Parcels FAQs

See also:

Are dimensions required on all parcel types?

Assign dimensions in the Dimension Object within the Parcel Object. Dimensions are required as follows:

  • USPS®: Dimensions are required if rates.serviceId is set to PRCLSEL or if rates.parcelType is set to SOFTPACK. Otherwise, dimensions are optional. USPS recommends, however, that you set dimensions on all services to ensure delivery. If you choose not to specify dimensions, you can do either of the following:

    • Omit the parcel.dimension object
    • Send an empty payload for the parcel.dimension object
  • Newgistics®: Dimensions are required.

  • PB Presort: Dimensions are required.

  • UPS®: Dimensions are optional.

What are the allowed dimensions for my USPS parcel type?

To retrieve the dimensions for the parcel types for each USPS Service, use the Carrier Rules API.

See also the following USPS pages:

Important: For the PKG parcel type, the dimensions of the parcel may affect its cost. Measure the length, height, and width accurately to avoid receiving an adjustment for underpayment based on USPS Automated Package Verification.

How are dimensions ordered?

Length is the longest dimension.
Height is the second-longest dimension.
Width is the shortest dimension.

If you assign values differently, the APIs will reassign them accordingly. Assign dimensions in the Parcel Object.

How is girth calculated?

Girth is twice the sum of the height and width:

girth = 2 * (height+width)

Note: The PB Shipping APIs configure length as the longest dimension, followed by height, followed by width.

What parcel type do I use for APO/FPO/DPO addresses?

For USPS shipments to APO/FPO/DPO addresses, use the MLFRB parcel type. MLFRB stands for Military Large Flat Rate Box.

APO stands for Army Post Office; FPO for Fleet Post Office; and DPO for Diplomatic Post Office.