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The Size of Boxes at UPS: Let’s Unpack-age This

With this knowledge, you can confidently ship your products

  • Written by Alex Dolce
  • Published on July 6, 2023
  • Time to read 9 minutes

Introduction

Are you planning on sending a product through UPS services? Or, are you deciding which package size will fit your product the best? Maybe you want to know the size of boxes at UPS. Whatever the reason, knowing the correct package size for your product is essential. These include cost, efficiency, sustainability, better storage, and freshness.

Today, this blog will go over the different package sizes – from extra small to extra large – offered by UPS via UPS’s website:
(https://www.ups.com/us/en/support/shipping-support/shipping-costs-rates/flat-rate-shipping.page).

This includes prices and examples of products that each can carry. We will also share some tips for choosing the right box size. By the end, you will understand the size of boxes at UPS and what you can use each for.

A graphic illustration shows examples of extra small boxes.

Extra Small

The smallest box size at UPS is “Extra Small.” Here is a breakdown of this size, according to UPS:

  1. Dimensions: From 1-100 cubic inches.
    a. Example: 4 in x 4in x 4in
  2. Starting Price: $10.20
  3. Product examples for this size: wristwatches, coffee mugs, lipsticks, stationery

This box size is suitable for sending various small items like the ones above. If you have a very small item that you want to send, extra small boxes are the way to go. Now that Extra Small has been covered move on.

A row of boxes is shown, this time representing common items that could fit inside a "small" box.

Small

The next size up from Extra Small boxes is “Small.” Let’s lay out what this size means in terms of dimensions, price, and products that work for it:

  1.  Dimensions: From 101-250 cubic inches.
    a. Example: 6 in x 6 in x 6 in
  2.  Starting Price: $13.35 
  3. Product examples for this size: small kitchen appliances (toasters, bullet blenders), table lamps, and tablets. The small box size is slightly bigger than the Extra Small and can be used for items similar to the product examples. Now, let’s go to the next size up.
Medium items are shown packed into "medium" sized boxes.

Medium

Following Small, there are “Medium-sized boxes. These boxes are good for a variety of products and items. Here’s a general look at the box size:

  1. Dimensions: From 251-650 cubic inches
    a. Example: 8 in x 8 in x 8 in
  2. Starting Price: $16.05
  3. Product examples for this size: picture frames, binders, small electronics or kitchenware

The Medium box size is an excellent way to move various objects, from picture frames to toasters. Moving on, let’s go over Large boxes.

A graphic illustration shows large items packed into "large" UPS boxes.

Large

“Large” box sizes are great for single large items and multiple items in one. Additionally, they can fit odd-shaped objects. Let’s have a look at the overview of Large boxes:

  1. Dimensions: From 651-1,050 cubic inches
    a. Example: 10 in x 10 in x 10 in
  2. Starting Price: $21.05
  3. Product examples for this size: soccer ball, large blender, multiple children’s toys

By utilizing Large boxes, you can send both large and small items. They make sending multiple smaller items at once, such as multiple makeup tools or children’s toys, easier. If you are moving or have an extensive product you need to send, you will want this box size. To end, let’s go over the final box size offered by UPS. ‘

UPS "extra large" boxes are shown packed full of very large items.

Extra Large

The final box size UPS offers is “Extra Large.” You can probably already guess what sorts of objects can be shipped and sent in these, but let’s go over the box size anyway:

  1. Dimensions: From 1,051-1,728 cubic inches
    a. Example: 12 in x 12 in x 12 in
  2. Starting Price: $26.05
  3. Product examples for this size: large pillows, multiple more oversized items (for example, climbing gear), espresso machine

Like the Large boxes, you can send multiple items in extra-large boxes. Also, you can pack very large single products. Now that we’ve covered all the box size categories offered at UPS let’s go over some helpful tips when deciding on boxes and box sizes.

Some Helpful Tips

When choosing box sizes for shipping through UPS, here are some helpful tips to consider:

1. Right Size and Weight:

Firstly, select a box size appropriate for the items you are shipping. Ensure the box is large enough to comfortably accommodate your items while leaving little room for protective packaging materials. Avoid using excessively large boxes, which may result in higher shipping costs.

2. UPS Guidelines:

Next, familiarize yourself with UPS guidelines regarding box sizes and weight limits. UPS provides specific recommendations and restrictions for different shipping services. Ensure your box dimensions and weight comply with UPS regulations to avoid issues or additional charges.

3. Strength and Durability:

Third, choose a sturdy box that can withstand weight and handling during transit. UPS recommends using new, corrugated cardboard boxes for optimal strength. Avoid using damaged or weak boxes, as they may compromise the integrity of your shipment.

4. Inner Packaging:

Fourthly, use appropriate packaging materials, such as bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or air pillows, to protect the contents of your shipment. These materials should fill empty spaces within the box, preventing movement and minimizing the risk of damage during transit.

5. Seal Properly:

Next, seal the box securely using strong packaging tape. Apply tape along all seams and edges to keep the box closed during transportation. UPS recommends using pressure-sensitive plastic tape at least 2 inches in width.

6. Label Placement:

Furthermore, follow UPS guidelines for label placement. Ensure the shipping label is affixed securely and prominently on the box’s largest flat surface. Avoid placing labels on seams, folds, or areas that may be damaged or obscured.

7. Weight Distribution:

Next, distribute the weight evenly within the box to maintain stability during shipping. Placing heavier items at the bottom and lighter items on top can help prevent shifting and potential damage.

8. Use UPS Packaging Supplies:

Finally, if needed, consider using UPS packaging supplies. These include UPS Express Boxes or UPS Express Tubes explicitly designed for their shipping services. These pre-sized boxes can provide convenience and assurance of meeting UPS requirements.

Consider UPS’s official guidelines and resources for specific requirements or recommendations based on your shipping needs. Properly packaging your items and choosing the correct box size can help ensure your shipments’ safe and efficient delivery through UPS.

Some Final Thoughts:

Understanding the size of boxes UPS offers is essential for efficient and cost-effective shipping. From Extra Small boxes for small items to Extra Large boxes for large or multiple items, UPS provides a range of options to accommodate various products.

Also, when choosing a box size, consider factors such as the right size and weight, adherence to UPS guidelines, box strength and durability, appropriate inner packaging materials, proper sealing and label placement, even weight distribution, and UPS packaging supplies if needed.

By following these tips, you can ensure your shipments’ safe and efficient delivery through UPS. Also, make sure to consult UPS’s official guidelines for specific requirements. With this knowledge, you can confidently ship your products with UPS, knowing they will be well-protected during transit.

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