Packlane Packlane

Frequently Asked Questions

Box Types & Materials

Artwork, Design, & Sizing

Pricing

Timing

Placing an Order

Shipping

Box Types & Materials

Can I get a sample?

Yes, we're good like that. Fill out this form with your name and delivery address and we'll send you a pre-printed sample for you to admire, hang on your wall, or use as a place mat.

If you decide to place an order, we've deliberately set the minimum number at just 1-25 units (depending on the style) so that you can test out your design on a small quantity, to make sure it's exactly how you want it.

What's the difference between Kraft, Standard White, and Dreamcoat?

Kraft (brown) and Standard White are both matte. Premium, clay-coated Dreamcoat™ produces a lovely glossy sheen on the printed areas, while leaving unprinted areas matte for a striking contrast. Both Standard White and Dreamcoat are white on the inside and out. All are the same weight.

Can you print boxes with a glossy finish?

Indeed we can! We use a premium clay-coated white corrugated material called Dreamcoat™, which creates a gorgeous glossy sheen to the ink when printed. With the Dreamcoat finish, the unprinted areas remain smooth matte while the inked areas are glossy, providing a striking visual texture to your printing. The deeper the ink color you use, the more gloss you'll see, so this is best selected for designs with deep colors over significant portions of the box.

Can you print foils, metallics, or white inks?

We don't currently have the ability to print metallics, foils, or white inks on our boxes. However, it's something we are considering for the future, so stay tuned to our product offerings to be among the first to know when it's available!

Can I order a box type other than mailers, shippers, and classic cartons?

Yes! We also offer tuck-top cartons, which feature the styling and proportion of our classic cartons but are constructed from corrugated cardboard. This allows them to be much larger and sturdier than would be possible with the SBS paperboard that classic cartons are constructed from.

If you have a different box style that you'd like and are considering a larger order of 1000 units or more, please email us to inquire. We're always happy to take a look and let you know if we can help.

Can I ship a mailer box without using any other external packaging?

Definitely. Many of our customers do this and report that our mailer boxes hold up excellently in transit. Hooray!

Can I ship a classic carton without using any other external packaging?

Classic cartons are made from 16pt or 18pt SBS paperboard. While they are excellent choices for display and internal packaging of smaller items, they do not have the rigidity that is necessary to protect your items during shipping. We recommend placing them into a sturdy corrugated external box to protect your valuable contents during shipping.

How thick and heavy will my boxes be?

This largely depends on the dimensions and style you go for. We make default selections for you based on your dimensions, but you can also make special requests. Our default board stock for each style is as follows:

Shipping Box B-Flute 32 ECT - ⅛ inch thickness
Mailer Box E-Flute 32 ECT - 116 inch thickness
We also offer C-Flute corrugated materials by custom order, and mailer boxes can be requested in B-Flute if desired.
Classic Carton 16pt SBS (depending on your box dimensions)

Does this sound confusing? Just drop us a line and we can advise on what would best suit your needs.

Is your corrugated board single or double wall?

Single wall. See the default thicknesses or our box materials.

Are your boxes made in the USA?

Our boxes are 100% printed and produced in the USA, so feel free to brag proudly about that!

Do you use sustainable, recycled materials?

We care passionately about sustainability. The majority of our cardboard is recycled, to the highest degree allowed by the paperboard industry's standards. Corrugated products (Kraft, Standard White, and Dreamcoat™) all contain a majority of recycled material, while others - such as classic cartons constructed from SBS paperboard - contain less due to their manufacturing.

All of our corrugated and paper based materials are from FSC or SFI certified suppliers in North America, and 100% printed in the US. Whenever possible, we source material from local mills with the highest available recycled content.

All of our products are fully recyclable.

Artwork & Design

What do I need to consider when setting up a design for digital printing onto corrugated material?

There are a couple of industry-standard recommendations we would make:

  • Choose a font that is 10 points or larger to ensure high quality display (too small and the words may appear fuzzy)
  • Choose a thicker or bolder font over a skinny one so that no type gets lost in the printing process
  • If you are using light or white fonts on a dark backgrond, embolden the font. Inks bleed a bit and the optical illusion of the dark background both make the text appear smaller and can make it "disappear."

The same goes for any fancy line art or fine detailing.

For more info, see our artwork guidelines.

If you're worried your design might not turn out quite right, just let us know before you make an order and we'll review and advise on any possible issues.

What do I need to consider when setting up a design for digital printing onto paperboard cartons?

There are a couple of industry-standard recommendations:

  • Choose a font that is 6 points or larger to ensure high quality display (too small and the words may appear fuzzy)
  • Choose a thicker or bolder font over a skinny one so that no type gets lost in the printing process
  • Place your type at least .125" away from all edges and folds so that it isn't distorted or cut off when the box is assembled.
  • If you are using light or white fonts on a dark backgrond, embolden the font. Inks bleed a bit and the optical illusion of the dark background both make the text appear smaller and can make it "disappear."

