to buy them from you because they are finding unique features in it including the packaging.

“Shadow Board” To Prevent Loss of Product or Item

Using foam dividers and inserts helps provide a board where you place the designated items or accessories. For example, if it’s a smartphone, it may have a board with different cuts or designs where the phone goes, the charger is placed, and the pen is put. In the event that the box accidentally opens, you can know if there is something missing. The shadow board product placement foam helps prevent loss of accessories and items in packaging. It also helps in tool control where you can see which tools haven’t been placed in the box before leaving the site.

Whether it’s convoluted foam or customized inserts, you need to ensure that they are designed to meet your packaging needs. It is a bit expensive to design and produce them, however, when you got them, you can use them for a lifetime. Also, the lead time for producing the customized inserts is more compared to the pick and pluck foam inserts. However, it is worth the wait because you get pieces that will last for longer and you reuse them over and over again for your shipping needs.

Besides, you will ensure that you don’t get complaints about defective products while on transit because the packaging space has been optimized with the use of inserts. Retail businesses, as well as manufacturing companies, can use these accessories for branding their products and adding value to the items they ship. The design options for these pieces of inserts and dividers are many, you just have to work creatively with the packaging designers.

The Importance of a Good Box Insert

Box Inserts

Many online businesses that ship products to their customers make a big mistake because they do not bother with finding a good box insert. It is happening every day. People order something from an online website. They wait anxiously for it to arrive. When it does arrive, people look at the box and begin to open it. When they open up the product inside, they realize that it is broken. This leads to a lot of headaches for different people.

The person that received the damaged product expects to get what they paid for and they contact the company they bought the product from. That company may try to blame the shopper and try to make them pay for it. Regardless of how it works out in the end, someone is out money, whether it is the customer, the shipper or the seller. All of this can often be avoided if a good box insert had been used in the first place.

What does the Insert Do?

Most boxes that are used to ship products are bigger than the product themselves. That means the shipper has to include some type of material to keep the items inside the box from shifting around during the shipping process. If a product is not very fragile and is not likely to be broken if it is shaken around, the type of packaging material does not have to be very protective. The more fragile a product is, the more important the packaging material becomes.

An insert is designed to fit around a product. If foam inserts are used, it can actually conform to the shape of the product. That gives the product even more protection. The product is held securely in place to prevent it from moving around. The insert protects the product from being struck by anything during the shipping. The result of the use of inserts is products that are delivered without any damage and no money is lost by anyone involved.

Businesses that are shipping products need to decide when it makes sense to use foam inserts or any other inserts in their boxes. The answer is often based on the cost of the inserts versus the likelihood that the product can be damaged during shipping. That cost has to include the value of a happy customer that receives a product that is undamaged. While it is not always easy to figure out when to use these in a business, it is often smart for online businesses to err on the side of caution.

How Custom Box Inserts can Enhance your Product

You might not think that box inserts can have much impact on your products. After all, isn’t it more about the products you sell and not the box that you provide them in? While it is true that you must sell a quality product in order to stay in business, custom box inserts can greatly enhance the feeling your customers get when they open your products. This is especially true if the product being sold is one of high value. Your customers would much rather open a box with beautifully colored, protective packaging rather than seeing the product they just spent a lot of money on flopping around haphazardly in a box.

The Importance of Color

You might not give much thought to the color of the custom foam insert that you purchase for your products, but it plays an important role. The foam is just as important as the box, not only because it protects your product from becoming damaged, but because the color can invoke certain feelings in your customers. Deep colors that invoke happiness, such as red, orange, or yellow are a great way to get the good feelings flowing when your customers open your boxes. If you are selling jewelry or anything of emotional value that is similar, deep shades of these colors, especially red, are very effective at invoking the right feelings when the box is carefully opened.

The Importance of the Shape

Just as important as the color is the shape of the custom box inserts that you use. The shape should be one that cradles the product you are selling to ensure its safety during transport or even after it is in the hands of your customer. The right insert will protect all sides of the product, ensuring that it does not get jostled around in the box, and remains safely protected no matter where it may go. When you combine the custom foam inserts with a custom box that was made just for your products, you ensure that your items are well protected and provide the good feelings that customers desire when they open your boxes or when they give them as gifts to others.

Don’t overlook the need for custom box inserts for each of your products that have value, need protection, or just need a little bit of excitement added to ensure that good feeling whenever anyone opens the box.

Custom Box Inserts Contribute to Product Success

Custom box inserts serve a variety of important functions for many products. Some of these functions protect product integrity while others add class and organization to the overall presentation of the product. All of these qualities help to ensure that your products arrive safely, stand out and make a positive mark on customers.

Customized inserts can be made from various materials and take on various shapes and sizes to meet specific product and packaging requirements. They can fit into boxes to separate varying items from mixing or colliding, or they can be used to hold delicate items snugly and securely.

Benefits of Custom Box Inserts

The frontline benefit to using box inserts is that they help to successfully get your product through the ravages of shipping where packages are passed, bumped, bounced and thrown around. Customer disappointment can run deep and often be unforgiving if they have waited days or weeks only to receive damaged goods.

