What Is “Parcel Shipping”?

A “parcel” is a thing. An item, or even a collection of items, if you will. Sometimes, the thing is placed inside of a box, but not always. What is required for a thing to count as a “parcel” is that

a) it’s light enough to be lifted and carried without assistance (typically 100 pounds or less), and
b) it’s being shipped.

Beyond that, parcels tend to be individuals. As in, they’re each a different item, or they each have a different destination, for example. They’re kind of like season-agnostic Christmas presents (which might explain why grown-ups get so excited when they see the Amazon truck).

Most deliveries aren’t shipped as a parcel the entire way, though: most of the time, the item will start its journey stacked on a pallet and shipped via 18-wheeler to a local distribution center. Then it will be sorted into the appropriate delivery van/truck, where it’s loaded loosely and sent out for delivery.

So now you know your package is a “parcel.” The next question is, just how is it getting to you?

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