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Posted: January 02, 2018

Why Amazon packages tiny items in huge boxes

VIDEO: Why Amazon Packages Small Items In Big Boxes

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Why Amazon packages tiny items in huge boxes
Boxes are stacked beside a conveyor belt at the Amazon Fulfillment Center on August 1, 2017 in Robbinsville, New Jersey.

By Kyle Nazario, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Shop from Amazon long enough and you’ll get a package that makes you wonder, “Did they really need a box this big for an item this small?”This mystery has consistently baffled people for years.

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According to Alexander Savin on Twitter, Amazon has a method to its madness. 

This system makes sense for trucks delivering packages between Amazon centers.

Other theories, according to Quora, have similar reasoning behind them. 

  • There is a minimum box size to move an item around on rollers. If Amazon wrapped your bottle opener in a phone-sized envelope it could fall down gaps. 
  • Standard-sized boxes are easier to stack and less likely to be crushed under other boxes.
  • If the warehouse does not have the exact right size box, the item will go in the next-largest container.

According to The Daily Mirror, Amazon promised to stop using boxes quite so large to save cardboard and combat waste. In 2016 it began testing a program to create packages with less empty space in each shipment.

However, it warned that if an item is too “flush” with its box, it risks damaging the item. 

In short, Amazon uses too much packaging because larger boxes are easier to handle and less likely to be damaged.


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