Parcel 101


Not sure what a parcel is? Confused as to why there seem to be so many different names for that notorious brown box tangled in tape? Is it called a package? Or a box? Perhaps a bundle? Ah, these are the questions that keep us up at night.

What is a parcel?

A parcel can be described as an object, article, container, or quantity of something wrapped of packed up. A parcel is just a fancy name for the standard package you would mail or receive through your post office. Maybe grandma sent you a batch of her famous chocolate chip cookies or you’re sending a care package to your daughter who just went off to college – it would be considered a parcel and get sent through the postal service just like normal.

What is the difference between a parcel and a package?

Technically speaking, a package is something that is packed (so for example; a parcel, a box, etc.), whereas a parcel is a package wrapped for shipment. But in all honesty, the names essentially mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably with no harm done. Call it what you will, we’re going to call it parcel!

Is a parcel a letter or a package?

It’s a package. When we say parcel, we also mean package. A letter would have to be wrapped or packed to be considered a parcel.

What is parcel delivery?

Parcel delivery is the delivery of parcels. Imagine that! It’s a service that’s provided by most postal systems, private package delivery services, and less than truckload carriers (hint hint, that’s us).

Should I ship through parcel or freight?

That depends on how big your shipment is. There are a few standard criteria that a shipment must meet to be considered for parcel shipping:

  • Packages must weigh less than 150 pounds.
  • Packages must be less than 165 inches in combined length and girth.
  • Packages must be less than 108 inches in length. If the length is 108 inches, the girth must not be more than 67 inches.
  • Packages usually weigh more in a smaller space, or in other words, the packages are denser than others. For example, shipping 10 pounds of feathers would cost more than shipping 10 pounds of rocks, due to how much more space the feathers would take up.

You can visit our page on How to Properly Measure Your Parcel to learn how to measure your parcel like a pro. If your shipment doesn’t meet these criteria, it will be subject to oversize fees which can add up quick. The best solution would be to quote your package using both parcel and freight services and deem which method works best for you. Both methods have their benefits and drawbacks and so it comes down to assessing what your needs and priorities are for the shipment.

What are the benefits of parcel shipping?

What are the drawbacks of parcel shipping?

The biggest drawback of parcel shipping is the risk they carry. Because the shipments are smaller and more individual, there is more room for error or delay as they get further distributed onto smaller and smaller delivery trucks.

What are the benefits of parcel shipping?

Small packages mean more attentive care in making sure each package arrives at its destination. Because of the number of checkpoints a small package must pass, it’s easier to detect if it’s lost or off track. Parcels are also easy to reassign to a different truck or carrier, which allows for competitive discounted rates.

What are the drawbacks of freight shipping?

Freight shipping is designed for big packages that are often oddly shaped. Because space is limited in a freight truck, pallets and packages are often placed on top of each other to conserve room. This means it is crucial to package your freight properly and thoroughly to ensure it will be safe during the shipping process. Also, due to the nature of large freight trucks, the fuel surcharge is more than that of a truck for parcel shipments.

What are the benefits of freight shipping?

Freight shipping allows you to combine large and bulky items onto one palletized shipment for a cheaper rate than what it would cost you to ship each item individually through parcel shipping; if parcel shipping is even a viable option for your items. Freight shipping is a relatively quick and economical method to ship an otherwise oversized item.

How can I ship a parcel?

Well, we’re glad you asked! FreightCenter is known to ship freight but did you know we can also ship parcel? We’re your one stop shop shipping solution! Gone are the days of having to deal with multiple quotes from multiple carriers, just let FreightCenter handle it from start to finish!

How can I ship by freight?

Funny you should ask. Well, our name is FreightCenter so it’d be silly not to tell you all about how we offer the lowest freight prices, backed by our vast network of licensed and insured carriers. Not to mention, our team of experienced freight agents will have your back and can book your shipment for you in just a matter of minutes while you rest easy knowing it’s all being taken care of by professionals. 

How do I ship with FreightCenter?

Give us a call at 800-716-7608! We have agents on standby ready to take your call and get you the best price available. Whether you’re shipping a parcel or freight, they will be able to answer any questions you might have and walk you through the process every step of the way. Not interested in calling? No problem! Use our quote form to get your free quote in an instant.