The same goes for any fancy line art or fine detailing.

For more info, see our artwork guidelines.

If you're worried your design might not turn out quite right, just let us know before you make an order and we'll review and advise on any possible issues.

Can you print inside the box?

Yes, we can, on any box style other than classic cartons (paperboard). To do this, we set up your order as a custom order and ask you to use a 2D dieline template to set up both the inside and outside printing. Fire us over an email for a quote or request a dieline file!

Can I add artwork to a 2D template instead of using the 3D box designer?

Sure thing. We can create a dieline template for you, totally free, for whatever size you need. Just send us a request!

When your file is ready, send it to us at contact@packlane.com either as an email attachment or as a share link to a Dropbox or Google Drive folder. See I'm using a 2D dieline template. How do I place my order? for details of how that process works!

Does Packlane offer color matching?

Packlane does not offer color matching services at this time, and cannot guarantee the consistency of colors between multiple orders, or between the website display and resulting print. Additionally, differences between RGB (Red, Green, Blue) and CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK) files can cause significant differences in how color appears. Printing is done using CMYK inks, so if you supply your images in RGB they will be automatically converted to CMYK. RGB colors may appear duller or desaturated when printed (and we’re sure you don’t want that).

While we are unable to guarantee color matching, the vast majority of our customers are pleased with the final appearance of color on their printed boxes.

Should I use RGB or CMYK for my artwork? What does that mean?

Printing is done using CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK) inks, so if you supply your images in RGB (Red, Green, Blue) they will be automatically converted to CMYK.

RGB (Red, Green, Blue) creates color by combining different colors of light. If you look very closely at a TV or computer monitor, every image is made of dots of Red, Green, and Blue lights. If you are creating an image to be displayed on a computer, TV, or lighted sign, you would use RGB mode to specify your colors.

Alternatively, printing is done by combining Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK inks to produce the colors you see. These inks on a cardboard surface don't have the intensity of a light source and are made of different combinations of colors. RGB colors can appear duller or less saturated when printed in CMYK, and in some cases there is not a clear, single equivalent of an RGB color in CMYK, so color shifting can also occur.

This is why we strongly recommend that you provide your artwork in CMYK. If you do any needed conversions yourself, you can then adjust the colors after conversion to appear much closer to your desired result.

Some software programs, such as Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Acrobat have built-in functionality to better represent CMYK colors on computer monitors. If you have one of these software programs installed on your computer, that should help you convert and preview the artwork with better accuracy.

While we are unable to guarantee color matching, the vast majority of our customers are pleased with the final appearance of color on their printed boxes.

Does Packlane offer design services?

Currently, we're unable to offer design services. We recommend working with a local designer who can meet with you in person. If, ultimately, your designer requests a dieline template to lay out your design, please request a free custom dieline template and we'll be happy to generate one for you.

Alternatively, if you have individual artwork elements such as logos, photos, or badges, you can customize dimensions and specifications using our online box designer. Click "Start Customizing" underneath the style you want at Packlane.com to get started. The design tool will also allow you to upload artwork elements to build your design. It updates the price in real-time to account for changes to ink coverage and box size, so make sure not to note unit pricing until your design is complete.

Are the dimensions for inside the box or outside the box?

All of our dimensions are given as inside measurements to make it easy for you to determine if your product will fit. The dimensions are given as Length × Width × Depth.

  • Length is the measurement side-to-side. For mailer boxes, this is the side on which the box opens and hinges.
  • Width is measured front to back
  • Depth is measured from top to bottom

When measuring your contents to determine the box size you need, we recommend adding at least .25 inches to your actual product dimensions, for ease in packing and unpacking.

If you need external measurements for any of our boxes, or if you are planning to nest boxes inside each other, please contact us for sizing advice. We'll be happy to share our formulas for how to do that effectively!

Are the dimensions I pick precisely what I will receive?

We use digital printing with both digital and mechanical cutting and production techniques. While we make every effort to ensure that your dimensions and printing line up precisely as you see them in proofing, there can be up to .125" (plus or minus) variance during manufacturing of any corrugated product. We recommend that you allow for this possibility in both sizing choices and in laying out your artwork.

For ease of packing and unpacking the contents of your boxes, we also recommend that you allow for about .25" on each dimension.

If you need to know external measurements for your box, or if you intend to nest boxes inside each other, please contact us for sizing advice. We'll be happy to share our formulas for how to do that effectively!

Pricing

Is the price affected by the number of colors used in the design?

No, so feel free to channel your inner Picasso to create as colorful a masterpiece as you like. As a digital CMYK printer, a portion of our pricing is based on the total amount of ink coverage on the box, rather than the number of colors you use in your design.

