How to send a large parcel?

Do you want to send a large parcel, but you are not sure which method to choose to keep it cheap, but professional. In the paragraphs below, you will find the comparison of sizes and costs, when sending a large parcel with transport companies, shipping online services, royal mail and others. Learn, what you can do to prevent emptying your wallet by words like “oversized” and “non-standard”! 🙂

Check the parcel weight and size

Actual weight and size (dimensions) are the most crucial parameters, that you need to determine when getting quotes for shipping your parcel. Especially if the package size is quite big, make sure you double-check it to avoid disappointment afterwards. Literally, a slight inconsistency between the real size and the measurements and the cost difference is significant! 🙂

1) Parcel Size

Remember – the values you need to know to send your parcel are the following three dimensions (preferably in this order): length (L), height (H), weight (W).

Depending on the means of transport you decide on and the transport provider you select, you may encounter different size limits and requirements for small, medium and large parcels. Later in this article, we will explain more about sizes and shipping prices for different courier companies.

how to ship a large parcel

We will try to send a sample Large Parcel 200 (L) x 40 (H) x 50 (W) cm and 25 kg.

2) Parcel Weight

The weight of your parcel can be calculated differently as well. Very often, companies calculate so-called “volumetric weight” – especially when your package is lightweight and large.

How to calculate volumetric weight?

Volumetric vs. actual weight of your parcel
Are you wondering which one of these will be used for the purpose of calculating the price of sending your parcel? The answer is pretty simple: the one that is higher. It will then be called “Chargeable weight

Let’s calculate an exemplary ‘volumetric weight’ of a 200 x 40 x 50 cm and 25 kg parcel:

Let’s follow DHL’s formula this time:

length x height x width (cm)

200 x 40 x 50(cm)  = 80 kg

So, our volumetric weight is greater than the actual one. It will be used in the price calculations. 

When you check the pricing guidelines or spreadsheets available on couriers’ websites often to your final cost of transport you need to add some extra fees. For instance, you may need to add fuel surcharge, additional fee for ‘non-standard’ elements, “large parcel” surcharge or VAT

How courier companies calculate volumetric weight?


length x height x width (cm)


length x height x width (cm)


National Express (UK) : length x height x width  x 250

Express Services (INT) : length x height x width x 200

Different services have different conversion factors as well as size restrictions, to know more click here.

Lost in words
If you encounter different names like volumetric weight or dimensional weight – don’t get confused, they all mean the same thing.

Royal Mail

When sending a large parcel, Royal Mail advice is to use Parcelforce Worldwide service. Royal Mail size restrictions for parcels are shown on the picture below.

how to ship a large parcel?

Well, you get the idea. Royal Mail will not be much of help when sending a large package. Certainly, there must have been a reason why the Guardian released an article titled ” Why you need to be a maths genius to post a parcel”, where they described Royal Mail complexities of parcel size criteria.

5 ways to send your large parcel

We decided that the best and easiest way for you to understand all available shipping methods is to go through them step by step and show you examples 🙂

Below you will find dimensions of our sample Large Parcel. We estimated the cost of shipping it locally in the UK and internationally with different courier companies, parcel delivery comparison websites (example: Parcel Monkey) and transport providers who bid on transport listings online (example: Clicktrans). See what we found out!

Jak wysłać dużą paczkę?

200 cm – length

40 cm – width

50 cm – hight

waga: 25 kg


1)DHL Express Parcel

If we want to send the parcel locally in the UK the price will depend on the length of the route, the size, weight of the parcel and additional charges or services we’d like to use.

Maximum dimensions for a parcel are 120 x 80 x 80 cm

Over sized piece: YES. We will need to pay additionally if a parcel has a dimension in excess of 120 cm. The length of our parcel is 200 cm.

Over weight piece: NO. We would need to pay extra for an over weight piece that exceeds 70kg.

DHL surcharges
Does your parcel exceed size and weight limits? You will need to pay £35 for each parameter that does not meet the criteria.

When trying to figure out the cost of sending your parcel with DHL internationally you need to know a value of a volumetric weight of your parcel and the pricing zone of your country, see the example below. Still, it only applies if your parcel dimensions do not exceed 120 x 80 x 80 cm.

how to ship a large parcel?


Let’s use the website search engine to get quotes.

