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. Whether a shipment is considered oversized or not will depend on the carrier.
Canada Post Oversized Shipments
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.
USPS Oversized Shipments
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.*
As of April, 3 2022 USPS will also apply surcharges for select services where oversized packages exceed 22" or 30" in length or 2 cubic feet in volume. Packages can also incur multiple fees at the same time. For example, if a package measured more than 22" but also exceeded 2 cubic feet the shipment will be charged a total of $19 in surcharge fees. The surcharge fee for oversized shipments will be added to the total cost of the postage.
- Packages with length exceeding 22": $4 USD
- Packages with length exceeding 30": $15 USD
- Packages with volume exceeding 2 cubic feet: $15 USD
Fees for Inaccurate Measurements
Oversized shipments that are sent with incorrect or missing dimensions will also incur a fee $1.50 USD. To avoid a delay in your shipment and additional charges applied to your account, please be sure to accurately enter the weight and dimensions of your shipment.
Other Helpful Notes
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).