Find out more about specifying color for best results.

What choices affect my pricing?

Pricing is generally a factor of four things:

  • Dimensions (depth is the most influential measurement for cost)
  • Box style
  • Percentage of ink coverage
  • Material
  • Quantity (higher quantities = significant unit cost savings)

If you have questions about pricing or choices that can affect your order, our customer support team is happy to help!

Can you print more than 2000 units?

Absolutely! Just let us know how many you need and we'll get it sorted for you, including advising on the best print methods for the most cost-effective solution.

Timing

How long do I have to wait for my boxes after placing an order?

Not long! No one likes to be kept waiting, so we get your boxes to you as quickly as possible.

During checkout, you'll see an estimated ship date. This is a preliminary date, which assumes that your proof acceptance occurs within 24 hours and that your order doesn't have unusual requirements. This date may be updated when you approve your proof, as well. We do our very best to make these estimates as accurate as possible, but they ultimately are only estimates. If you are working toward a critical, hard deadline, please contact our Customer Support team team as early as possible in the planning process so we can work with you to meet your needs.

When you place your order, you should receive a digital proof within 24 hours. You can make changes and go through as many rounds as you need to get your box design the way you want it, and you can cancel your order during the proofing cycle if necessary.

Once you accept your proof, your order moves into production and no further changes or cancellations are possible. Your order goes though several production lines including printing, cutting, folding, QA, and packing for shipment.

Production turnaround times are highly dependent on selections you make for box size, quantity, and materials. Expedited production may take as few as 8 - 10 calendar days from proof acceptance until we ship. Standard production times generally range from 10 - 20 calendar days after proof acceptance. Not all orders qualify for expedited production. If your order qualifies, you'll see the option available during checkout.

Production turnaround refers to the time after you place your order until it is shipped, not including shipping transit time, which you select during checkout.

Shipping time depends on where you are in the USA. During checkout, you'll see an estimate of ship time to your location when you fill in your shipping address. If you select Expedited production, we strongly recommend that you also select an expedited shipping method.

Need guidance? You can drop us an email to find out how long it should take to get your boxes.

Do you offer rush production?

We're happy to be able to offer expedited/rush production on many of our orders! If your order qualifies, you'll see the option displayed during checkout, along with a "ships by" date associated with the expedite. That estimated date assumes proof approval within 24 hours of placing your order.

Rush production trims significant time from the actual production turnaround of your boxes. We strongly recommend pairing this with an expedited shipping method so you aren't kept waiting while your boxes are in transit to you!

Placing an Order

Will I see a proof when I order?

All new orders receive a 2D digital proof via email within 24 hours of submitting your order. This proof is sent to the email address you enter when you check out, so please keep an eye out for it! We won't move your order along to production until we have your approval. If you haven't received your proof within 24 hours of placing your order, please contact us to ensure we have your correct email address.

If you place an order using the "Restock" button for a previous order on your My Orders page, you will not receive a proof. This is a great way to have us pull the previous artwork and zip it along to production as quickly as possible, so only use it if you have no artwork or other changes from your last order!

How do I change something on the order I just placed?

All changes must occur before you approve the proof for your order! Some changes are quick and easy, and can be done when you receive your proof:

  • Replace an artwork file
  • Add or remove text
  • Change a background color

Other changes may require us to cancel the order and have you resubmit it:

  • Change dimensions \ sizes
  • Change box style
  • Add or take away printing on the inside of the box
  • Change the order quantity
  • Change the material on which the box will be printed

We can make changes to shipping method and shipping address at any time until the order actually ships. However, please be aware that carriers such as UPS do not allow any changes to shipping method once the order is on its way!

If you have a change and are not sure whether it can be made during proofing, let us know as quickly as possible and do not approve the proof for your order until the issue is resolved.

Once your proof has been approved, your order moves into production so no further changes or cancellations can be made.

How do I cancel the order I just placed?

Cancellation can only occur before you approve the proof for your order! If you need to cancel your order email us as quickly as possible and do not approve the proof.

Once your proof has been approved, your order moves into production and no further changes or cancellations can be made.

I'm using a 2D dieline template. How do I place my order?

When you have your artwork ready to go on your dieline template, please send us the layered file (.AI or .PDF) as either an email attachment or by providing a share link to a Dropbox or Google Drive file. We will review the file to ensure that we have no questions about the setup and that all of the components of the file are accessible to us. We'll then send you a custom checkout link to use. You won't need to re-upload the file, as it will already be attached to the link we send you.

Before sending the file, double check it with the guidelines from the dieline template email to be sure it's set up for the best possible print result.

When you email the file or link, include the quantity you wish to order and your choice of materials, if you know them. Please send the information and the file to contact@packlane.com.

How do I order multiple box designs?

