How Big Can My Parcel Be?

Having once worked at a courier firm in the 1990s, I was asked a question by a client who had called in and had a sofa and dining room chairs to move from one home to another.

The distance was around 300 miles and the weight of the items was unknown by the customer.

At the time the maximum weight any package the courier firm would allow was 33kg.

This was the greatest weight that any courier could easily lift without doing too much damage.

There was also a restriction of one metre (in any dimension) although if I remember rightly a 50 percent price increases, if the dimension exceeded 100cm (one metre).

It was all a little difficult for a courier firm to begin looking at home moves.

The items were simply too bulky, too big and would not fit properly into the small vans and trucks used to collect and deliver items.

I always used to try and recommend haulage or moving home company.

Most couriers will calculate the cost of the parcel based on its weight and the dimensions.

The maximum length will be around 150cm (1.5 metres).

The cut off point for the weight has now been restricted to 30kg.

If you have any items that are in excess of these dimensions and weights then you would need to make use of special delivery couriers.

Specialist couriers are usually comprised of a team or gang of workers who will install bulky items at the place where your outsized package needs to be delivered to.

Often the specialists' couriers can not only deliver but are professional installation operatives who know how to install a piano in an upstairs room or fit a central heating unit into your company loft.

How Big Can My Parcel Be?

It is important to get the packaging done correctly too.

There will be a surcharge imposed on your parcel if you are quoted on measurements taken before the item was packed or weighed.

It is important to correctly package your parcel as packages can be moved about with some rough handling, particularly if the courier firm is on a time limit and is rushing around.



It is worth remembering that even if your parcel is too big for the courier company then try to take it to a specialist courier company.

If the parcel fails to fit on the scanning machines in the holding transit depot there is a strong chance the item could end up damaged?

If you have parcel insurance and want to make a claim, it could be invalidated if it is proven you sent an excessively long or heavy item.


If you send a parcel internationally it may often be measured on something known as "volumetric weight."

This is a term used by courier firms to calculate the bulk of an item and how much it weighs against the dimensions.

Any item weighing in excess of 33kg needs to be lifted by two or more persons. It is a Health and Safety regulation.

To calculate how much your long, wide and bulky package weighs on the volumetric scale you will need to measure the length, height and width in centimetres.

Then multiply all the numbers, so for example you may have 50 x 50 x 95cm. This figure arrives at 237,500. Next you divide this number by 6000 to achieve your volumetric weight. In this example your parcel's volumetric weight is 39.5kg.