Parcel Shipping: A Primer

Parcel Shipping: A Primer

Over 14.7 billion parcels were shipped in the U.S. in 2019, according to Pitney Bowes. If you shipped boxed items weighing less than 100 pounds each, you likely engaged in parcel shipping and contributed to this record-breaking statistic. Keep reading to find out the definition, when it’s a good option for your business, how the rates are calculated, and some of the benefits.


What is Parcel Shipping?


Parcel shipping is the shipment of boxed items that weigh 100-150 pounds or less, depending on the carrier. These are smaller packages that are easy to move by one person without assistance.


When Should You Use Parcel Shipping?


Businesses will want to consider parcel instead of LTL shipping for their smaller loads. Parcels are more flexible and often economical choice for those shipping a few small packages at a time.


What Are Parcel Shipping Rates Based On?


Carriers calculate parcel rates by looking at three items:

  1. Service Level
  2. Zone
  3. Weight


When it comes to service level, the carrier looks at whether the shipper wants ground or air service. The origin and destination zip codes for the shipment come into play under the zone. And the actual or dimensional weight of the package impacts the price of shipping too.


The Pros and Cons


Shipping of parcels has many benefits, including the flexibility to drop off your shipments any time within business hours, quick overnight shipments, residential delivery, and greater tracking ability with its multiple transfer points.


However, those transfer points do increase the risk of damage, delay, and loss of goods. Unlike LTL shipping, where goods are palletized and safely organized on the truck, parcels are loosely placed and have a higher chance of getting damaged or lost. It’s critical that your items are properly packaged and marked.


Get a Free Audit from Customodal


Even with the risks involved, parcel shipping is still a good option if you have many small packages going to different addresses. We would be happy to review your current rates and see if we can improve them. Contact our office to get a free audit. Contact us online or call us at 800-445-6577.

Customodal’s OPTIX is an automated small parcel auditing service that utilizes Big Data to run diagnostic checks on customers’ small parcel shipments by measuring for billing accuracy and delivery promise without any intrusion into company workflow or servers.