More than 131 billion parcels were shipped globally in 2020, according to Pitney Bowes. During the holidays is when a lot of people are contributing to this record-breaking number. 

The Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index measures parcel volume and spend for business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-business and consumer consigned shipments with weight up to 31.5kg (70 pounds) across 13 countries. If you shipped a box weighing 70 pounds or less, you were part of this statistic. 

What is Parcel Shipping?

Parcel shipping is the shipment of boxed items that weigh 70-150 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.


About The Author

Mike Eberl
Mike is Founder and CEO of Customodal. Having a nearly 30 year history owning companies which provided asset-based ground freight, parcel shipping, air freight and charter flight services, Mike harnessed that knowledge into a Top-Tier logistics company when he started Customodal.

To read more about Mike, check out his full bio here.