Pallet Boxes: How To Beat The Cardboard Shortage

26 May 2021

Pallet Boxes: How To Beat The Cardboard Shortage

The Cardboard Shortage

It’s no secret that pallet boxes and other cardboard boxes are getting harder to source. If you order boxes for your business, you will have noticed prices and lead times start to creep up over the last 12 months. According to an article by The Times, a nationwide shortage of cardboard is increasing costs, affecting productivity and leading to significant delays. In March this year, The Confederation of Paper Industries stated that demand for cardboard was five years ahead of where it was expected to be before the pandemic.

What’s Causing The Cardboard Shortage?

These shortages have been largely caused by problems arising from the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit. As non-essential shops closed, people were forced to shop exclusively online. At the same time, businesses had to adjust to function solely as e-commerce businesses. This meant many more cardboard boxes were needed to ship products out to customers. According to The Guardian, Royal Mail delivered 496 million parcels in the last 3 months of 2020 alone. This was an increase of 30% from the same period the year before. As cardboard became scarce, some companies began to stockpile, increasing the problem.

Stockpiling Cardboard Pallet Boxes

There has also been a reduction in cardboard finding its way back into the recycling stream as more cardboard is piling up in people’s homes. This has been reported by the BBC. Unfortunately, with demand for cardboard higher than ever, these problems are expected to worsen. Last year Statista forecasted a spend of £80,678 million on e-commerce alone in 2021.

Due to these issues the current process of buying boxes from a manufacturer is largely linear, which is causing significant delays. You buy boxes from a manufacturer, use the box once and hope the box gets recycled. It’s then a case of waiting for the board to get back into the system to get recycled before you can buy more boxes.

Linear Box Buying Model

So How Can You Mitigate Cardboard Shortages?

Luckily, there is an alternative that allows you to beat the lead times and reduce your packaging spend in a way that positively impacts the environment.


Cardboard Box Reuse

Reuseabox revolutionises the way companies like yours pack their products by making it easy to reuse cardboard boxes. We work with large manufacturers to divert their reusable boxes away from the waste stream for a second use. A pallet box that was once used to ship machine parts into a factory, can now be used to ship textiles to customers. When you choose to reuse, you receive like-new boxes that are better for the environment. And you don’t have to wait for them.

Reuseabox Model

How The Reuseabox Model Works

For Companies Who Use Large Volumes Of  Pallet Boxes

The Reuseabox Model enables you to buy used pallet boxes in volume to pack your products. These boxes are strong and sturdy by design and can easily be reused multiple times.


For Companies Who Want To Reuse Their Own Packaging

After talking to multiple companies, we’ve introduced a way that they can reuse their own cardboard boxes. It’s easy to implement and significantly reduces your carbon footprint. Here’s how it works:

  1. Buy once used pallet boxes from Reuseabox.
  2. Pack the boxes and ship out to your customers.
  3. Reuseabox collect the used pallet boxes from your customers.
  4. Reuseabox quality check the boxes, re-pack them and send them back to you for another use.

Reuseabo Pallet Boxes Circular Model

The Benefits Of Reusing Pallet Boxes

1. Low Cost Packaging

Buying once used pallet boxes for your business is significantly cheaper than buying brand new. But is a once used box good quality? Pallet boxes are designed to be one of the strongest and most durable types of cardboard box. They are often triple wall in strength and are stitched along the seams. You may have found it difficult to recycle pallet boxes yourself. The boxes are so strong that they often break baling machines. This makes them perfect for using in a Reuseabox Model. The boxes will of course need to be recycled eventually, but they can often be reused up to 4 or 5 times. This can have a significant effect on your packaging spend.

6 Layer Corrugated Board

Pallet Box With 6 Layers Of Fluting Thanks To A Triple Wall Inner Sleeve

2. 0 Lead Times

Buying once used pallet boxes is the quickest and easiest way to source your packaging. At Reuseabox, we don’t have to ‘make’ a used box, so we don’t have lead times. We have long term contracts with our suppliers that enable us to produce large volumes of the same used box. We also hold large quantities in stock at all times. This means we can meet changing demands easily.


