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File boxes' usability, appearance upgrades drive trends

Models with multiple partitions for sorting files and in vivid colors are gaining ground.

China makers of file boxes are directing R&D endeavors toward performance and aesthetic enhancements.

File box

These file boxes from Wenzhou Yongfu come with handles and lids.

For most manufacturers, efforts center on improving user convenience. Many of the latest releases, for instance, come with multiple compartments to facilitate document searching. Models also feature thumb holes for easy shelf retrieval.

Some designs have additional slots for holding writing instruments, and small school and office supplies. A number of pieces are likewise equipped with lids to protect contents from dust, moisture and molds. Others boast hinges and locks for security purposes.

PP and ABS dominate material options as both are strong enough to handle heavy loads. The former also possesses good tensile strength, making it resistant to breaking even when dropped from great heights. Further, products in the input are lightweight. ABS, meanwhile, is used to create thicker but brittle bodies. To improve durability, companies often combine the input with PC.

For enhanced visual appeal, suppliers are incorporating gradient shades. Red, blue, green, yellow, orange, purple, gray and black are the common options. Pieces in the last hue do not require additional finishes, thereby lowering prices by 1 to 3 percent compared with models in other colors. Transparent versions, however, are quoted 3 to 5 percent higher than opaque counterparts.

In terms of prints, silk-screening is the most popular technique. Many models intended for children come in cartoon character themes. Customers’ logos can also be accommodated.

File boxes from China are available in square, flat and floor types. Prices are mainly dependent on the materials, sizes and motifs.

Most low-end releases have ABS bodies that are prone to breaking. Products come in plain designs and can hold A4 documents. Quotes are $0.50 to $0.80.

Midrange versions utilize ABS, PC/ABS, and virgin and recycled PP. They are suitable for A2, A3 and A4 files, and are fitted with handles for increased portability. Select pieces have printed details. Models go for $0.90 to $1.20.

High-end designs come in similar sizes as midrange counterparts. The housings are made of virgin PP, ABS and PC/ABS. Some feature multiple compartments and are equipped with hinges and locks. These start at $1.30.

The most expensive file boxes boast metal bodies, usually in cold-rolled steel. The surfaces may be electroplated in chrome and other materials, or painted. Logos are applied via silk-screening or laser engraving. Intended for keeping valuable documents, standard releases have locks. Prices can exceed $5. Some versions with thicker casings and finer coatings are quoted above $10.

The cost of plastic, which is a primary material for the line, is expected to stay at current levels in coming months. Many manufacturers, however, are still keen on imposing between 5 and 10 percent markups. This is due to the sharp rise in the yuan’s value and the swelling labor outlay.

As another countermeasure, suppliers are implementing ways to cut spending. Companies, for example, are launching models in various sizes that can fit inside each other. The strategy enables businesses to save on freight expenses.

Related articles:
Clipboards: Unique designs boost competitiveness
File folders & holders: 'Green' models, better utility top trends
Stationery & school supplies: Product diversification key to sustain exports

File box

Product gallery

Ningbo Haishu Joy-R Imp. & Exp. Co. Ltd

Model: JR-FB001 Blue
MOQ: 5,000 pieces
Delivery: 15 days
Description: PP; suitable for silk-screened designs; 34x27x8cm; in various shapes, logos

File box

Ningbo Haishu Joy-R Imp. & Exp. Co. Ltd

Model: JR-FB001 Green
MOQ: 5,000 pieces
Delivery: 15 days
Description: PP; suitable for silk-screened designs; 34x27x8cm; in various shapes, logos

File box

Ningbo Haishu Joy-R Imp. & Exp. Co. Ltd

Model: JR-FB001 Yellow
MOQ: 5,000 pieces
Delivery: 15 days
Description: PP; suitable for silk-screened designs; 34x27x8cm; in various shapes, logos

File box

Ningbo Haishu Joy-R Imp. & Exp. Co. Ltd

Model: JR-SB001
MOQ: 5,000 pieces
Delivery: 15 days
Description: PP; suitable for silk-screened designs; 37x14x18cm; custom colors, logos

File box

Shenta Hengfeng Hardware & Plastic Products Fty

Model: HF-FB390
MOQ: 1,000 pieces
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Cold-rolled steel; spray-painted finish; oil-, rust-resistant; with lock, handle; suitable for all file sizes; 345x270x150mm

File box

Wenzhou Yongfu Stationery Co. Ltd

Model: ZD-816
MOQ: 3,000 pieces
Delivery: 15 days
Description: PP; UV-printed pattern; DIY; 38x20x12cm; NQA, CE

Note: This article "File boxes' usability, appearance upgrades drive trends" was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.

All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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