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When sending a parcel with Royal Mail, understanding the various parcel sizes is essential for ensuring your items are delivered swiftly and securely.

If you’re looking to ship anything from birthday cards and letters to larger items such as shoes, knowing the appropriate size category for your parcel will help you navigate the services offered by Royal Mail and its partner, Parcelforce Worldwide.

We’ve created this guide to help you work out the appropriate size for your delivery parcels when shipping with Royal Mail. 

Understanding Royal Mail Parcel Sizes and Weight Limits

When sending items through Royal Mail, understanding the specific parcel sizes and weight limits ensures your packages comply with their guidelines for delivery. Royal Mail categorises parcels into several size dimensions: ‘letter’, ‘large letter’, ‘small parcel’, and ‘medium parcel’.

Small Parcel Dimensions

If your item falls into the small parcel category, it’s crucial to note the maximum size and weight allowed.

Your small parcel should not exceed a length of 45cm, a width of 35cm, and a depth of 16cm. The maximum weight you can send as a small parcel is 2kg. 

Medium Parcel Dimensions

For medium parcels sent via Royal Mail, the maximum length is 61cm, the width must stay under 46cm, and the depth should not surpass 46cm.

The upper weight limit for medium parcels is more generous, permitting you to send items up to 20kg.

Large Parcel Dimensions

In instances where you need to send a large parcel with Royal Mail, you’ll need to adhere to the greatest dimension of 1.5m with a maximum length plus twice the diameter combined of 3m.

Large parcels can weigh up to a substantial 30kg, but for anything above these size or weight limits, you’ll need to consider using Parcelforce Worldwide services.

Parcel Delivery and Collection Options

Royal Mail offers a range of services to suit different postal needs for parcel delivery and collection.

In this section, you will find information on standard services, expedited deliveries, and options for sending parcels internationally.

Standard Delivery Services

Royal Mail provides Standard Delivery Services that include 2nd Class options for less urgent parcels. These services are cost-effective and suitable for non-valuable items like books, clothing, or CDs.

A Medium Parcel falls under this category, with maximum dimensions of 61 cm in length, 46cm in width, and 46 cm in depth, plus twice the diameter for any cylindrical packages such as tubes for posters. The maximum weight limit is 20kg for medium parcels.

Next Working Day and Special Deliveries

When your parcels need to be delivered promptly, you can opt for the Next Working Day service. Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm the next working day comes with added perks such as inclusive compensation cover for valuable items.

For sending urgent letters and parcels like certificates or contracts that need a signature upon delivery, this is the ideal choice.

Always ensure that your parcels conform to the maximum size and weight rules, as the greatest dimension must not exceed 90cm, with the length plus the width plus the depth being no more than 104cm.

International Parcel Services

For international shipping, Royal Mail’s International Parcel Services offer a range of options through Parcelforce Worldwide.

Depending on the destination, there are different size and weight limits, with services to accommodate goods of various volumes, from a small box of greetings cards to larger packages such as shoes.

Collection services are available, and customers can also drop off their parcels at any Post Office branch. It’s key to note that international parcels require custom declaration labels, and the price will vary based on the destination, size and weight of your parcel.

Considering Pricing and Postage Information

Before sending your items through Royal Mail, understanding the various pricing tiers and postage options is crucial.

Also, it’s vital to be aware of the services that offer compensation and insurance, especially when dealing with valuable items.

UK Services Pricing

For letters, large letters and small parcels, prices are based on size and weight.

The maximum size for a small parcel is 45cm x 35cm x 16cm. Medium parcels can measure up to a length of 61cm, with length plus width plus depth combined no greater than 104cm.

Your item’s weight also impacts the price, with a maximum weight of 20kg for parcels.

Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm and Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9am provide expedited services. They ensure that your parcels are delivered promptly the next day and offer inclusive compensation. 

Here’s a simplified price outline for common Royal Mail services:

Please note that for the most accurate and updated prices, visit the official Royal Mail website or a local Post Office branch.

International Services Pricing

When sending items abroad, Royal Mail offers a range of services tailored to suit your needs. Prices for international services are based on the parcel’s weight and the destination country.

Parcelforce Worldwide can handle larger and heavier items and provides various options for international delivery with different price points:

Heavier parcels may require bespoke pricing, so it’s advised to weigh and measure your parcel before paying for postage.

Compensation and Insurance Options

Royal Mail offers compensation cover to safeguard your parcels and letters against loss or damage. The standard compensation for 1st and 2nd Class post is up to £20.

For Special Delivery Guaranteed, compensation starting from £500 and going up to £2,500 is available, providing security for more valuable items. If you require additional protection, you can pay a higher fee for increased compensation.

Always remember to check the specifics, like whether signed services or additional compensation is required for your items:

How J&J can help you with shipping

J&J is partnered with various courier services, including Royal Mail, Parcelforce Worldwide, DHL, and DPD. Moreover, we also offer delivery internationally through the United States Postal Service (USPS), Australia Post, Canada Post and Deutsche Post. 

Keen to work with an international 3PL partner to streamline your order fulfilment process? We can help you, whether you’re looking to scale up on warehousing space or save money on international shipping. 

Contact us today +44(0)3332009952 or fill in our online form to find out how we can assist your business. 

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