The finite element and boundary element methods are employed in this study to investigate the sound radiation characteristics of a box-type structure. It has been shown [T.R. Lin, J. Pan, Vibration characteristics of a box-type structure, Journal of Vibration and Acoustics, Transactions of ASME 131 (2009) 031004-1–031004-9] that modes of natural vibration of a box-type structure can be classified into six groups according to the symmetry properties of the three panel pairs forming the box. In this paper, we demonstrate that such properties also reveal information about sound radiation effectiveness of each group of modes. The changes of radiation efficiencies and directivity patterns with the wavenumber ratio (the ratio between the acoustic and the plate bending wavenumbers) are examined for typical modes from each group. Similar characteristics of modal radiation efficiencies between a box structure and a corresponding simply supported panel are observed. The change of sound radiation patterns as a function of the wavenumber ratio is also illustrated. It is found that the sound radiation directivity of each box mode can be correlated to that of elementary sound sources (monopole, dipole, etc.) at frequencies well below the critical frequency of the plates of the box. The sound radiation pattern on the box surface also closely related to the vibration amplitude distribution of the box structure at frequencies above the critical frequency. In the medium frequency range, the radiated sound field is dominated by the edge vibration pattern of the box. The radiation efficiency of all box modes reaches a peak at frequencies above the critical frequency, and gradually approaches unity at higher frequencies.