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Can Amazon Do better? 

The lead image shows a cardboard box at least 60% larger than it needs to be.  

What About Chewy?

Chewy Box

A small package of pills came in that huge box.

Surging Online Orders

Surging Online Orders

Never More Expensive

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The Wall Street Journal reports Cardboard Boxes Have Never Been in More Demand—or More Expensive

It wasn’t just you. Americans consumed more corrugated cardboard boxes than ever last year.

Stay-at-home orders and stimulus checks fueled a banner year for e-commerce and a run on shipping boxes.

U.S. producers in 2020 churned out nearly 407 billion square feet of corrugated product, from dot.com delivery boxes to watermelon crates, according to the Fibre Box Association. The year-over-year rise was 3.4%, equivalent to about 477 square miles of additional corrugated board. Enough to cover New York City and then some.

Already contending with record wood prices, scarce shipping containers and fast-rising freight, cabinetmaker John K. Morgan now faces more costly corrugated board. His Green Forest Cabinetry is paying 22% more for boxes than a year ago. Bales of corrugated board, which are folded into custom packaging at the company’s Chesapeake, Va., factory, cost nearly 10% more and he has been warned by his supplier that prices are headed higher.

International Paper Co. said in December that it was spinning off its paper business to focus on containerboard, of which it is North America’s largest producer.

“The overwhelming demand for containerboard far outweighs the opportunities for paper,” Packaging Corp. of America CEO Mark Kowlzan said.

Can Companies Do Better Packing Boxes?

To prevent such questions, maybe we need a label frequently seen on bags of potato chips and snacks:

"Packed as Full as Practical by Modern Electronic Equipment."

That should take care of such questions.

Mish