1. First I go to >> Send a parcel

2. Then I choose “UK mainland”, both in the “From” and “To” boxes cause I want to check the domestic shipments rates.

3. I type the dimensions of our sample large parcel in the push “Quote & Book”.

4. Let’s see what happens…well not much. See the pop- up message below:

how to ship a large parcel UK


Unfortunately, the same message pops up when we try to send the international parcel. Apparently, it’s just too big. Let’s see if UPS Large Parcel plan can help us with that.

3)UPC Large Parcel

Similarly to DHL services, UPS warn us in its Support section:

Shipping rates do not include duties, taxes, or other non-routine customs brokerage charges. Other shipping charges, surcharges, or value-added service charges may apply and your final shipping charge may differ based on your shipper characteristics and the characteristics of, and services requested for, packages actually tendered to UPS.

They also advise to use “Calculate Time and Cost” tool on their website to calculate shipment rate. Let’s do that!

  1. First, we need to calculate chargeable weight. I already did that in the previous paragraph. It’s 80kg.
  2. Decide whether it is a domestic or international shipment.
  3. Then let’s go to Shipping tab >> Calculate Time and Cost
  4. Choose the UPS Service you are interested in (UPS Standard, Express Saver, Express etc.)
  5. Provide details of your shipment (“Ship from”, “ship to” fields, weight, dimensions)

So, if I’d like to ship my Large Parcel locally from London to Manchester it would cost between £82 and £165.  The “Large Package” surcharge, fuel surcharge and VAT have been already added.

how to ship a large parcel UK

















Need to ship your parcel from Bradford to Edinburgh? Again the cost will be very similar, between £82 and £165. You can expect the rates of domestic shipments to vary depending on the UPS service you will choose and how fast you want your parcel to reach its final destination.

International parcel

We estimated the cost of the international parcel as well. First, we tried to send the parcel from Edinburg to Malmo. So depending on the service you use, as mentioned previously, the cost will vary. The cheapest you can get is £143. Then the price will go higher with delivery time going down.

how to ship a large parcel UK
















4) Parcel Monkey

We tried to use a parcel delivery comparison website as well. The most recommended one is Parcel Monkey. Let’s see if they will help us send the large parcel for a reasonable price! With Parcel Monkey you have variety services to choose from, no matter if you search for a way to send a domestic or an international parcel.

Look at the comparison results for domestic shipping:

how to ship a large parcel UK




Now, have a look at the estimated rates for international parcels:

UK > Poland

UK > Italy

UK > Spain

UK > Portugal

We tried all these and unfortunately, the notification we’ve received was:

how to ship a large parcel UK



Apparently, the Guardian was right. Sending a parcel is a rocket science indeed. Though, maybe it just needs a different approach? Let’s see if we can do better with online transport marketplace.

5) Online transport marketplace

Online transport marketplace? “How does it work” you may ask. It’s a website where you can create a listing for free, where you describe your parcel, you can mention its dimensions and weight though it’s not the most important information. It’s quite different to what we experienced with courier companies, right?

When you use online transport marketplace you actually don’t need to worry about the size and weight of your parcel or any additional fees.

You describe your item, choose pickup and delivery location and that’s it. Now, you can wait for transport providers, who are already registered on the website to bid for your listings. What’s more, on Clicktrans there are more than 14 thousands transport companies looking for loads.

Transport providers usually try to schedule their transport jobs in the way that helps them utilize trucks full capacity as well as use their time reasonably. Most of the time they search for return loads or shipments that they can deliver along the way. You can get nice quotes thanks to this mechanism!

how to ship a large package

Below you can find sample auctions realized with Clicktrans:

Parcel from Watford to London for £ 21

TV from Bolton(UK) to Bray (Ireland) for £43

15 large boxes from London to Hungary for £360

Would you like to get quotes for your delivery? To send a large parcel, click on the link  below>>

Source : Source


I'm searching for easy ways to safely transport untypical items. I would like to prove to all our readers that - after some preparations - you can transport just about anything. No matter what the courier says.

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2 Responses

  1. Sithara Reddy says:

    Nice blog post

  2. iPostParcels says:

    You know what I personally like about this article? The fact that you have shared with us the way courier companies weigh the parcels. Otherwise, you have really made it easy for us to decide how to send a large parcel through your article.

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