Packages and shipment weights

When you're fulfilling an order, you need to choose a package that matches the type that you want to use:

Choose a package type during fulfillment

You can save your preferred package types on the Shipping settings page or on an order's Fulfillment page in your Shopify admin. Most carriers charge by size and weight, so it’s important to keep your packaging small. When you're ready to buy a shipping label for your shipment, you can choose which one of your saved packages you want to use.

Supported package types

You can use the following package types to ship your products with Shopify Shipping labels:

  • Box

    A regular package. The total of the length, width, and height can't be above 84 inches.

  • Soft pack

    A padded envelope, bubble mailer, or plastic (Tyvek or Poly) sleeve. Packages thicker than 3/4 inches don't qualify for USPS First Class Mail rates.

  • Envelope

    A large, flat envelope no thicker than 3/4 inches.

  • Flat rate

Flat rate packaging is supplied by your carrier. Its shipping cost is not determined by the weight of your shipment.

If your store is based in Canada, then visit Canada Post's packaging best practices guide for more packaging tips.

Unsupported package types

You can't use the following package types to ship your products with Shopify Shipping labels:

  • Letter

    A flat envelope or letter thinner than 1/4 inch.

  • Large package

    A package whose total dimensions (to total of the package's length, width, and height) are greater than 84 inches.

  • Irregular package

    A non-rectangular package.

Add a package type

If your store is in the United States or Canada, then you can save the dimensions and weights of your preferred package types on the Shipping settings page in your Shopify admin.

To add a package type:

  1. In the Packages section, click Add package:

  2. In the dialog, enter the required information about the package type:

    Some mail types have restrictions on the size of the packages that you can use to ship your products. A notice about applicable size restrictions will appear on the dialog when you create a new package type.

Free packaging materials

Many carriers offer free packaging to use with specific shipping services. Although there is no cost for the packaging, you might need to create a free account with the carrier so that they can send the packaging to you. The following Shopify Shipping carriers offer free packaging:

USPS flat rate packaging

If your store is based in the United States, then you can use USPS flat rate packaging. Flat rate pricing is determined by the packaging that you choose as long as the package weighs less than 70 lbs. You are charged for the price of the flat rate box or envelope and not the weight of the package or the distance that it has to travel.

To add a flat rate package:

  1. In the Saved packages section, click Add package:

  2. In the dialog, click Carrier packaging:

  3. Select the proper flat rate package type from the list:

  4. If you want to set this package type as the default package, then check Set as default package.

  5. Click Add package:

Common product weights

You need to include accurate weights for your products so that your customers are charged the correct amount for shipping. Accurate product weights also ensure that you're charged correctly for the USPS, DHL Express, and Canada Post labels you purchase through Shopify.

Until you get a scale for accurate measurements, you can use the following general guidelines:

Weight Products
Less than 8 oz Light items such as jewelry, watches, phone cases, light clothing (for example, a scarf), accessories, socks, or intimates. These items can be shipped in a poly mailer or bubble mailer.
8-16 oz Most clothing items (for example, a T-shirt or blouse), or a watch in its case. Most of these items can be shipped in a poly mailer, bubble mailer, or a small box.
1-2 lbs Heavier clothing items (for example, a jacket or dress pants), a cell phone in its box, sneakers, or light items that need to ship in a small box.
2-3 lbs Jeans or small electronics (for example, a small camera). These items can be shipped in a small box.
3-4 lbs A set of children's play blocks, a few paperback books, men's shoes, or a large camera with accessories. These items can be shipped in a small box.
4-5 lbs Medium to large sized items (for example, a full set of sheets, or a puzzle box). These items can be shipped in a medium box.
5-6 lbs Individual cookware, small tabletop appliances, or boxed board games. These items can be shipped in a medium box, though some larger books might fit better in another type of packaging (for example, a bubble mailer).
6-7 lbs Large toy (for example, a doll), work boots, or small sporting equipment. These items can be shipped in a medium box.
7-8 lbs Cookware sets, or medium tabletop appliances (for example, a toaster). These items can be shipped in medium or large boxes.
8-9 lbs Large radios, or DVD players. These items can be shipped in a large box.
9-10 lbs Sets of items (for example, several books or pieces of clothing), or home decor. These items can be shipped in medium or large boxes, though some larger books might fit better in another type of packaging (for example, a bubble mailer).

After you've added weights to your products, make sure that your packaging weights and dimensions are also accurate. Most carrier-provided packaging comes with dimensions advertised on the box. To learn more about adding a package type, see Initial setup

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