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What is a Large Package Surcharge in courier lingo?

Large Package surcharges can apply to both domestic and international shipments through ShipNerd when shipping via small package couriers – ie: UPS, DHL, Canpar Express. When getting your shipping quote, you will be informed that the shipment is a “Large Package” by seeing “Large Package Surcharge” returned in your quoted.

For domestic shipments a package is considered a “Large Package” 😉 when its length (longest side of the package) plus its girth (width x 2 + height x 2) exceeds 130″ inches or its length exceeds 96 inches. This is precisely why it’s important to input accurate dimensions when generating a quote, as we use this information to price the shipment with the couriers. If your shipment meets the criteria above, couriers will add this surcharge to your quote, and you’ll see it before deciding to purchase the shipping label – no surprises!

How a large package is ultimately measured can seem confusing, but it isn’t!

If a package is 40″ long, 28″ wide and 17″ high you’d do the following:

40 + (28×2 + 17×2) = 130”

You can see how the smallest variation (ie: 1″ larger in any dimension) can bump up the shipment over 130″, and cause a Large Package shipping surcharge to get applied.

When measuring a package you need to keep in mind that the measurements are taken by the courier from the furthest distances of each measurement, not from the edge of the box to the other edge. This means that if your box is “bowing” outward, the bow will be the measurement a courier uses and the one you should use. Please review the image below for a clearer illustration of what the measurement must come from:

NOTE: Do not rely solely on the dimensions printed on the box to be accurate. Always measure it yourself and take pictures of each measurement!