Moving 101: Box Markings

Moving 101: Box Markings

Boxes differ greatly between moving companies, but nearly all of them are covered in all sorts of writing. We bet you’ve never stopped to consider what those numbers, labels, and everything else on them means. We’re here today to give you a little look into the world of moving and talk about packing boxes.

Crush Weight

There are two forms of “crush weight” regarding your average packing box. The first is how much weight it takes to crush an edge of the box, thus putting the shipment at risk. The other is what will cause a box to split along the seams and “burst.” Both of these are incredibly important measurements. This tells your mover how much weight can be stacked together without collapsing the boxes on the bottom.

After all, boxes will be stacked. It’s impossible to have a single layer of boxes within the moving truck. Instead, a quick glance at the crush weight of a box will tell the mover it’s safe to stack four, 30-pound boxes together since the crush rate is 150 pounds. They may chance a fifth, in this example, but that’s pushing it.

Burst weight is typically a great deal higher than edge crush weight but will depend on the quality of the boxes far more than edge crush weight does.


Various types of labeling along the side of boxes can be either room-specific or simply allow you to place your own writing on pre-printed bars. Usually, labeling is specific to a brand of boxes–and yes, there are brands of boxes out there. For instance, the moving boxes most frequently seen during military moves are usually made by Paksafe. You won’t see much branding on these boxes since most of Paksafe’s business comes from commercial use only. Paksafe doesn’t need to advertise when it has set the most common industry standard.

Why Do Some Boxes Have Rooms/Types of Items Pre-written on Them?

You may have noticed that certain boxes say “wardrobe” or “dishpack” on them. This is common within the moving industry and helps set these boxes apart from others, or even from each other. When boxes come on a pallet, it’s easier to label them for what they’re meant to do than to avoid doing it. There are dozens of different types of boxes, and while it may not seem as if that matters very much, it can.

Most wardrobe boxes, for instance, come packed along with a steel bar that goes between the handholds. This means that the movers can hang your clothes within the box instead of laying them flat or needing to fold them. This also makes unpacking a great deal easier, since you can simply unhook the clothes from the box’s rack and place them in your new closet.

Indeed, dishpack boxes are usually a little heavier duty than other types of large square boxes since dishes are some of the heaviest items in a household. Dishpack boxes may also be used for books for those clients with exceptional library collections in their homes.

Requesting Special Labeling

If so desired, you can easily request special labeling prior to your move. This means that, if you want it, you can have special boxes printed with room-specific or even family-member-specific labeling at your leisure. You may also speak with your moving company to request special labeling that it provides. However, be aware that this labeling is usually somewhat limited in its range. This is because they usually simply mark boxes with ink or notes, leaving more specific labels up to the client in charge of the move.