The next step is that inserts add stability to stored products once they arrive. For example, it is a major plus to provide a foam insert in box containing the newest internet tablet where it can be safely kept when not in use. Jewelry, game pieces, rare collectables and other similar items will benefit from being snugly tucked away into their secure insert resting places.

One of most noticeable advantages of using box inserts is that they add to the presentation effect of your product. The product may be the royal guest demanding all the attention, but how that guest is admonished, dressed and presented makes the majority of the impression. Custom box inserts play the supporting role that elevate and isolate your star product into the limelight for customer viewing.

Another key role that inserts play lies in the advertising and message delivery area. Brand advertising, important warnings, instructional messages and other vital information can be readily displayed in open view by having them printed on inserts. This is often a better approach than printing such information on slips of paper that tucked away and easily lost or discarded.

All of these benefits add to the quality, integrity, appearance and helpfulness of your product. If these goals are achieved then business success is also achieved as satisfied customers return for other products that they know will be equally and attractively housed in quality custom box inserts.

Protect Contents with Custom Box Inserts

Boxes are used to hold many different things. They can come in all shapes and sizes. The items are often put into a box to help protect them. The one thing that consumers do not want to happen when they open a box is to see that the contents have been damaged. To help protect the contents it is very common to use box inserts.

The box inserts can come in many different forms. They can be made of the same cardboard that the box is made of or they can be padded to provide more protection for the contents. There are many box inserts that come in the one size fits all variety. These inserts will be made to fit the different sizes of boxes that are being used, but they will not be specifically designed for what is going to be placed in the boxes.

That is where custom box inserts can come into play. The custom box inserts can be designed to fit around the items that are going in the box. If these inserts are being used for a fragile item such as glassware, they can help cushion and protect the glassware from moving around as the box is being moved. The ability to fit the inserts to the specific contents of the box is one of the keys to delivering the product that is inside the box safely and intact.

Inserts can come in all shapes and sizes. They can be made to hold a single item in the box or they can be made to hold multiple items in the same box. They can be designed to fit around the product or they can be designed for the product to fit into the insert. Because they are a custom design there is virtually no limit to how they can work.

The material that is used for the box inserts will also vary. Foam is a product that can be formed into any shape that is needed easily. Cardboard is often a less expensive option for inserts, but it may not provide the same level of protection as the foam inserts are doing. When deciding on what type of inserts to use in the boxes, it is important to look at how they will be used.

  • Packing for shipping – inserts will need to provide more protection
  • For separating product – When a box contains multiple products, the inserts can keep them separate

Once the use of the inserts is determined, it is a matter of finding the right custom box inserts.

Types of Custom Foam Inserts

The concept of custom foam inserts allows you to create a perfect design, either by yourself or by have the items sent to a manufacturer, where they are designed for you using state-of-the-art fabricating equipment, to create an insert that holds and protects the items it is intended for.

The foam chosen is essential to the security of the items to be stored in the container. There are two different types of foam used with a custom foam insert: Polyethylene (PE) and Polyurethane (Ester). The PE foam is fairly dense and long-lasting; easy to cut with a knife. It is slightly pliable and offers a secure, snug fit. It is best used for medium to heavy weight objects that need to be secured in place, like, the handgun. It is also good for objects that can absorb a modest amount of shock without being damaged, like an electric drill. The PE foam is suitable for most designs and recommended when one is in doubt. It is available in solid and anti-static options.

The Polyurethane (Charcoal Ester Foam) is much more spongy and forgiving, exhibiting excellent shock absorption. It is a soft yet durable foam, which makes it good for more delicate objects that may break on modest impact, like crystal stemware. It is best for complex or irregularly-shaped objects like a digital SLR camera. It is available in solid, pick and pluck (Diced), convoluted and anti-atatic options.

Case Foam Options offer different ways to configure the foam into your case. There is the solid foam pad which makes the base foam of the case and comes in both PE and Ester. The solid foam is appropriate as lid foam in situations where case items sit flush with the surface of the base. It can also be cut with a utility knife to make customized cavities. The convoluted option is soft but made from a study PE. It is most used as lid foam because of its ability to gently secure in place any items that may protrude above the surface of the foam. It can also be used as a base foam for thinner cases, and is good for holding thin objects so that there is no movement during transportation. The diced option is where one now creates their own insert. It comes with a solid base pad on the bottom and the remainder is filled with PE foam that’s pre-cut into removable cubes. Simply remove the individual cubes to create a custom-sized space in which to fit the items.

Box Inserts How To Showcase Your Product

Do you need to present your latest cologne? How about your top of the line cosmetics? What about your special extravagant gadgets? Should your precious diamonds be showcased in a grocery bag? It probably should not. All these specialty items need a step-up from the norm. You want to portray special, but how? These specialty items need the final touch. It needs to be presented. It needs to be highlighted. It needs to portray classiness and elegance. It needs to shout out to the world that it is special, but how? Use high quality Cactus Container die cut boxes along with a perfectly fitted box insert.

