Your questions about size and weight

Service Restrictions

Each service selected have different restrictions including weight, length, volume and girth. If you enter both postcodes and the correct measurements for size/ weight at the time of getting a quote, you will only see results for the services that take parcels that size. Therefore, please make sure your calculations are accurate at the time of booking a delivery service to avoid any retrospective charges.

Parcels going to European countries not part of the EU are subject to Customs inspection and depending on what your parcel contains, where it's going to and where it's come from (business or non-business) it may be stopped for inspection. Customs delays can sometimes be extensive. Therefore, if you do ship internationally as a business, make sure you consider Customs and factor potential problems in to your Terms & Conditions. Also determine whether or not it's worth shipping outside the EU, depending on what you sell.

All of our services and prices are based on accurate weight, dimensional and postal code inputs from our Customers and we ask that you enter these accurately to avoid service delays or Additional Payments being generated.

Weights for Parcels and Consignments are based on either the actual weight or the volumetric weight whichever is higher and this method of charging is standard in the parcel carrier industry.

To calculate the volumetric weight you need to multiply the weight x width x height and in most cases divided by 4000 – 5000 depending on carrier to give you the chargeable weight. (See below)

Additional Charges


Large Package Surcharge £ 35.00
Address Correction £ 7.50
Extended Area collection and Delivery £0.33 - £ 20.00 depending on region
Additional Handling £ 8.00
Return To Sender £ 5.00
Cylindrical item charge £ 7.00
UPS International - If goods are underdeclared then a per kg additional fee will also be included in addition to surcharges previously discussed.
Note: All shipments booked on uPS service must be fully encased in cardboard; if not a additional handling charge will be applied.


Volumetric Surcharge £ 45
Failed Collection Surcharge £ 7.50
Cancellation Surcharge applies if 24 hours notice is not given £ 7.50
Return To Sender £ 8.00
Address Change £ 7.50
Incomplete or Incorrect Address £ 0.50
Parcelforce International - If goods are underdeclared then a per kg additional fee will also be included in addition to surcharges previously discussed.

(Cancellation Surcharge applies if we have not been given 24hrs notice, not including weekends or Bank Holidays)


Remote Area Delivery £ 20.00 or £ 0.35 per kg whichever is higher
Remote Area Pick-Up £ 20.00 or £ 0.35 per kg whichever is higher
Overweight Piece £ 70.00
Over Sizes Piece £ 70.00
Over Handled Piece £ 65.00
Address Correction £ 10.00
Restricted Destination £ 25.00 If goods are underdeclared then a per kg additional fee will also be included in addition to surcharges previously discussed.


Address Correction £ 7.50
Extended Area £ 20 or £ £ 0.35 per kg whichever is higher (collection and or delivery post codes)
If goods are underdeclared then a per kg additional fee will also be included in addition to surcharges previously discussed.
Goods over 68kg must be palletized and will be billed in accordance with Fedex freight rates rather than a parcel contract.

Tuffnells 1-2 day delivery services

Redelivery / recollection charge up to 50% of booking value
Cancellation £7.50
(L x W x H ) / 4544 = Volumetric weight
Maximum length is 3m


Redelivery £ 3.00
Return to Sender £5.50
Overweight charge over 30kg £0.25 per kg
Nothing to collect £15

P4D branded international services

Address amendment charge £9. Only applicable after the collection has taken place
Elevated risk £17.50
Exporter validation £25
Restricted destination £25
Maximum length is 1.2m

City-Sprint services

Failed collection 50% of booking cost
Re-delivery chargable per mile
Waiting time is also applicable on this service - a 15 minute slot is allocated to both the collection and delivery.

Palletways services

Failed collection £20 + vat per consignment
Failed delivery £20 + vat per pallet
Cancellations £20 + vat without 24 hours notice

Pallet-track services

Failed collection up to 50% of the shipment fee
Failed delivery up to 50% of the shipment fee Cancellations £20 without 24 hours notice

P4D Pallet with POD & P4D Groupage Services

Failed collection £40 per consignment
Failed delivery - Must be re-quoted by delivery depot
Hazardous goods £45
Rebooking fee applies at £20.
Cancellations £20 without 24 hours notice

In the event that you have under-declared your dimensions or weights and additional charges come through from the carrier of choice then by accepting our terms agree for P4D to collect these fees from your payment card that was used to make the original payment.

All surcharges discussed are plus vat if this is applicable to the original shipment. P4D is a booking agent and the majority of the time do not handle clients cargo, therefore, surcharges can be raised up to 90 days after the original transaction date. We ask our customers who wish to dispute any charges to provide pictures that can disprove the carriers measurements. If proof is not provided then P4D reserve the right under the Late Payments Act, to claim late payment interest and compensation for debt recovery costs.

