Using Clamshells for Product Packaging

When you need heavy-duty packaging to protect your product, but you also need it to be easy to open and attractive, clamshell packaging is a popular option. Our thermoforming company in North Carolina is providing a more in-depth look at this type of package to help you determine if it's the right choice for your product line.

What Is a Clamshell Package?

A clamshell package is a hinged piece of shaped plastic that wraps around an entire product, creating a sturdy, durable layer of protection. These are typically custom thermoformed from transparent PET or PVC plastic to fit snugly to the product in order to minimize space and provide an attractive display while maximizing protection.

Types of Clamshells

  • One Piece: Two halves connected by a hinge or are sealed together
  • Two-Piece: Two separate halves that are not connected but snap together
  • Bi-fold: A second hinge creates a flat bottom so it can stand upright on a shelf without the need for hooks.

Benefits and Challenges of Clamshell Packaging

Is a clamshell package right for your product? Let's consider the benefits and challenges.


Clamshell packaging is incredibly strong and sturdy, making it a protective option both during shipping and while on the shelf. Because it's thermoformed based on your design, it can be customized to include a variety of options, including a reclosable snap, punch hole for hanging on a hook, graphics insert for visual appeal, and made from lightweight materials to minimize shipping weights.


Clamshells can be a bit more expensive because they wrap around the entire product, and the weight they add, while minimal at a per-unit weight, does add up when shipping thousands of products. Additionally, clamshell packaging can be difficult for consumers to open, often using unsafe methods to do so, such as a knife that can lead to injury.

Alternatives to Clamshell Packages

If you want a high-quality package to protect your product, but feel a clamshell package isn't the right option, one of the best alternatives is a blister pack. This is a molded plastic front that is bonded to a paper or cardboard backing. Lighter in weight, easier to open, and less expensive, these are ideal for items that are a bit more sturdy or less likely to be stolen.

For larger items, a thermoformed tray with a plastic, sealed lid is a good alternative. Tools, such as screwdriver sets, or action figure sets that may come in a clamshell package may work better in a tray.

Regardless of what you choose, Advanced Plastiform, Inc. can help you design and manufacture the proper solution for your organization.

Contact Us for Package Thermoforming Today

If you need durable clamshell packaging or another plastic packaging for your products, reach out to our team at Advanced Plastiform, Inc. We offer comprehensive plastic manufacturing from design to delivery with fast lead times and low per-unit prices. We work with companies across all types of industries and ship to states across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, including  North CarolinaSouth CarolinaPennsylvaniaMaryland,  TennesseeGeorgia, and Virginia.

Advanced Plastiform Facility

Contact the Leaders in Thermoforming

We're here to discuss your custom plastic manufacturing needs.
Please call us at  919-404-2080 or email us now.