It is common for people to send and receive big packages. Now, you may wonder how these items are being delivered or picked up because they may not fit a mailbox.
Mailboxes can hold incoming mail as long as they fit inside. As for outgoing mail, there are different rules.
Here is How Heavy Mailboxes Can Hold:
Your mailbox can hold as many mail and parcels as it can fit inside. There is no limit in size and weight as long it can fit in your mailbox. For outgoing mail for pickup, there is a limit of 13 ounces for first-class mail. Heavier parcels placed inside the outgoing receptacle will not be picked up.
Will USPS Pick Up Heavy Packages?
One of the services that the USPS offers is mail pickup.
For packages that weigh 10 ounces or less and have a thickness of half an inch or less, you can put them in your outgoing mail receptacle for pickup. The mail carrier will pick them up on your next regular mail delivery.
For heavy packages, the process is different. The USPS will pick up heavy packages, but you must schedule a package pickup service first.
There are a couple of pickup services that the USPS offers. This is to save you from going on a trip to your local post office.
Free Package Pickup
The Free Package Pickup is being done during regular mail delivery.
This service is free regardless of the number of items you scheduled for pickup. The USPS will pick up your package on the next schedule of regular mail delivery.
Pickup on Demand
This service is best for heavy packages. Since heavy packages cannot be placed in your outgoing mail receptacle and it would be unsafe to leave them outside, this is the best option if you have a heavy package.
If you sign up for this service, your package will be picked up at a specific time for a fee. During your specified time, the mail carrier will come to pick up the package, and you can hand it to them safely.
When availing of these services, pack your heavy items properly.
Here are some things that you should do to prepare your heavy packages:
- Place the heavy item in a sturdy box with enough room so you can add cushioning. This is to prevent the items from getting damaged or shifting.
- If you are reusing a box, remove all the old labels and completely cover the old address.
- Close your box properly and tape it flat on all sides. Use a 2-inch wide packing tape to ensure the flaps do not open.
- When securing the box, do not use cords or ropes, as these may get caught up in other items.
- Print the labels. If you are writing the address by hand, use a permanent marker and ensure that your handwriting is legible.
- Write the address in the same format as you would for regular mail, and put both the receiver and sender on the same side of the box.
- If the heavy items are valuable, it is recommended to get insurance. You can get your packaged insured for up to $5,000.
How Heavy is Too Heavy?
Not all heavy packages can be picked up.
There is a maximum weight limit to packages that can be sent through the US Postal Service.
The maximum weight for all packages, regardless of size, is 70 pounds. The USPS will not ship any package heavier than 70 pounds.
The USPS may also ask you to pay surcharges for heavy items if any of the following applies to your package:
- It measures more than 108 inches in combined length and girth.
- It measures over 84 inches in combined length and girth and weighs fewer than 20 pounds.
- It comes in an irregular shape, for example, tubes and rolls.
Are There Any Restrictions For Heavy Items?
Apart from the weight limit of 70 pounds, there are also other restrictions regarding mailing heavy items. Not all heavy items can be mailed even within the weight limit.
Some items are restricted. Some restricted items can be mailed under certain conditions – you must declare them or follow certain regulations.
Some cannot be mailed at all. Here is the list of restricted items:
- Aerosols, such as propane, butane, and fire extinguishers
- Alcohol beverages
- Cigarettes and tobacco
- Cremated remains
- Dry ice
- Fragile items
- Hand sanitizers
- Hemp products, including CBD
- Lithium batteries
- Live animals
- Matches, including safety matches and strike-anywhere matches
- Medicines and prescription drugs
- Nail polish
- Perishable items, such as food and plants
Should Heavy Boxes be Taken to the Post Office?
While scheduling for package pickup is the most convenient way to have your items mailed by the USPS, you can also bring your heavy packages to your local post office.
However, the weight limit of 70 pounds still applies.
Even if you bring the package to the post office, if it weighs more than 70 pounds, it will not be accepted for shipment. The best thing you can do is ship through commercial shipping companies as they have bigger package weight limits.
Can I Leave Heavy Boxes on the Ground by the Mailbox?
When getting your package picked up by the USPS, it is best to hand it to the mail carrier.
This is to make sure that the USPS has properly received your item.
It is not recommended to leave your heavy boxes on the ground by the mailbox. This is not safe, and you could risk getting your package stolen if you will leave it unattended.
This also applies to incoming mail. USPS mail carriers will not leave heavy boxes on the ground by the mailbox. They will also not leave heavy boxes on your front porch. This is to prevent your package from getting stolen.
If you have a heavy box to be delivered that cannot fit in your mailbox, the mail carrier will attempt to deliver it personally to you. If you are not home, they will leave a note on your mailbox telling you that you have a package for pickup at your local post office.
Will Commercial Companies (Amazon, Fed-Ex, UPS) Pick Up Heavy Boxes?
Since the USPS does not pick up and ship heavy boxes weighing more than 70 pounds, the best thing to do is to ship through commercial companies.
Some commercial companies pick up and ship heavy boxes, even those weighing more than 70 pounds.
UPS picks up packages that weigh more than 70 pounds.
If the package is more than 70 pounds, there are extra charges, and different guidelines may apply.
In general, UPS will pick up packages with a weight of up to 150 pounds with a length of up to 108 inches. They can also service packages weighing more than 150 pounds, which would require freight shipping services.
Fed-Ex has pretty much the same limits as UPS when it comes to shipping heavy boxes.
Their standard shipping guidelines apply to boxes up to 75 pounds. If the box weighs more than 75 pounds, then there will be additional charges. A heavyweight label must also be placed.
For ground services, Fed-Ex will pick up packages weighing up to 150 pounds, with a length of up to 108 inches or up to 165 inches in length plus girth.
Amazon does not pick up and ship heavy boxes.
Amazon has a limit of only 50 pounds for packages, which is way less than the weight limit of the US Postal Service.