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5 Must-Ask Questions for Corrugated Box Suppliers

Looking for new corrugated box suppliers can be time-consuming and complex. You need to find vendors that offer your desired packaging on time and with your specific requirements. This is easier said than done.

For example, you might find businesses that align with your packaging specs but are not within your budget. Thus, to ensure you build a long-term and successful relationship with your corrugated box suppliers, we have compiled a list of must-ask questions to help you determine their product and service quality and if they fit your business.

  1. What Products and Services Do You Offer?

When shortlisting corrugated box suppliers for your business, you first need to ask whether they offer the specific products and services you are looking for.

For instance, do they have customized heavy-duty cardboard boxes or poly mailers? Do they have white cardboard boxes of varying heights? Do they have external packaging materials, such as tapes, adhesives, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, etc.? If the answer is yes, you can ask them for samples. If not, ask them for other vendors and recommendations; they can help guide you better as they know the industry.

  1. Do You Have a Minimum Order Value?

 A minimum order value refers to the minimum amount of corrugated boxes you have to order from a supplier. This can vary from supplier to supplier. For example, large suppliers have a larger order minimum to save on manufacturing costs, ranging from 3,000 to 30,000 units. But, smaller manufacturers can produce up to 100 to 500 units minimum.

Remember one thing, though; the smaller the order, the higher the price per unit. On the other hand, a larger order reduces the cost per unit but still requires a substantial upfront amount. Thus, analyze your packaging budget, choose, and scale as you grow.

  1. What Are Your Startup Fees?

Many corrugated box suppliers have a startup fee in place. This is similar to any business or profession asking for a fee for showing up. For packaging suppliers, the startup fee includes the raw materials, the labor costs, and the equipment.

Find a supplier whose startup fee falls within your budget. Many suppliers might lower their cost per unit to entice potential clients, but the higher startup fees make up for their profit.

  1. Do You Offer Discounts?

If you find a corrugated box supplier that ticks all boxes but doesn’t fall within your budget, inquire about their bundles and discounts. Do they offer any discounts for first-time customers? Is there any membership you can join? If so, what are the perks? Do they get better deals? Packaging suppliers are willing to make price adjustments if you know there is a chance of building a long-term working relationship.

  1. What Are Your Lead Times?

This is the most important question for corrugated box suppliers – lead times. A lead time is a minimum time a vendor requires to complete your order and deliver it to your doorstep. This helps determine the ordering process and how early you need to order for your next batch before the first one runs out, so you don’t face any delays.


Determining whether a corrugated box supplier is trustworthy is risky and time-consuming. However, by asking these questions, you can quickly narrow your candidate list and choose one that aligns with your business goals, values, shipping locations, and budget.

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