When your specialty item comes with its own unique special box with its own box insert, it really does portray special. Let’s think of cologne, for example. That cologne comes in its own box, not to mention the perfectly fittedbox insert that it comes with. The colognes bottle contour fits exactly within its uniquely shaped box insert. Any other item, including other colognes, will not fit into this box insert. Only this unique cologne can fit in the box insert. Now that portrays specialness and uniqueness.

This holds true for cosmetics. Cosmetics packaged and hung on store shelves inevitably come with a lower price range consumers will subconsciously pay. Place cosmetics in a high quality die cut boxes along with a perfectly fitted box insert, and voila, the price margin increases substantially. Box inserts portray top of the line cosmetics. When consumers see that retailers go above and beyond to protect the cosmetics by using box inserts, it is assumed that the cosmetics in it are of superb quality and classiness.

A diamond is a girl’s best friend, as they say. We see time and time again, the man proposing with a small high-quality jewelry box. Now what makes that diamond ring stand up? No, it’s not a string that is holding this ring in place. It’s being held up by a luxurious velvety foam insert. A diamond is a precious gem in itself. It deserves the best of the best packaging. What better way to showcase and highlight your precious gem than by placing it a superb quality die cut box along with a velvety foam box insert.

Just as peacocks shows off their feathers to attract attention, why not use the box insert for the same purpose? Thecustom box insert, such as a foam insert come in array of vibrant rich colors. Use the colors to your advantage and attract consumers from your rivals. Leave the product cradled in its custom box insert, as this too showcases your product. A custom foam insert is just like an entertainer on stage. They’re propped up on stage, allowing all to see them vividly. The custom foam insert is also propped up on stage, allowing your product to be seen vividly. Thecustom foam inserts allow your product to outshine the rivals.

Movie character James Bond is known for his special gadgets and weapons. They’re almost always encased and protected by the interior convoluted foam packaging. Convoluted foam look just like egg crates. The difference is that they are made of polyurethane foam. A convoluted foam insert package is designed to grab your “gadgets” and control product movement. A convoluted foam packaging is designed to cushion and resist impact. Use the convoluted foam to your advantage to resist possible bumps and jolts along the road.

Use your box insert to your favor by creating a unique custom box insert. Take advantage of the richly coloredfoam inserts to showcase your product. Remember custom foam inserts depict uniqueness and pizzazz. Custom box inserts display and support your delicate and precious jewelry. Lastly a type of box insert called convoluted foam packaging cushion and resist impact. Protect your bottle of wine, hunting rifles, or special gadgets with convoluted foam packaging.

The next time you need to protect or present specialness, elegance and classiness, think of Cactus Containers and the wide assortment of box inserts. Custom box inserts such as a foam insert can be created in any shape or foam.Box inserts incorporated with your product is your step up from the ordinary. Custom box inserts depict sophistication and grace.

Foam Inserts Their Types And Uses

How did the foam insert revolutionize packing and shipping? From the time Otto Bayer and other inventors invented Polyurethane in the late 1930s, polyurethane had been widely used as upholstery, insulation for buildings, as well as packing and shipping. Boxes provide product protection by themselves but often require inner components to cushion fragile contents. To eliminate breakage, the fragile items need to be cushioned by softness keeping the products intact. It also needs to absorb shock and pressure and hence, foam inserts is a natural part of the packing and shipping industry.

Foam inserts made of polyurethane foam is a perfectly ideal shipping insert because the material itself is so soft. Simultaneously, the same soft foam insert material is an outstanding shock absorber, perfect for protecting even the most fragile item. Foam inserts are light weight, perfect for reducing shipping cost. It’s the best of both worlds, cushioning, resisting movement while still absorbing outside shock and pressure.

At Cactus Container, a computer controlled ban saw is used to cut foam inserts. The steel blades are set to 15,000 lbs per square inch, allowing a precise cut foam insert. The customized cut foam insert is ideal for items such as a custom tool foam insert, computer hardware or electronics.

Convoluted foam has cone shaped peaks and valleys. The convoluted foam is similarly shaped like egg crates. When the convoluted foam inserts are placed together, the pieces interlock. The teeth-like texture of convoluted foam is more efficient than a flat foam insert. The impact is diffused at the base of the cone. The tip of each foam absorbs pressure, impact, and shock.

Similar to a convoluted foam insert are corrugated partitions. Corrugated partitions are shaped with up and down waves, which look like the ridges of a potato chip. The curves of a corrugated partition acts as a cushion. The corrugated partition resist impact . It’s curvy shape withstand outside pressure, securing and keeping the interior product intact.

A different box insert is a chipboard partition. It is typically smooth texture and at a much lower cost compared to corrugated partitions. While it still protects the product during packaging and shipping, a chipboard partition require less warehouse space than the corrugated partitions.

Use modernized and revolutionary packing and shipping supplies. Let Cactus Container guide you through the easy steps of incorporating box inserts with your packing, storing, and shipping needs.