A box (plural: boxes) is a container used for the storage or transportation of its contents. Most boxes have flat, parallel, rectangular sides. Boxes can be very small (like a matchbox) or very large (like a shipping box for furniture), and can be used for a variety of purposes from functional to decorative.
Most commonly, boxes have flat, parallel, rectangular sides, making them rectangular prisms; but boxes may also have other shapes.
Boxes may be closed and shut with flaps, doors, glue or a separate lid. They can be secured shut with adhesives, tapes, or more decorative or elaborately functional mechanisms, such as a catch, clasp or lock.
Types of box
An empty corrugated fiberboard box
A corrugated box with a folding lid used for pizza
Folding cartons (sometimes known as a box) are paperboard boxes manufactured with a folding lid. These are used to package a wide range of goods, and can be used for either one-time (non-resealable) usage, or as a storage box for more permanent use. Folding cartons are first printed (if necessary) before being die-cut and scored to form a blank; these are then transported and stored flat, before being constructed at the point of use.
Gable Boxes are paperboard cartons used for liquids.
"Set up" boxes (also known as rigid paperboard boxes) are made of stiff paperboard and are permanently glued together with paper skins that can be printed or colored. Unlike folding cartons, these are assembled at the point of manufacture and transported as already constructed ("set-up"). Set up boxes are more expensive than folding boxes and are typically used for protecting high-value items such as cosmetics, watches or smaller consumer electronics.
Crates are a heavy duty shipping containers. Originally made of wood, crates are distinct from wooden boxes, also used as heavy-duty shipping containers, as a wooden container must have all six of its sides put in place to result in the rated strength of the container. The strength of a wooden box, on the other hand, is rated based on the weight it can carry before the top or opening is installed.
The wooden wine box or wine crate, originally used for shipping and storing expensive wines, is a variant of the wooden box now used for decorative or promotional purposes, or as a storage box during shipping.
Bulk boxes are large boxes often used in industrial environments, sized to fit on a pallet.
Traditional container for baby powder and puff in South India, made of silver
Boxes for storing various items in can often be very decorative, as they are intended for permanent use and sometimes are put on display in certain locations.
The following are some types of storage boxes :
A jewelry (AmE) or jewellery (BrE) box, is a box for trinkets or jewels. It can take a very modest form with paper covering and lining, covered in leather and lined with satin, or be larger and more highly decorated.
A hat box is used for storing or transporting a hat. Hat boxes are often cylindrical or oval.
A humidor is a special box for storing cigars at the proper humidity.
A "strong box" or safe, is a secure lockable box for storing money or other valuable items. The term "strong box" is sometimes used for safes that are not portable but installed in a wall or floor.
A toolbox is used for carrying tools of various kinds. They are usually used for portability rather than just storage.
The common storage box for tools, instruments, glassware, artworks, etc. is a sturdy box made to be longer-lasting and better-finished than a shipping box or crate. For instance, a box might be a rigid paperboard box instead of a corrugated box. Or it could be a wooden box with a sanded surface and mitered corners instead of a crude crate construction. A storage box may or may not have dunnage or cushions that protect the contents if the box is upended or shaken, and usually does not have hinges, latches or locks, but simply a cover. Boxwood gets its name from its superior properties for manufacturing this type of box, although those properties are equally useful when making a decorative box.
A box file is used commonly in offices for storing papers and smaller files.
In electrical terminology, a "box" is used to contain and protect connections, thus:
Pattress, a box used to hold electrical switches and receptacles
Pillar box of 1856, at the West Gate, Warwick, England
Post box (British English and others, also written postbox), or mailbox (North American English and others) is a physical box used to collect mail that is to be sent to a destination. Variants of post boxes for outgoing mail include:
Boxes, where postal workers deposit incoming mail for the recipient, include:
Letter box (in the US usually called mailbox), positioned near or on the mail recipient's home or place of work.
Post office box, (often abbreviated P.O. box or PO box), a box rented by the mail recipient to be an independent postal address, located in a post office or in the premises of a company offering such facilities. Self-service boxes are unlocked by the recipient, otherwise, a postal clerk retrieves the mail.
A relay box is similar to a post or mailbox, but totally locked; post office trucks deposit mail that is then retrieved and delivered by pedestrian mail carriers. In the United States, they are painted differently from collection boxes.