UPS Small Parcel Size

May 12, 2022 Chase Flashman

UPS Small Parcel Size

In regards to the UPS shipping process, understanding the ins and outs of UPS size limits can afford you significant savings. To avoid costly fees and additional UPS surcharges, adhering to the established shipping dimension and weight guidelines is of utmost importance. In this blog, we will explain how the size of your parcels impacts your UPS shipping rates, and list out the steps you can take to avoid costly mistakes.

If you are looking for even more ways to make your shipping rates more cost-efficient, we suggest reviewing our parcel invoice audit solution.

How Are UPS Shipping Rates Calculated?

So, does UPS charge by weight or by size? When shipping with UPS, the dimensions and weight of your package both matter. The standard rules for UPS shipping dimensions state:

  • Packages can be up to 150 pounds.
  • Packages can be up to 108 inches long.


However, things get a bit more complicated when shipping small parcels, or when packages surpass certain size and weight combinations. Let’s take a look at each of these scenarios below.

Regarding UPS small parcel size shipping limits, your packages can only reach 165 inches in length and girth combined. UPS recommends the following formula to calculate the length and girth of your small parcel: Length + 2x Width + 2x Height.


If your package is above 150 pounds or over 108 inches long, then you will need to use the UPS Packaging Advisor platform to receive accurate guidelines for your specific shipment. The UPS Packaging Advisor acts as a UPS size calculator. In this application, you will either choose from 15 pre-defined categories or enter your own information so UPS can generate a customized list of packaging guidelines for your unique shipment.

For more information about calculating your shipping rates, visit the UPS website.

Avoiding Shipping Charge Corrections

As we mentioned before, failing to account for UPS shipping size regulations results in hefty charges. Here are the top 3 ways you can avoid additional fees and charge corrections.

  1. Successfully Calculating Dimensional Weight: UPS dimensional weight is used in situations when a package has a large size-to-weight ratio and applies to all domestic and international shipping services from UPS. The dimensional weight measurement calculates a package’s density. Finding this number for your package involves multiple steps and equations, making it a tricky process.

    Oftentimes, errors in mathematical calculations lead to dimensional weight shipping charge corrections. UPS offers a helpful guide to calculating dimensional weight manually, but they also offer a few services that will do the calculations for you.
    • UPS’ WorldShip® and CampusShip® software programs take care of manual shipping calculations for you. Having software like this makes it much simpler to process high-volume shipments quickly, reducing errors and saving money. Each platform comes with individual benefits, but both offer assistance in calculating dimensional weight.

  2. Understanding UPS Over Maximum Size Rules: As we described previously, there are very specific and detailed rules regarding sizing limits for the UPS small package delivery network. If your individual package exceeds the sizing limits, then you will be subject to a UPS over maximum limits charge. However, this charge is easily avoided if you abide by the international shipping regulations and properly measure each package.

  3. Listing the Correct Weight: This simple, yet common, mistake often leads to an exorbitant amount of shipping fees. An incorrect weight shipping fee is applied when the weight of your package differs from the weight determined when you first shipped the package. To avoid this, you must be sure to round up any fraction of a pound to the next full pound when calculating your package weight.

Plan Better and Save More With ShipSigma’s Parcel Auditing Services

UPS shipping rates are on the rise, and they’re expected to keep rising. Although avoiding the mistakes we listed above will prevent you from paying extra, there are ways for you to save even more. ShipSigma offers comprehensive parcel audit services that routinely cut our partner’s high-volume shipping costs by 25%. From automatic billing error refunding to carrier contract negotiation, we’re all about discovering new ways to save you money. Try it out for free and start saving today.

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