Do you know what the standard parcel sizes are when posting your valuable items by courier?

Although you can use your own packaging to send goods, using standard parcel boxes can be a particularly secure method, making it easier for the handlers and providing you with peace of mind.
We take a look at the industry standard options and what limitations are in place.

Company specific

It is possible to purchase parcel boxes which are made specifically for the transportation of goods, but every provider offers their own version and the sizes can vary in dimensions.

Pharos Parcel have a great range of parcel boxes, perfect for sending goods, with a strong construction and the secure double walls.

However, whilst the sizes available may be meaningful for those using Royal Mail services, if you are using a parcel delivery provider (possibly because they are cheaper) the classification of the boxes may have little bearing on the overall cost.

There are a range of different ‘standard’ parcel boxes available, but these are far from uniform across the industry

Why use a parcel box?

Even if the parcel box you want to use isn’t one of the standard sizes offered by your parcel delivery company, it can still be beneficial in a number of ways.

You will know that it’s designed for the purpose intended, and there won’t be distracting or confusing markings on the box which can be the case with recycled boxes.

When you arrange for the collection and delivery of a parcel you will be asked for the dimensions of the item. If you don’t have these to hand, it can be inconvenient to have to measure the items before you can book the delivery. Using a parcel box means you will know what these dimensions are in advance, making the booking process simple and fast.


Rather than send one heavy parcel, send a few lighter ones which works out cheaper

Even though you may be using a parcel box, there are still some limitations that you should bear in mind when you are packing your items.

Firstly, although you may be able to pack many items in the parcel box, you still need to consider the overall weight. If the goods you want to send are heavy, you may need to spread the contents over more than one box.
Also make sure you don’t forget to factor in the amount of packaging required to protect your goods. Although a standard parcel box is strong, you will still need bubble wrap, peanuts or other kind of packaging material to reduce the risk of damage.

Although the parcel delivery drivers will be fit and able-bodied, the heavier an item is, the more likely it is to get damaged in transit, or even dropped when being moved. Be reasonable over the weight and you are less likely to suffer damage to your parcel.

In addition to the weight, you should check with your parcel delivery company to see whether they have any limits over the dimensions. Parcels have to travel through a laser calibrated system, and items which exceed the maximum capacities typically attract an additional charge.

Choosing the right company is important for your parcel.

Companies may be able to offer assistance for items which are larger than the standard dimensions but they will require advance notice so they can provide advice. For items which are irregular shapes, it is the widest or longest part which is used to calculate the overall volume.


Using a parcel delivery firm allows you to transport items across both the UK and the rest of the world. You can use your own parcel boxes but opting for one of the standard industry parcel boxes has a number of benefits. As well as being designed for purpose, they won’t exceed the maximum dimensions and will be strong, secure and easy to use.