Parcel shipping with Shipstage

What Is Parcel Shipment and Delivery, and How Does It Work?

When deciding how to ship a package, several factors must be considered, including the package's dimensions, weight, and contents. For items that are relatively small and lightweight, parcel shipping is the most common and cost-effective method of transporting your goods.

However, in order to reap the full benefits of parcel shipping, you must use appropriate protective packaging to ensure that your items arrive in one piece.

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What exactly do the terms «parcel shipping and delivery» mean?

The term «parcel shipping» refers to the process of transporting boxed items that are lighter and more compact. When people talk about parcels, they usually mean packages that weigh less than a 45 kg and can be moved by themselves. When you need to send more than one small package at a time, parcel shipping service is an efficient and cost-effective method of transporting your items.


What exactly does the term «parcel» mean?

There are numerous carrier services that can handle parcels ranging in size from 100 g to massive 31.5 kg shipments. According to Deutsche Post (Mordor Intelligence, 2023), in Germany alone, 5.2 million parcels are shipped every day.

When it comes to shipping options for lightweight or small-sized items, parcel shipping is the most common and cost-effective option. It refers to the shipping of items weighing less than 3.5 kg on average, and that can be transported, handled, and delivered without assistance.


How does the parcel delivery process work?

Due to the small size of parcel packages, they can be dropped off at a drop-off location or picked up at a pick-up location of your choice. Following that, the items are placed on conveyor belts to be automatically sorted by machines. Following the sorting process, the items are loaded into trucks. Unless otherwise specified, parcel carriers either deliver directly to the destination or after a series of intermediate transfers.

We will handle the rest of the shipping process for you after you have completed the online booking for your parcel shipment. Packages are typically delivered to both commercial and residential addresses. The entrance to a location is typically where package deliveries come to a halt.

Instructions for preparing your packages for shipping

An investigation (IATA, into the international air shipping process revealed that individual packages are subjected to a number of abrupt changes in height and velocity, which can cause items to become damaged. Similarly, courier trucks frequently travel at high speeds and must stop abruptly, causing the contents of the truck to shift while in motion.

Because parcel shipments are typically unstructuredly placed in trucks or airplanes, protective packaging is absolutely necessary to ensure that they arrive in one piece. In contrast, some responsible companies secure their shipments on pallets for transport.

Place your package inside new or sturdy shipping box containers that are large enough to hold the package, as well as extra cushioning materials like packing peanuts, bubble wrap, or styrofoam. When you've finished securing the package inside the box, you'll need to seal it with 2-inch wide packaging tape. You must not use Scotch tape or duct tape because the adhesive on these types of tape can deteriorate over time, resulting in the contents being lost or damaged.

When transporting perishable goods, it is critical to keep heat and moisture out of the package while allowing cool temperatures in. Fresh produce, meat, frozen foods, pharmaceuticals, and fresh flowers are examples of perishable items. Styrofoam is an excellent packaging material for delicate foods such as ice cream and seafood due to its dual capabilities as an insulator and a barrier.

The next step is to weigh and measure your package after it has been properly boxed and taped. Before addressing the package in the same way that you would an envelope, you must first determine its dimensions in terms of length, width, and height. Write the sender's address in the top left corner of the box, followed by the recipient's address in the middle of the box that contains the sender's address. When sending a perishable package, include a contact phone number that is available 24 hours a day for both the recipient and the shipper.

The benefits of shipping items by parcel

Small businesses can benefit from parcel shipping in a variety of ways.

  • Ideal for use with smaller packages.
  • Ships directly from drop-off locations.
  • Delivers directly to a residential or commercial address.
  • Lowers freight shipping costs.
  • Provides faster domestic shipping times.

Tracking capabilities with less difficulty

Small packages are more likely to be delayed or damaged on their way to their final destination because they must pass through more checkpoints than larger packages. Involving parcel shipping software for sending regular shipping alerts, can provide excellent customer service and ensure that customers are satisfied with your services. Parcel shipping tracking enables you to keep customers up to date on the status of their packages throughout the shipping process.

