UPS Shipping Guidelines Made Easy
“This is a guest post from one of TerraCycle’s top collectors, Andrew Lane, also known as Captain Planet.”
With the new shipping requirements for some Brigades like the Drink Pouch Brigade many folks need to know that we can go far bigger than a copy paper box. After I queried TerraCycle they said they suggest copy paper size boxes because they deal with a lot of schools, and schools often have extra boxes. If you have enough trash, you can use even larger boxes to ship more items at once.
I have learned from UPS that for normal rates, a package can be up to 150 lbs, up to 165 inches in Length plus Girth, and up to 108 inches in Length.
To see if your package is within UPS guidelines, you can measure length + girth (2xwidth)+(2xheight).
L + ((2xW)+(2xH))
Here’s an example using a large nursery box that formerly contained bare root rose plant clusters.
45 +((31.5 x 2)+(24 x 2))= ?
45 + ((63)+(48))= 156
The large nursery rose box is under 165 inches, it is good to go and did not cause an excess size fee from UPS!
You also may want to weigh the boxes prior to shipment for your records in case any boxes get lost in the mail. You can ask the crew at the UPS store for a receipt when you drop off your boxes. I’ve also started getting self-adhesive shipping label protectors from the store so that the UPS label isn’t destroyed during shipping. If the label is destroyed, it makes it difficult for TerraCycle to figure out where the box came from and to properly credit the account.
The good news is with the receipt which has the UPS Tracking Number and true mail time weight all one needs to do is verify the arrival on UPS’s website and then call or email TerraCycle Customer Service if there is a problem. They’ve helped me before when boxes haven’t been accounted for because of destroyed labels or similar problems.
I have used bicycle boxes, and even boxes that are 4 or 5 times larger than a copy paper size with no issues and none of them have gone over the maximum allowed size for normal rates! Up until April 10th the biggest box I sent was a bike box was for a 29 inch wheel bike and I had it over stuffed with coffee bags. It weighed 44.4 pounds and was bulging from the sides. It was 12 inches shy of the limit!
Be sure to check the article that Andrew Lane was recently in called: People Are Awesome: The Georgia Army National Guard’s Real-Life Captain Planet