What is a Carton Box? Meaning, Types and Uses

Carton box used for packaging
Carton box used for packaging
Resource: https://www.refrigeratedfrozenfood.com

You see it everywhere; at the supermarket, in the pantry, and even in the recycling bin. It’s the carton box! But what is carton box and why is it so important in the packaging industry? Also, what are some of the key features that make it different from other types of packaging? All these questions will be answered in this article, so read on to find out.

What is Carton Box?

The carton box is a popular packaging product the world over. However, it often gets confused with other types of boxes used to ship products or store items. So we will start with the meaning of carton box and how it differs from other “boxes”.

Carton box Meaning

A carton box is defined as a box or packaging container that’s made out of paperboard or carton board. Paperboard is a type of paper that’s thick and stiff. It differs from regular paper in that it’s tougher and more durable.

You will usually find cartons used to package smaller or lightweight products such as cereals, eggs, and many consumer goods such as footwear and electronics. In these uses, the packaging carton box performs these main functions:

  • Product containment
  • Product protection
  • Product preservation
  • Passing information to consumer
  • Creating and advancing brand awareness

Most carton boxes for packaging purposes are shipped flat to be assembled by the customer or at the point of sale. Some, like the rigid carton, are designed as pre-assembled or set up boxes. Because cartons are easy to erect and pack, they are a popular choice for many businesses.

History of Carton Box

The carton box has come a long way. The first carton believed to have been invented in the 1840s by Charles Henry Foyle. However, the carton we know today didn’t come about until 1879 when Robert Gair discovered a way to produce the product in large quantities.

The first carton box was made out of paperboard and often used to protect luxurious items. These paper boxes were a success, and soon other businesses began using them to package their products.

Paperboard cartons became increasingly popular in the 1900s as more and more businesses began using them to package their products. The boxes were a convenient and cost-effective way to ship and store products.

The carton Box Industry Today

The carton box industry is worth billions of dollars today. According to a recent report by Market Research Future, the global market for carton boxes is expected to reach $338 billion by 2027.

The carton box market has grown significantly in recent years due to the rise in online shopping, with retailers using carton boxes to package and ship their products to customers all over the world.

Carton boxes are also used in the food and beverage industry to package food products such as cereal, eggs, and milk. There are many different types of carton boxes, and the type of box you need depends on the product you’re packaging.

Folding carton box
Folding carton box
Resource: https://www.refrigeratedfrozenfood.com

Main Carton Box Types

There are many different types of carton boxes, and businesses can choose the type that best suits their packaging or shipping requirements. Here, we will focus on the main types of the product as defined by their structure and strength levels.

Folding Carton Box

The folding carton box is the most common type of carton box today. It’s made out of paperboard that’s been printed and then cut, folded, and glued to create a box.

Made out of a single piece of paperboard, folding cartons are much lighter and less expensive than rigid cartons- and less costly. These qualities make the box a favorite for retail packaging needs.

Folding cartons are also easy to assemble and often used to package products such as cereal, eggs, and milk. Other folding carton packaging applications include small electronics, cosmetics, and similar retail items.

Rigid or Setup Carton Box

The rigid or setup carton is a stronger and more durable type of box. It’s often made out of a different (but stronger) type of paperboard called chipboard. To make it crash-proof, the sides are reinforced by designing the box as a telescoping product.

That means the rigid carton box features a separate bottom and top, with one piece sliding into the other. The result is a box that’s much stronger than a folding carton and can better protect items during shipping.

Rigid or setup carton boxes are more expensive than folding cartons, but offer more protection for products. They are often used to package expensive and delicate items such as luxury goods, collector’s items, or electronics. A good example of a rigid carton is the iPhone box.

Uses of carton box in the retail industry
Uses of carton box in the retail industry
Resource: https://www.packagingstrategies.com

Common Carton Box Uses

Carton box uses span the entire retail industry and range from packaging cereal to shipping cosmetics. Here are some of the most common uses for carton boxes:

Carton Box for Shipping

Every single day, goods worth billions of dollars are packaged or shipped to different regions across the world. And with the rise of online shopping, this number is only expected to grow.

Carton boxes are among the most common type of primary packaging. Using carton boxes for shipping offers a cost-effective and convenient way to protect products that are in transit.

Shipping cartons, when made from non-folding material such as chipboard, can be easily stacked on top of each other and used to package products for shipment by mail or courier.

Carton Box for Food

Carton boxes are also used in the food industry to package and ship food products. They are often used to package cereal, eggs, milk, and other food items.

When packaging these products, food-grade carton boxes made out of food-safe materials help to prevent contamination.

Using a carton box for food packaging offers many benefits, such as convenience, cost-effectiveness, and protection from damage.

Carton Box for Moving

A carton for shifting is a sturdy and reliable type of packaging used to move homes or offices. These boxes are designed to protect your precious belongings from damage during the move.

A carton box for moving house will also be a larger size than the standard retail carton box and studier to protect your belongings during transit.

When heavier items are to be moved, though, larger and stronger corrugated boxes are more preferred than paperboard cartons.

Display Carton Box

When cartons are not shipping items or moving things, they are often used as display boxes. This is a type of carton box that’s designed to showcase and protect products on store shelves.

Display cartons are often used to display small electronics, cosmetics, and other retail products. They offer protection for the product and can be printed with branding or marketing messages.

A display carton box is usually a unique shape or construction. A display carton box is usually a unique. It may have a die-cut window or be made with a removable top to allow customers see the product inside.

Carton Box for Gift Packaging

Carton box gift packaging is also a popular use of the carton product. The carton is often used to package and ship gifts, especially when the gift is fragile.

Gift carton boxes usually have a decorative design in addition to offering protection for the contents inside. They are also designed to be safe and easy to ship.

When choosing a carton box for gifting, it’s important to choose one that’s the right size and shape for the gift. It should also be sturdy enough to protect the contents during transit.

Pharmaceutical Cartons

The pharmaceutical industry also uses cartons to package and ship medication. These cartons are often made out of food-grade paperboard and printed with health warnings and dosage information.

Carton boxes used in the pharmaceutical industry need to meet strict regulations to ensure the safety of the products they are packaging. Carton box companies ensure that by using the right paperboard grade and finish.

Pharmaceutical cartons must also Pharmaceutical cartons must also be tamper-resistant and child-resistant to ensure the safety of the medication inside.

Carton box for milk packaging
Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGrMA5OpGF4

Carton vs. Box

From the carton box description so far, is it a carton or box? Granted, cartons and boxes are all containers. However, while a carton is a box, a box isn’t always a carton.

So, what’s the difference between a carton and boxes? It all comes down to the material they’re made out of and their intended purpose.

Carton boxes are a specific type of box that’s made out of paperboard. On the other hand, boxes can be made out of different materials such as plastic, metal, or even wood.

The box-carton difference does not end there. While cartons while cartons are generally used for packaging consumer goods, boxes are used for a variety of purposes ranging from storage to moving.


The carton box is an important type of packaging product in a wide variety of industries. From food to pharmaceuticals, carton boxes play a vital role in packaging and shipping products all over the world. They offer many benefits such as protection, convenience, cost-effectiveness, and can be easily customized to meet the needs of any business.

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