How to Pack a Game Box

So, we pack and ship a lot of games.  If you ever have to ship a box of games, here are a few tips and things to look out for to reduce dings.

Why boxes are damaged during shipping:

  • Box contents are too heavy
  • Cardboard box material is too light – often results in dinged corners when the packing box is dropped corner side up.
  • Items are packed flat and stacked on end (i.e. horizontal and vertical at same time)
    • this often leads to the horizontally packed boxes pushing into the vertically packed box causing crushing damage due to weight of the horizontally boxed games (possible even when resting)
  • Games slide around on the inside of the box due to no packing material
  • Forklift driven into box

General packing tips:

  • Use the right sized box.
    • Slightly larger is best as you can then use corner protectors (cardboard cut and inserted in corners)
  • Try to keep it to the same size items if possible (often not)
  • Use packing material to fill ‘gaps’ when items are of different sizes.
    • paper is great for volume but not in tightly packed corners
    • use cardboard protectors at edges of box to give extra stability or where horizontal / vertical boxes meet especially if there is sliding space
    • styrofoam peanuts are great for weird sizes which require more stability.  Shake the box a bit once you add peanuts, it’ll settle them and sometimes require you to add more peanuts for stability
  • If possible, keep boxes packed if there is a significant weight difference between boxes and/or a game box is significantly thinner than normal (e.g. RoboRally, Dust Tactics Core Set)
  • Pack so that weight is towards the centre of the box.  If it is weighted towards one end or the other, it makes the box easier to drop
  • Seal edges especially for heavier boxes (otherwise the box gets picked up by the edges and can cause tears and dropping)
  • When box is sealed, there should be no movement in the box if shaken.  If there is, repack!

What you don’t have to worry about:

  • If you are using heavy (industrial) cardboard; the games can be right up against the box.  The cardboard material in the box added to the gamebox material itself will protect it against most drops
  • Sleeves can be used as packing material if you are shipping them – they compress nicely and can’t be ‘damaged’ per se
  • Inserting cardboard between packed boxes.  If you pack the box right, there should be no sliding so this is unnecessary.