How to Fill Your Boxes


May 19, 2024
Category: About Us

When paying for shipping costs, you want to ensure you get the most for your money. But determining if your box is full may not be as straightforward as you wish. This blog will give you detailed information on how to fill your boxes and will also give you a few tips to use when you’re placing your orders.

To understand the rest of this blog, you first need to understand full trays vs. partial trays. Understanding this is a task all on its own. We have made the difference clear in this blogBut simply put, if you’re ordering a quantity of 35 or 50 of any plant, this is a partial tray and not a full tray. It takes multiple partial trays of the same size tray to equal one full tray. 

The word “tray” in the rest of this blog refers to full trays unless otherwise noted.

Now that you understand partial trays, let’s discuss how trays fit into the box.

We have multiple box sizes in our inventory. We choose which box to pack your order in based on the number of trays you have. Our boxes can hold anywhere from 1 to 8 trays. See the diagram below to view how trays fit into our boxes.

Tip number 1: Order at least four full trays

The carrier companies best handle a four-tray box or larger, so we set our minimum at four full trays. We can ship less than this, but there would be a low order fee of $8 per missing tray.

Tip number 2: Order an even number of trays total.

Our boxes fit two trays side by side, so if you order an odd number of trays, there will be an empty slot in your box. We fill this slot with an empty webbed tray. Filling that space with one more tray is a great way to get more plants without increasing your freight cost.

Tip number 3: Make sure all of your trays are full. 

This goes back to the partial tray v.s. full tray explanation. If you’ve ordered 5 Petunias with quantities of 35, that is five ⅓ trays, which is one full tray and one ⅔ full tray. This leaves ⅓ of one of those trays empty. 

If you order one more quantity of 35 of an item fitting the same tray size, you will fill that empty space and get more plants without increasing your freight cost. We do have to make sure that the extra 35 is from a variety that comes standard in 100 count volumes. If you were to add 35 of a variety that comes standard in a 70-count tray, then it would not work

We cut our boxes down if needed to fit around your plants snugly, so you can stick with these three steps and maximize the space in your box very well. However, if you’re a go-getter and want to make sure you’re getting the most of every penny you spend, we have a bonus tip for you. (It requires a lot more figuring and can be more difficult if you’re ordering partial trays.)

Bonus Tip: Order in increments of 8 trays.

If you want to zero in on filling your box as full as possible, order in increments of 8 trays with an order note that indicates the trays you’re willing to sacrifice.

Our largest box is 17 inches tall and can fit 6-8 trays, depending on the height of the plants. Since some plants, like Geraniums, are naturally taller than others, sometimes we can only fit 6 trays in that largest box. So, if you’ve ordered 8 trays but noted 2 that you’re willing to sacrifice if we can only fit 6 in the box, we can remove those two trays at the time of packing, if necessary, to stop your order from overflowing into a second box.

When ordering multiple boxes at a time, planning to maximize the space in your box can get complicated. We do not know which trays are going into the box together, so there’s no way to guarantee how many trays will go into each box until the order is ready to pack. That’s why ordering in increments of 8 trays, then making a note to only ship a certain number of boxes (including which trays you’re willing to give up – 2 full trays for every 8 trays) is the best way to minimize your shipping costs

Please ask our office staff if you need help determining how many boxes your order is. We cannot know how tall the plants will be when they ship, so our best guess may not quite match how your order gets packed, but we can take a look to make sure your trays are even and full.

Remember, our goal is your success! We want you to get the most out of every dollar you spend.