Because each of your boxes may pass through proofing and production at different times and with different requirements, we generally ask that you check out each design separately. However, if you are printing multiple graphic designs onto the same box size, style, and material, please contact our Customer Service team to see if an alternative order setup could benefit you.

Shipping

What shipping method should I pick?

For most orders, we ship using UPS. Larger orders (over 200 lbs) ship on a pallet via LTL freight.

UPS offers a number of options for both domestic (inside the US) and international shipping. The options that are available to you, along with UPS' estimated transit times, are shown in the dropdown during checkout after you enter your full shipping address. The definitions and service guarantees for each of the possible options are found below.

If you are expediting production on your order, we strongly suggest that you also select an expedited shipping method to avoid undue delay in shipping transit.

If your order is large and could be over 200 lbs, contact our Customer Support team if you need quick delivery service. We will assist in determining whether expedited freight options are available to help you receive your order more quickly than standard freight.

How can I estimate my shipping costs before placing my order?

Our handy-dandy shipping calculator on the website is pretty smart! The most accurate way to get an estimate is to create a "mockup" order containing boxes in the same size, materials, and style as the boxes you plan to order (no need to worry about artwork for this!). Select the quantity, then click "Place Order." On the checkout page, enter your full shipping address and the calculator will work its magic. You'll see all of the options available to your address for this order, along with shipping costs and estimated transit times.

For large orders where LTL freight may be used, contact our Customer Support team and we'll be happy to help with a freight estimation. We'll need to know your shipping address, as well as the dimensions, style, and quantity of your order, as well as how quickly you are looking to receive it.

I want to change my shipping method. How do I do that?

Contact our Customer Support team and we'll be happy to help change the shipping method for your order! We'll get you quotes for the new methods and will simply charge the difference between any prepaid shipping and the new method when the order goes out.

Because UPS doesn't allow any changes to shipping methods after they pick up an order, it's important to make this change as soon as you know you'll need it and before your order ships.

How will my boxes get to me?

We ship them flat and in stretch-wrapping for protection. For larger orders, all items are shipped on a pallet via LTL freight. All LTL freight deliveries will be to your curbside unless you have arranged an alternative with us beforehand.

You'll receive an email with all the tracking information as soon as your order is on its merry way to you (so you know when to wait by the door with excitement).

Can you split an order and ship to different destinations?

Not at the moment. If you'd like to ship to different destinations, place them as separate orders.

Can you combine my orders for shipping?

We can only guarantee combined shipping when the combined size and quantity of the orders reaches the minimum for an LTL freight shipment. In that case, we hold all of the orders until they are fully complete. Combined shipping cannot be requested for any priority or expedited orders.

Otherwise, we note that your jobs are related, but cannot guarantee combined shipping. Due to prepress and the manufacturing process, there is a possibility that they will enter production at different times or even on different production lines. If you have any questions about combining shipping on your particular order, feel free to message our support team.

How do freight deliveries work?

If you are ordering a large quantity (about 400+ units of a medium-large size box), we may be shipping your order via LTL freight instead of UPS Ground. For those unfamiliar with LTL, this means that your boxes will be packed onto a large 48" x 40" pallet instead of a cardboard parcel. They are carefully stacked, wrapped in cardboard, and then thoroughly shrink wrapped onto the pallet. The shipping price you see on the checkout page includes freight with lift-gate or curbside delivery only.

Freight travels by trucks with "day lanes" usually projected in 2 - 3 day ranges. For example, your order might be placed with a 2 - 4 day lane service or a 5 - 7 day lane service. The days projected are business days and exclude weekends and holidays. As a result, we can provide only a rough estimate of delivery date.

While we happily offer freight to residences, please keep in mind the following:

  • "Curbside" delivery means the pallet will be unloaded to your curb only. If you require it to be brought inside, please message us immediately after placing your order to make arrangements.
  • The freight carrier will call you to coordinate an appointment for delivery. Depending on availability and ease of scheduling, this may delay your delivery date (typically by 1 day.)
  • Freight is typically delivered from 18 wheel trucks. If you feel uncomfortable or are otherwise unable to have large vehicles in your neighborhood, please contact us before placing an order for a large quantity. We may be able to coordinate a solution.

Depending on the LTL carrier, drivers may have minimal customer service training. If you would prefer white-glove service, inside delivery, or pallet removal, please email us and we'll be happy to help.

If any type of freight upgrade or redirection is needed, we reserve the opportunity to apply upgrade costs.

Can you ship my boxes outside the United States?

It can be quite expensive to ship outside of North America, but we do ship internationally. Please fill out your complete address in the checkout form for a shipping estimate before placing your order.

Can you ship to a PO Box?

We ship using UPS services for most orders and via LTL freight for larger orders, neither of which can deliver to a Post Office box. Please provide a street address when placing your order.