A Complete Guide To UPS Box Sizes

guide to ups box sizes

Are you looking to ship your products with UPS? UPS has a variety of shipping box types and sizes, from corrugated boxes to express tubes and pallet boxes. They're sure to have a shipping box that will work best with the amount of items you are sending. But how do you pick the perfect one for your shipments?

We've compiled a complete guide to UPS box sizes! This article will help you discover the different sizes of shipping boxes, the limitations on how much weight each one can hold, how to find and purchase them, and which ones are best suited for certain shipping needs.

What Are The Different UPS Box Sizes? 

Let’s take a look at the different UPS boxes on offer and how best you can make use of them:

1. UPS Letter

  •         Package Size: 12.5” x 9.5”
  •         Weight Limit: 0.22kgs (0.5lbs)
  •         Minimum Order Quantity: 25
  •         Varying Order Increments: 25-250
  •         Best For: Documents, letters 

2. UPS 10kg Box

  •         Package Size: 16” x 13” x 10”
  •         Weight Limit: 10kgs (22lbs).
  •         Minimum Order Quantity: 2 boxes
  •         Varying Order Increments: Above 5 boxes
  •         Best For: Clothing, Shoes, Pillows, Blankets

3. UPS 25kg Box

  •         Package Size: 19” x 17” x 14”
  •         Weight limit: 25kgs (55 lbs).
  •         Minimum Order Quantity: 2 boxes.
  •         Varying Order Increments: above 5 boxes
  •         Best For: Leather jackets, kitchen items, medium-sized electronics

4. UPS Express Box

  •         Package Size: Large – 18” x 13” x 3”, Medium – 15” x 11” x 3”, Small – 13” x 11” x 2”
  •         Weight Limit: Large – 30lbs
  •         Minimum Order Quantity: 20 pieces
  •         Varying Order Increments: 40-100 pieces
  •         Best For: Books, Tapes, Electronic parts, Computer printouts

5. UPS Express Tube

  •         Package Size: 38" x 6" x 6"
  •         Minimum Order Quantity: 5 pieces
  •         Varying Order Increments: above 40
  •         Best For: Charts, Maps, Blueprints, Drawings, and posters.

6. UPS World Ease Document Box

  •         Package Size: 17.5” x 12.5” x 3”
  •         Minimum Order Quantity: 20 boxes.
  •         Varying Order Increments: above 1 case.
  •         Best for: Packing slips, invoice documents

7. UPS Pallet Boxes

  •         Package Size: Small – 16.5” x 13.25” x 10.75”, Large – 19.75” x 17.75” x 13.25”
  •         Weight Limit: Small – 10kg, Large – 25kg 
  •         Best For: Machinery, large appliances

UPS Box Weight and Size Restrictions

UPS states that an individual box weight should be 150 pounds or 70 kg at most to qualify to be sent through the small package delivery network. Always use an accurate scale since the weight is usually rounded to the next whole pound.

UPS also permits box sizes of up to 165 inches (420 cm) in length and girth combined. The length should be a maximum of 108 inches (274 cm) and is determined by which is the longest side of your package.

These restrictions are meant to ensure an efficient delivery program. Items exceeding these limits are billed separately, attracting surcharges before or after delivery. You can check out how to avoid shipping charge corrections on their website. 

How To Choose The Right UPS Box For Your Needsman taping box

Choosing the right UPS box will help lower your shipping fees and ensure your products arrive intact and preventing them from getting tossed around in transit. All of these combined will further minimize costly customer returns or product replacements.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing an ideal box for shipping items:

Shipping Service

You can only use certain UPS boxes for specific mailing services. For example, UPS 10 or 25-kg boxes are used for international shipping.

You will be charged a flat rate and another fee based on the shipping zone. You must also prepare and provide export documentation before the items can be dispatched.

Weight and Size of your Product

The weight of your product determines your billable weight. Your billable weight is based on the total actual weight or the total dimensional weight of the box, whichever is greater.

For instance, if you use a large box for packaging a small item, you might pay more as UPS will consider the dimensional weight rather than the actual weight. 

Various Boxes Size Restrictions

As illustrated above, UPS boxes have different size and weight limits for each box depending on the box's material and its internal dimensions.

The restrictions are to ensure your box is strong enough to hold your shipments without ripping or getting damaged.

Adhere to these set limits to avoid incurring unnecessary shipping surcharges or your items getting lost during transit.

The Type of Product

For fragile or valuable items like artwork, electronics, and glassware, you must cushion them from the rigors during transit.

The box you choose should fit the product snuggly and leave some space (2--3 inches) to fit the filler materials.

Some cushioning materials UPS offers include; foam wraps, crumpled Kraft paper, foam planks, and bubble cushions.

Where To Get UPS Boxes

If you open a UPS Business account, you can order the boxes for FREE  from their website, along with other shipping supplies. Check out our previous article, where you can find free shipping supplies in the U.S. 

UPS will deliver the boxes to you after 2-3 business days, or you can alternatively walk into the over 5,000 UPS Stores strewn across the country. The stores have a number of box sizes lying around, but it would be best to call ahead if you need specific dimensions.

Key Takeaways

Picking the correct box for your needs necessitates a correct balance between the size of your product and the box dimensions.

If you pick a box that's too large for your product, it will waste valuable space and incur extra charges since UPS uses dimensional weight to calculate shipping costs.

On the other hand, an undersized box will undermine your items' safety and might get damaged along the way.

You can also use the UPS box size calculator to determine which box is more suitable for your shipping needs. Selecting the right box not only gives an excellent first impression about your business but also ensures your parcel arrives in pristine condition.

Head over to our blogs for more shipping and packing tips.

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