What is a Packet, a Parcel & a Large Letter? UK & Canadian Sizes

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Why Should You Print Parcel Addresses

As postal services are international and mechanised there is great international agreement on the sizes and standards related to sending goods through the post. This article will set out the shapes and sizes for parcels, small packets and letters.

Postal Service: How Big is the Largest Letter?

The dimensions for posting in the UK is given in milimetres and weight is in grams. Note, the size for international post from the UK is similar but not identical to domestic post within the UK.

A letter may be posted at either standard first or second class, it can be maximum:

  • domestic 240 x 165 x 5mm and 100g
envelope icon vector illustration
Domestic letter size – image by iowalum.com
  • international 220 x 110mm
A Envelope Template
International letter size – image by iowalum.com

A large letter has a different pricing structure, maximum dimensions:

  • 353 x 250 x 25mm and 750g

What is the Size of a Small Packet?

Anything larger than a letter is a packet and anything larger than a packet is a parcel. A small packet posted in the UK can weigh up to 2 kilograms, but for second class postage the maximum weight is 1 kg.

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Anything larger than a letter is a packet – image by blogspot.com

Anything bigger than a large letter is classed as a packet, it could be any shape but the maximum dimensions for a packet are:

  • Packets within the UK, 610 x 460 x 460 mm
  • International packets must not have any side longer than 600mm
  • And the length + depth + width must be no more than 900mm

What is the Maximum Size for a Letter in Canada?

The maximum dimensions for posting letters and packets in Canada is given in centimetres and grams.

A letter posted in Canada may be up to: 38 x 27 x 2 cm and 500g (1.1lb).

A CD or DVD could be sent as a domestic letter within Canada but goods and any items of value must not be sent as letters but as a parcel.

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A CD or DVD could be sent as a domestic letter – image by quora.com

Canadian Postal Service Parcel or Small Packet

When posting in Canada an item is called a parcel if it is either:

  • bigger than a letter or
  • contains goods going to an international destination, including the US

The maximum size for a domestic parcel sent within Canada with the Canadian postal service is 2 metres in length and length + girth must be no more than 3 metres. The size for posting parcels abroad is smaller and various sizes apply to different countries.

Parcel pileofpackages
Parcel contains goods going to an international destination – image by technical.ly

International parcels from Canada include a “small packet” category for pricing purposes, the size of which is the same as that from the UK described above. An international packets must not have any side longer than 600mm and the length + depth + width must be no more than 900mm.

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