If you would like to discuss a large or bulky delivery or find out more about a particular service not listed above, contact our customer service team.

How do I measure my parcel?

You'll need three measurements in centimeters for your parcel. You can put these in to our quote box in any order.

To get these dimensions, measure in centimeters from top-bottom, left-right, and front-back, like the image below.

Measure your parcel

If your parcel is an odd shape (not rectangular), measure it as though it is inside a rectangular shaped box, so to the longest edge for each dimension.

Measure your odd shaped parcel

Some couriers ask for the girth, which is the measurement around the whole parcel (like a measurement of your own waistline). Measure around the parcel to get the circumference.

Measure your parcel girth

How do I convert to centimeters?

Our quote system works only in centimeters:


10mms = 1cm eg. a parcel width of 320mm = 32cms (320 / 10)


1inch = 2.5cm eg. a parcel width of 12inches = 30cms (12 x 2.5)

How does the size of my parcel affect the delivery cost?

The bigger your parcel, the more you pay for delivery because it takes up more room in the delivery van and may take more resources to lift. However, regardless of the size of your parcel, our easy booking system will work it all out for you when you input the weight and dimensions.


There are two important size measurements that determine the price you pay for a courier service:

Longest length

To keep costs down the longest length of your parcel should be no more than 150cm.

Cubic metres

The threshold for the majority of cheaper parcel delivery via courier is 0.23 cubic metres, or 230,000cm.

To work this out, take the three measurements for your parcel - length, width and depth. Let's say your parcel is 70cm long, 60cm wide, and 50cm deep.

In centimetres that would be 70 x 60 x 50 = 210,000cm.

To work it out in cubic meters: (70 / 100) x (60 / 100) x (50 / 100) = 0.21 cubic metres.

How do I work out the weight of my parcel?

The weight of your parcel is important to the cost of delivery, but if you're struggling to determine the weight you'll be reassured to know that our easy booking system works in weight bands to give you plenty of leeway on lighter parcels.

Weight bands

Our quote system works in price bands. Up to 20kg or 30kg are popular cut-off points for many economy services. Therefore, on a 30kg capped service, if you enter any figure between 1-29kg the price result will be the same throughout this weight bracket. Every option available to you for the size of your parcel will then be delivered in your quote results.

How heavy is 30kg?

We'll give you some comparisons:

  • A regular bag of sugar weighs around 1kg
  • Your luggage allowance for many airlines is 25kg
  • A fully grown, large dog probably weighs about 30kg

30kg is pretty heavy and lifting it is a bit of a struggle. If your parcel weighs more than 30kg, we're pretty sure you'll know about it!


If you have a heavy parcel and you enter it as 28kg, but in fact it is 34kg, you will be charged for booking in a parcel that is above the weight band you claimed. Therefore, it is important to get your weight estimation of a heavy parcel as near as possible to the actual weight and we recommend you put it on some scales before booking your delivery.

Delivery for heavier items

If your parcel is not heavy, but it is large, your delivery price may be higher due to its volumetric weight. If it is too heavy or too costly to send through a parcel delivery network then we would recommend a pallet delivery service.

What is volumetric parcel weight?

The physical weight of your parcel will affect the cost of your delivery, but also the size. If your parcel is not heavy, but it is very long or an odd shape then this is classed as volumetric weight.

Size of your parcel

Volumetric weight is judged by the amount of space a parcel takes up in the delivery vehicle, so even if your surfboard only weighs 10kg, it takes up the same space on the van as a large number of smaller parcels, therefore the size of your parcel is influencing the cost of delivery.

Large or heavy items

Do I need a large parcel service?

All parcel services have size and weight restrictions in place. Large parcels cannot be sent on a standard service and, if they are, a surcharge will be applied.

Parcelforce Large Parcels

Any parcels over 30kg, longer than 2.5m, or with a combined length and girth over 5m should be sent with the Parcelforce Large service.

Parcels are scanned at the depot and the size and weight checked. If large parcels are booked onto the standard Parcelforce service, a surcharge of £45 + VAT is issued and you are liable to pay this on top of the delivery fee.

To avoid paying extra, we recommend any parcels close to the maximum dimensions are sent on the Parcelforce Large service.

Accurate measurements

Please read our FAQ on how to measure your parcel to avoid unnecessary charges or delays.

How do I ship heavy goods?

Couriers are not expected to lift items over 30kg into the van for delivery. Therefore if an item does exceed 30kgs then an additional cost may be added onto an order. This is in line with health and safety requirements and generally respectful of their well-being.

If you have a heavy or large item that can't be lifted easily, you should book collection and delivery using our pallet service for consignments of parcels or things like engines and metal.

Please read our Pallet Shipping FAQs, which contain important information about restrictions.

 Have we missed something important? Email us with your question, so we can add it to the list.

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