Packaging in Nigeria

Paper Box for moving homes


With corporate bodies and organizations, perishable items like fruits and vegetables are transported in trucks using jute bags (popularly known as ‘Ghana-must-go’), paper boxes and plastic crates for reasons such as volume of items moved. When these items are sold in-store and on-shelve to the end -users, they are dispensed in nylon bags in most cases. With non-perishable items like clothes, most corporate bodies or businesses get them delivered in wrapped jute bags (for ease of shipment), this is common with items shipped from Asia. Other non-perishables are delivered in paper boxes, this is mostly the case when items are bought directly from the product manufacturer. Except in cases where the number of items purchased is minimal and the purchase is made in store, the items may be sold and delivered in nylon bags. Most corporate bodies move fragile items in boxes and bags of different sorts. However, the most common feature with all of the items moved by these companies is the packaging. Although packaging can come in different types and forms, they all aim to ensure that the fragility of the product is protected from impacts during transportation. And in most cases the mode of transportation determine the appropriate packaging. With fragile items, one of the factors that determines if the item will be moved with a jute bag or a paper box is the mode of transportation. Almost the same can be said for books and house decors. Each corporate body determine the most economic means for transporting this items safely to destination. In modern times, furnitures are no longer manufactured as a permanent fixture. Most modern furnitures are made in modular forms so that they can easily be taken apart and put back together. This new idea of thinking has really made it easy to package this items in paper boxes and in some cases jute bags. As a common practice, most electronic manufacturing companies, use paper boxes for moving and delivery of products. The paper boxes are also designed and tailored to meet the shapes, sizes and packaging requirements peculiar to the product manufactured.

Paper box for hanged cloth


Jute bags are more durable than paper boxes and they last longer if used properly. Paper boxes are of different types and depending on the thickness, they tend to last longer as the thickness increases. But most importantly, the mode of storage determines the shelve life of paper boxes.

Organic box


For people who like things to be well put together, it is obvious that paper boxes are the way to go.  Contrary to believe, it is much easier to arrange items in paper boxes. Most packaging materials sit well in paper boxes. The boxes requires less arrangement effort when placed in a defined space.It easy to chunk items in a Ghana must go and most definitely more difficult locate them when they are needed. But with paper boxes, items can be placed strategically and as such they are easy to locate when needed. This process typically saves us a lot of stress when we look for some of the items we have put a way for so long.

Wet paper Box
Gana must go


Jute bags allow for flexibility during transportation and easily take the shape of content. They are most suitable for the movement of items that are soft such as clothing. People sometimes use jute bags to move items of similar shapes and sizes such as fruits and vegetables. However, this may not necessarily be the best in cases whereby the items have to travel for days or they are left in bags for several days after arrival/delivery. They are equally a nightmare for airport management authorities because they hardly take a balance form, or shape and hence they cause lots of baggage jam on conveyors.Therefore, it is good practice to use paper boxes for the storage and delivery of fruits and vegetables when compared to jute bags. Most reputable companies use paper boxes for storage and delivery of fruits and vegetable. They allow vegetables and fruits to keep shape and they are designed not necessarily to allow flexibility. Nylons are alternatives but not sustainable and not good for the environment as well. 

Paper Box on trolly


It is easy to see when your boxed item is damaged. With jute bags you may not know until you get to your destination. For instance, in case of spillage, spillage in paper boxes is more visible to the eye when compared with spillage in nylons or a jute bag. So it is advisable to even deliver liquid products in boxes as this will allow both the delivery man and the customer some evidence of the state of delivery.

Moving belongings, goods and products across locations.

We all have reasons to move items from point A to point B. Items that we move can be classified into different categories. For the benefit of this comparison, we are going to consider items that people move around in Nigeria from perishables like fruits and vegetables, fragiles like glasswares, to non-perishables like clothing, books, house decors, furnitures, electronics and so many more. Items can also be moved from one point to another by people or organizations, corporate bodies and individuals.

Packaging material for paper boxes

End Users

Ghana must go bags

Most of us, in this part of the world, buy our vegetables in nylon bags. As a common practice, we are given new nylon bag for every new purchase hence, we all now have a special place for nylons in our home. In the same vein, we move clothing items in jute bags and other types of leather and synthetic bags. It is rare in this part of the world to see people move personal clothing items in boxes. Either for the purpose of home moving or other reason such as a charity cause.As with fragile, most people tend to move them in jute boxes too and rely on careful handling to get this items to new destination without damages.  Unknowingly, most end-users dispose of all packaging materials that comes with new products when purchased from authorized vendors. The urgency to get familiar with the new purchase makes most of us forget about the fact that some packaging are worth keeping and can be reused when there is a need to move the item from point A to point B.It is arguable that some packaging material can only be kept for a duration of time before they degrade, while other will last longer if while if stored properly. This is the same approach we have towards items such as books, house decors and electronics. As with furnitures, most of us don’t even bother to check if they come as a permanent fix or in modular forms. Hence, we tend to move them in formed shapes. You will agree with me that the picture we see when people move homes are not the best, sometime it is an eye saw. This is simply because most people do not take the time to consider the most appropriate packaging to move their belongings.

Jute bags vs Paper Boxes

I have tried to draw a comparison of the peculiarity of the jute bags (Ghana-must-go) and paper boxes in 7 key areas – durability, flexibility, air permeability, handling, neatness, damages and pricing – with the hope that I can have a conclusion on usage appropriation.

Air Permeability

Despite its wide range of use, Jute bags also have its own disadvantage interns of permeability. It somewhat provides a tight seal, hence low or no air permeability. Depending on the item you are storing, the lack of air could be adverse. With paper boxes, it easy to create air spaces while the content is still safe and the box can be reused for other purposes.


The most common means of transportation in Nigeria is by road and mostly public transportation. Jute bags are hardly handled with care because transport operators tends to find it easy to squeeze them into available spaces since they don’t have a fixed shape and readily take the shape of content.  Most travelers will attest to the fact that there isn’t a guarantee for tems placed in jute bags. While it is easier to pull jute bags because they come with pull straps, most well-designed paper boxes are made available with hand holes for ease of lifting. Common practice for paper box handling is the use of trollies. There are other tools and accessories designed to make the lifting of paper boxes easier, convenient and a lot safer. The tendency for a package handler to man-handle your box is less likely when compared to your Ghana- must-go bag. 

Paper box with rollers


In general, jute bags seem to be a lot cheaper than paper boxes. But in the long run, when we put all the other advantages of the paper box to bare, it safe to say that in most cases the paper box is the best option. As with most packaging, jute bags may require more packaging when compared to paper boxes. Hence if we think we are saving money buying a jute bag, we might be spending more on packaging the bag or at worst lose our belongings to damages. There must be a reason most cooperate bodies in the Western world stick to paper boxes for moving, shipping and delivery of its products.

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