How Long Does It Take to Make a Custom Box?

If you’re planning to order custom boxes soon, you’ll want to know how long the box-making process takes. The custom box creation process has several important steps, and each will vary depending on the details of your order. Keep reading to learn more about the custom packaging process.

The Steps of the Custom Box-Making Process

Custom boxes undergo a special process to ensure that all orders fit your criteria and meet manufacturer standards. Standard custom box lead times depend on your order. The design and manufacturing of custom packaging have several steps, including:

1. Pre-Production

The pre-press phase is also called the pre-production phase. It involves these steps:

  • Finding your vendor: You can check a reliable vendor’s box-producing process online. This can also give you some idea of how long the total process will take.
  • Getting a price quote: You will need to know how many packages your product requires and the style of packaging you want to get an accurate quote. It should take around two days to get a quote.
  • Creating the print: You should have an idea for the layout of your packaging. You will start with an idea of how your design should look. You should also be able to provide all product information relevant to the packaging. The time this step takes will depend on how complex you want your print to be and how long it will take for you to list all of the information.
  • Reviewing the prototype or proof: The pre-production team will accept your design and provide a digital proof of what the finished packaging will look like. This ensures that all features are included in your order as expected. If you want to make changes or adjustments to the design, you will have to exchange information with your pre-press team until you finalize the plan for your packaging. 
  • Finalizing the design: Once you approve the project, your packaging will move on to manufacturing. 

2. Manufacturing

The manufacturers can give you an estimate for their lead time, or the time it will take to complete manufacturing after your prototype is approved. The manufacturer will be responsible for:

  • Cutting the packaging: This step involves relying on highly accurate cutting die machinery to punch out each board for your packaging. It takes little time to cut the packaging with efficient equipment.
  • Printing on the packaging: The printing process involves setting up the required inks and can take a little longer than cutting. The type of printing you select will also affect the time estimate for completing your project. For example, if you’re printing in bulk and select lithography, the printing plates will need to be specialized for your order. You can use a digital process or laser cut for printing, and each work a little differently.

A typical lead time for completing your packaging order could take anywhere from a few days to twelve weeks. The lead time for your manufacturing process will vary depending on:

  • Your order placement: If the facility is busy, you will have to wait for the orders ahead of yours in the production queue. A facility that produces quality products is likely to have many orders, but waiting is worthwhile when you get good service.
  • Your order volume: Larger orders will take longer to complete.
  • The type of packaging: Even the most complex corrugated packaging can be completed in a few weeks, but rigid boxes or flexible packaging will take longer to produce. You can usually get a time estimate for the type and style of packaging alone.
  • Your order complexity: If your order involves a special request or will require hand labor to complete, it will be more expensive.
  • Your order history: If you have an established order routine with your manufacturer, they will be accustomed to your requests and will usually be able to process your orders more quickly. 
  • Ordering directions: If you want the manufacturer to perform any additional services, it will take longer to complete your order. Make sure you mention any special requests before you have the boxes made, so your manufacturer will know what you expect.
  • The transit time: Make sure your lead time includes the time it takes to ship your order. If the shipping is considered a separate post-production process, find out how long it will take to get your order. Each manufacturer will have a slightly different pickup or delivery procedure.

3. Post-Production

The post-production stage involves the transit time for your packaging. If your manufacturer includes transportation with the box-making service, it should be included in the lead time for the entire process. If you have to transport your packaging, you will have to make arrangements to ensure the packaging reaches you in a timely fashion.

Transportation Lead Times

If shipping is included in your lead time, you will probably see an additional period of time to account for transportation. Time estimates might involve:

  • Overnight transportation: If you’re in a rush, you can schedule overnight delivery so long as you order during the allotted timeframe.
  • UPS transportation: It typically takes around 3-5 days for small orders to come through.
  • Carrier transportation: It could take a week for shipping by truck or a few weeks for shipping by train.
  • Overseas transportation: If you’re transporting the items overseas, it could take up to a month to get your items.

At Custom Boxes Now, we have a lead time of 7 days or less, making us your best choice for custom boxes. We can deliver high-quality custom boxes faster and more efficiently than the competition, at very competitive prices. 

Ordering a Custom Packaging Sample

You can order a structural sample if you are concerned with the size for a potential order. If you would like to see print examples, we can send over samples of jobs we have run in the past. Custom Boxes Now does not have a minimum ordering requirement, although you will save money if you do order in bulk. You can order a small number of boxes to test the packaging before you commit to buying more.

Tracking Your Order

A reliable manufacturer will allow you to track your order. A tracking number ensures that you receive your order on time and get quality service. At Custom Boxes Now, you can keep track of your shipping status by contacting the customer support email at [email protected].

Discounts for Bulk Orders

If you order your packaging in bulk, you will receive a discount depending on the quantity. The discount works by offering you a cheaper rate per box and makes your order worth waiting for, especially once you are an established customer.

Get Custom Packaging With Custom Boxes Now

When you choose Custom Boxes Now, every order is made especially for you. Contact us if you have questions about shipping or ordering times. Get a quote or order your packaging today!