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Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-09-2008

Definition of a Parcel (Package)

Please explain the definition of a Parcel (Package) and the difference between Parcel and Parcel Post.



New Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎07-09-2008

Re: Definition of a Parcel (Package)

parcel - Mail that does not meet the mail processing category of letter-size mail or flat-size mail. It is usually enclosed in a mailing container such as a carton.


Parcel Post - A subclass of Standard Mail with rates based generally on weight and zone.


Posts: 376
Registered: ‎06-25-2008

Re: Definition of a Parcel (Package)

Hello Skinned!


Thanks so much for your response to the "what is a parcel vs. Parcel Post" question!


You're so right, a mailpiece that isn't classified as a letter or flat would then be considered a parcel.... unless you're talking about Standard Mail.  In the case of Standard Mail, a mailpiece that isn't a letter or a flat might be considered a "Not Flat-Machinable" or a parcel depending on dimensions and physical characteristics.


 Parcel Post though, is a subclass of Package Services.  Package Services is a class of mail in which the contents are nonpersonal.  There are 4 subclasses:  Media Mail, Library Mail, Bound Printed Matter and Parcel Post.


Thanks so much for your participation in our Forum!



Posts: 376
Registered: ‎06-25-2008

Re: Definition of a Parcel (Package)

HI Blondi!


Skinned provided a nice response, and I added to that.


But to keep the 2 straight, just think of this....


A package is a SHAPE.  You need to know the shape (postcard, letter, flat, parcel, etc.) in order to calculate postage for a mailpiece within a certain CLASS of mail such as First-Class Mail or Standard Mail or Package Services.


As noted below, Parcel Post is a sub-category/class of Package Services.  And within Parcel Post, there are machinable parcel/package prices and nonmachinable package/parcel prices.


Thanks for the question!