Packages and shipment weights
When you're fulfilling an order, you need to choose a package that matches the package type that you want to use.
You can save your preferred package types on the Shipping and delivery 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, the store default package or a recommended package will be pre-selected for you, which you can change if you want to use a different saved package.
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Supported package types
You can use the following package types to ship your products with Shopify Shipping labels.
Package shipment limits are set by the carrier. Girth is the measurement around the middle of the package, and is calculated as 2x width + 2x height. Length is measured on the longest side of the package. To learn more about maximum package requirements for specific carriers, refer to Shopify Shipping carriers.
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.
A large, flat envelope no thicker than 3/4 inches.
Flat rate packaging is offered by most carriers. These packages are not priced by size or weight, but rather a pre-determined package size and shipping speed that you've chosen from your carrier's available options.
If your store is based in the United States, then you can use USPS flat rate packaging. You can also request a free USPS shipping kit to get you started. The Domestic Flat Rate Variety Pack includes small (1), medium (2), and large (1) boxes, which you can use to ship both domestic and international orders.
If your store is based in Canada, then visit Canada Post's packaging best practices guide for more packaging tips.
Carrier packages are shipping packages available from the carrier with markings indicating that they qualify for special rates or services. These packages can be acquired from the carriers directly. If you use a package that matches the dimensions, but the package isn't provided by the carrier, then your package doesn't qualify for special rates or services.
USPS carrier packages
USPS offers the following selection of Priority Mail Flat Rate packages:
- USPS flat rate box - small (8.6 x 5.4 x 1.6 in)
- USPS flat rate box - medium (11 x 8.5 x 5.5 in)
- USPS flat rate box - medium shallow (11.9 x 3.4 x 13.6 in)
- USPS flat rate box - large (12 x 12 x 5.5 in)
- USPS flat rate envelope (12.5 x 9.5 x 0.5 in)
- USPS flat rate envelope - legal (15 x 9.5 x 0.5 in)
- USPS flat rate envelope - padded (12.5 x 9.5 x 0.5 in)
USPS flat rate packaging is available only to stores based in the United States.
Flat rate pricing is determined by the packaging that you choose. The weight limit is 70 lb for domestic shipments and 4 lb for international shipments when using flat rate carrier packaging through USPS. You're 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.
UPS carrier packages
UPS offers the following selection of Express packaging:
- PAK (17 × 13 × 1 in, 8.55 oz)
- Express Envelope (12.5 × 9.5 × 1 in, 1.45 oz)
- Express Envelope Legal (15 × 9.5 × 1 in, 1.45 oz)
- Express Box Small (13 × 11 × 2 in, 5.75 oz)
- Express Box Medium (16 × 11 × 3 in, 8.11 oz)
- Express Box Large (18 × 13 × 3 in, 9.7 oz)
- Weight limit is 30lbs
The Express envelopes and boxes ship with UPS Next Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air, and International services. Other UPS services aren't available when using these packages.
Sendle carrier package
Sendle offers only one carrier package. This package has no weight limit, but can only be shipped domestically within Australia.
- Unlimited Satchel (33.5 × 24.5 × 1 cm, 0.01 kg)
Free packaging materials
Many carriers offer free packaging to use with specific shipping rates. 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:
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:
|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 lb||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 lb||Jeans or small electronics (for example, a small camera). These items can be shipped in a small box.|
|3-4 lb||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 lb||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 lb||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 lb||Large toy (for example, a doll), work boots, or small sporting equipment. These items can be shipped in a medium box.|
|7-8 lb||Cookware sets, or medium tabletop appliances (for example, a toaster). These items can be shipped in medium or large boxes.|
|8-9 lb||Large radios, or DVD players. These items can be shipped in a large box.|
|9-10 lb||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 add weights to your products, make sure that your packaging weights and dimensions are also accurate. Most carrier-provided packaging displays dimensions on the box. Learn more about adding a package.
Your default package dimensions are sent to your shipping carrier along with your order's weight to calculate shipping rates for your customer. Dimensional weight is determined by the carrier based on the height, width, and depth of your packages. Dimensional weight applies to some shipping services when a package's total length x width x height exceeds 1 cubic foot (1728 cubic inches).
If your dimensional weight is larger than your order's weight, then your customer is charged for the dimensional weight of their order. If you think that the generated rates are too high or too low, then you can adjust your calculated rates to increase or decrease your shipping rates as needed.
Dimensional weight calculations vary between carriers. Consult the carrier you're using for details about their dimensional weight policies.
The following carriers have dimensional weight policies:
Carriers without dimensional weight policies:
To set up a package for calculating shipping rates at checkout, refer to Managing your store default package.