A less expensive alternative to freight shipping

Shippers of parcels can choose from a variety of pricing structures based on the level of service they require. The costs of standard ground transit times, for example, are lower than those of expedited delivery options. You will be able to determine the cost of your shipment with a high degree of precision by calculating the dimensional weight of your package or by selecting the flat-rate shipping option. Furthermore, if you sign a long-term contract or use the same carrier for multiple services, you may be eligible for a discount.

The negative effects on the environment are less severe

The shipping industry is the most important component of the international economy, moving tens of millions of packages around the world each year. According to S&P Global Platts Analytics, the shipping industry accounts for between 2% and 3% of total global CO2 emissions. However, projections indicate that by 2050, this percentage will have risen to 17%.

Package delivery companies, such as UPS, are now offering carbon-neutral shipping options. This is done by calculating the CO2 emissions from a specific shipment and then compensating for those emissions by funding global environmental initiatives.

Similarly, delivery companies are streamlining their delivery routes and making better use of their truck space in order to reduce the number of miles driven and, thus, the environmental impact of shipping.

What exactly does «international parcel shipping» mean?

To put it another way, international shipping refers to the process of transporting a package from one country to another. The vast majority of packages sent overseas are delivered by air or sea. It is up to you to decide which mode of transportation best meets your needs, given that transportation by sea typically takes significantly longer but is less expensive.

Even though shipping packages internationally can be reduced to a few simple steps, you may encounter some unexpected challenges.

In addition, there are costs

International shipping costs are typically higher than domestic shipping costs due to the greater number of steps involved in the transportation process and, of course, the greater distances involved. But that isn't the only problem here.

After the package is delivered to the destination country, it must go through customs there. Each shipment is examined to see if it complies with that country's regulations regarding the transport of packages across international borders. The costs of shipping parcels will naturally rise as a result of these additional procedures. Hence, it is advisable to use parcel shipping calculator, if available.


When sending packages to a foreign country, you will have to deal with a much larger stack of documents than when sending packages within the country. Because customs requires it, you will be asked to fill out a declaration form in order to state the contents and value of your package. Furthermore, additional signatures may be required in order for your packages to be insured.

Nonetheless, the documentation procedures that you will be required to follow are designed with your own safety in mind. When compared to local shipping, filing a claim for damage to your package if something unexpected happens while it is being transported internationally is much easier. In most cases, international shipping companies are liable for any loss or damage to your packages while they are in their care. Furthermore, the vast majority of dependable carriers have robust customer support backup systems in place to deal with such inconveniences.


When you send parcels/packages within your immediate area, you don't have to worry about who might get their hands on the contents. When shipping something overseas, you must follow both the export regulations of the country from which it originated and the import regulations of the country to which it was delivered.

The categories of goods that can be imported and exported vary by country. When shipping items internationally, you must familiarize yourself with the applicable regulations and abide by them.

Shipping fees

Shipping a package from one country to another cost more than shipping a package within the same country. However, if you are successful in locating a package shipping company that offers competitive pricing for their services, this difference may not be that significant.

This is because the majority of the shipping cost is made up of the company's profit rather than the costs of transportation or customs clearance.

When choosing a courier to deliver your international packages, make sure you are not paying more than necessary for international package shipping.

A few final thoughts

Parcel sending is an efficient and cost-effective method of delivering items to customers that is well suited for use by small businesses that ship items that are not particularly heavy on a regular basis. However, you will need the proper packaging materials to ensure that your packages arrive intact.

Shipping packages internationally may appear difficult, but if you work with a reputable shipping company, you'll discover that the process is actually quite simple. It is the most prudent method of successfully shipping packages across international borders. Shipping professionals will immediately address your concerns about documentation, customs, and restrictions.

Good to know


What is the difference between parcel and freight?
What items are not allowed to be sent by parcel?
How do I prepare a parcel for shipping?
How big is a parcel package?
What customs requirements must be taken into consideration when sending abroad?
What customs documents are required for sending parcels outside the EU?
How can I check the current status of my parcel?
How can I find the right parcel service provider?

Our solutions

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Parcel shipping
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