3. Environmentally Sustainable Packaging

We understand that companies are under increasing pressure to find more circular packaging solutions. The government has set an ambitious target of reaching Net Zero Carbon by 2050. To achieve this all businesses must act now to find ways of reducing their carbon footprint. Up until recently most companies have focused on reducing their use of single use plastic. But it is better to reduce and reuse rather than switch to a different type of packaging that carries its own carbon footprint.

Switch to once used pallet boxes for the most sustainable method of packing your products. Cardboard manufacturing is an intensive process that requires large amounts of water, energy and pulp which is sourced from trees. The process also produces large amounts of carbon. When you reuse cardboard just once, you completely remove these harmful processes. Cardboard Box Reuse is built on Circular Economy principles. When we keep cardboard in use for longer, we reduce the global demand for new packaging and allow our natural resources time to recover.

Environmental benefits of cardboard box reuse

The Reuseabox Environmental Tool was developed to enable us to find out exactly how much better for the environment reuse is compared to recycling or buying new boxes. We can now provide our customers with detailed environmental reports to help with their ESG requirements.

Check out the environmental savings achieved when you reuse just 1 tonne, that’s around 6 pallets, of cardboard boxes.

Cardboard Reuse Environmental Stats

Types Of Reusable Pallet Boxes

1. Ref: EXAZ81 – Double Wall Euro

Size 1200 x 800 x 800mm

One of our best sellers, these boxes are designed to fit neatly onto a Euro Pallet. Supplied with a separate lid, fefco style 0422 and stitched for extra strength. These boxes are suitable for shipping most products.

A versatile box. To reduce heavy lifting, simply turn upside down and load onto the lid. Find out how in this short video:

Double Wall Euro Pallet Boxes

2. Ref: EXAZ80 – Double Wall Standard

Size 1180 x 980 x 900mm

Designed to fit on a Standard Pallet, these boxes are extremely good value for money. 0200 design with an additional single wall lid, fefco style 0422.

Double Wall Standard Pallet Boxes

3. AZ274 – Heavy Duty Triple Wall

Size 1200 x 800 x 610mm

Supplied with an additional wooden pallet, these boxes are stapled to the base of each box. The box arrives flat pack and is easily unfolded to assemble. An inner sleeve provides even greater strength to the box.

Used Cardboard Pallet Boxes

4. Ref: AZ1117 – Double Wall Standard 0201

Size 1180 x 780 x 780mm

0201 design with 4 flaps on the base and lid. These used boxes are in excellent condition, providing a good level of protection. Secure with Adhesive Tape.

Used 0201 Pallet Boxes

5. Ref: AZ1030 – Cap and Sleeve Pallet Boxes

Size 1195 x 985 x 970mm

The cap and sleeve design makes these boxes ideal for packing heavy, bulky items. Simply place the product(s) on the base, slide the sleeve around and place the lid on top.

Cap and Sleeve Pallet Boxes

6. Ref: AZ330 – Octabin Pallet Boxes

Size 1200 x 1000 x 1000mm

Octabin pallet boxes are perfect for shipping smaller items that can fill out the octagonal sides of the box. Cap and sleeve designs are perfect for reducing unnecessary lifting.

Cap And Sleeve Pallet Boxes


Cardboard shortages are here to stay. It’s time to get savvy and start thinking of ways you can creatively avoid running out of Cardboard Pallet Boxes. Now is the perfect time to start re-considering your packaging and its environmental impact. Contact The Reuseabox Team today and start your journey to more reliable, greener packaging.


PS: Did you know we also plant a tree every time you place an order with us? Find out how we’re planning to save and plant a million trees with our 2 Million Tree Challenge.


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