How do you measure the girth of a package?

Posted by Tania

Any package sent by a courier, regardless if it is domestic or international, will have restrictions on the maximum combined length and girth of each package you send. This is often referred to as the ‘Max Girth’.  How do you measure the girth of a package? Read below on helpful tips and considerations for measuring the girth of a package.

The restrictions are in place to ensure your package fits properly – without damage – on the courier sorting conveyors and delivery vehicles. This also allows you to better understand if your package will incur any special handling fees if they are too big or too small to be used by the standard sorting systems.

What is the girth of a parcel? Girth by definition is the measure around anything; circumference. So it is the distance around an object and is used in shipping to determine how much a package will cost to ship. For shipping quoting it is the linear conversion in inches or centimeters of a parcels dimension. Each package has three dimensions: length, width and height – we use these metrics to generate the girth.

How do you measure to get the girth of a parcel? For parcels, length is the measurement of the longest dimension and girth is the distance around the thickest part (perpendicular to the length). Let’s use an example to show how girth is calculated.

For this example we will use inches and our box measures 18” x 10” x 12”.

Step 1. Length = 18”. This is the longest side of the package, rounding to the nearest inch. In this example it is 18’.

Step 2. Girth = 44”. Take the width and height and multiply them each by 2

  • 10” x 2 = 20’
  • 12” x 2 = 24”
  • 44” is the girth

Step 3. Package measurementAdd the length and the girth together for your package measurement.

  • For our example, you would add 18” + 44” = 62”

 

Things to consider:

  • If a parcel’s girth is less than 130 inches (330cm) there are no charges. When the girth measurement is more than 130 inches (330cm) your parcel will incur additional “special handling” charges.
  • Most courier companies will not accept parcels with a girth over 165 inches (419cm)

 

What is the maximum allowable girth? See the chart below for maximum measurements and weights allowed for Purolator, UPS and FedEx.

MAXIMUM MEASUREMENTS & WEIGHTS  ALLOWED
Service Purolator UPS FedEx
Max Weight Int’l 150lbs 150lbs 150lbs
Max Weight Air 150lbs 150lbs 150lbs
Max Weight Ground 150lbs 150lbs 150lbs
Max Length & Size Int’l 108in 165 Girth 108in 165 Girth 108in 130 Girth
Max Length & Size Air 96in 144 Girth 108in 165 Girth 108in 130 Girth
Max Length & Size Ground 108in 165 Girth 108in 165 Girth 108in 130 Girth

 

HAVE QUESTIONS ON GIRTH OF A PACKAGE OR LOOKING FOR A SHIPPING QUOTE? PLEASE CONTACT US AT 1-866-320-8383 OR EMAIL US AT SALES@FLAGSHIPCOMPANY.COM