Imagine that you need to ship a large package like a bike. For starters, it would be difficult for you to package safely. But it would also be difficult for the carrier to process in a mail facility, to fit on delivery a truck or even for a delivery person to carry.
When shipments are large and/or irregular in shape, they tend to be classified as oversized shipments. These bulky shipments are more difficult for carriers to transport because of their large size. They also often require special handling and manual processing. This can slow down both processing and delivery times but ultimately, this can impact postage costs.
To compensate for the additional handling required, most carriers add a surcharge or special pricing for oversized shipments. As a result, you may notice a significant increase in the postage for oversized shipments.
Is my shipment oversized?
Whether a shipment is considered oversized or not will depend on the carrier. For example, Canada Post, our partner carrier for deliveries in Canada, considers shipments to be oversized if:
- Any dimension exceeds one metre and/or
- It measures more than 76 cm along its second longest side
- e.g. If the shipment had dimensions: 80 x 77 x 5 cm or 90 x 90 x 10, etc.
Whereas our partner carrier for deliveries in the U.S., USPS, considers some parcels oversized if they have a total combined length and girth greater than 108 inches but less than 130 inches. Very large but light packages are also considered to be oversized and may be charged a balloon rate.*
In addition to oversized dimensions, there are maximum weights and dimensions for the services we offer. Make sure you know the weight and dimensional limits for your preferred service before you ship.
Even if your shipment is not considered to be oversized, dimensional weight may apply. To avoid incurring additional postage fees for your shipments, it is always important to choose packaging that protects your items without adding bulk. It is expensive to ship air so avoid this by choosing packaging suitable for the size of the items you are shipping.
*Length is the measure of the longest side. Girth is the measure of the thickest area perpendicular to the length: (2* Height) + (2* Width).