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Royal Mail Changes Sizing & Pricing Structure

The Royal Mail has made changes to their pricing structure, and these changes affect any business that sends packets and parcels. The changes came into effect on April 2nd, and mean that for most businesses the cost of sending small parcels will increase. Read on to learn more about the new fee changes, and how to minimise their impact on your business.

What is Royal Mail Changing?

The new pricing structure applies to Royal Mail and Parcelforce services. It introduces a new pricing structure for parcels, and also changes some of the compensation options.

  • The Royal Mail sizing for letters remains the same, and the cost for sending letters and large letters remains unchanged.
  • Compensation for lost standard letters has fallen from £46 to £20.
  • Compensation for lost recorded letters has increased from £46 to £50.
  • The old Royal Mail parcel size categories 'Packet' and 'Parcel' have been changed to three new sizes - Small Parcel, Medium Parcel and Large Parcel.
  • There are strict new size limits and weight limits for each category.
  • The price of the cheapest parcel rate (for small Parcels weighing less than 1KG) has increased from £2.20 to £2.60.

Why did These Changes Happen?

The Royal Mail implemented these pricing changes along with a 2.5% fuel surcharge on deliveries made as part of parcel contracts, in response to rising fuel prices. A spokesman for the Royal Mail said that fuel costs were at a record high for the company, having risen more than 40 percent over the last five years.

A spokesman for the Royal Mail said that they made the decision to use broad categories such as Small Parcel and Medium Parcel to make the pricing structure easier to understand.  They also explained that this move brought the companies pricing structure in line with the structures used by most postal operators in Mainland Europe.

Ofcom approved the new changes as being "affordable", however many small businesses have expressed concern about the way that the new blanket price changes mean that non-standard shaped parcels could become as much as 50 percent more expensive to post.

What are the New Postage Options?

Royal mail offers several postage options, including the UK Guaranteed next-day delivery service, the Confirmed / Signed For service, and a Standard service for items of lower value. If you need detailed information about current charges, download the latest Royal Mail size and price guide from their website.

For your convenience, here is a quick overview of the current sizes and weight limits.

For your convenience, here is a quick overview of the current sizes and weight limits.



Large Letter

Small Parcel

Medium Parcel

Large Parcel

Max Length





1.5m maximum

Max Width





No more than 3m length and girth   combined

Max Depth






Max Weight








69p - £2.30*

£2.60 - £6.85*

£5.20 - £32.40*

Only available on Parcelforce   Worldwide

*Costs depend on weight, and whether the item is sent 1st or 2nd class

There are some exceptions to the above sizing options:

  • Parcels with measurements up to (and including) 160mm x 160mm x160mm are classed as small parcels.
  • Cylindrical parcels, for example poster tubes, with a diameter not exceeding 80mm, and a length of no more than 450mm are considered to be small parcels.
  • Cylindrical parcels up to 900mm in length are considered to be medium parcels, as are cylindrical parcels which measure 1040mm (length plus 2x the diameter).

How can I Keep Royal Mail Size Charges to a Minimum?

These new postage prices mean that it is more important than ever to pay attention to the size and weight of your parcels. If you opt to send a small parcel in a non-standard box that exceeds the size requirements for Small Parcel by even a few millimetres, you will have to pay the full rate for the next class of postage, even if your parcel is incredibly light. have tried to make it easy for you by indicating what PiP classification all our postal boxes. We also stock large letter PiP postal boxes that are very popular to minimise your postal costs.

Our range of postal boxes can be viewed here:

Insuring Your Parcels

Under the new pricing structures, when you send a package by Royal Mail, that package will be covered for loss or damage, up to a certain value. That value ranges from £20 for a standard letter, up to £500 for a Large Package sent by Special Delivery within the UK. The inclusive compensation values changed as a part of the recent restructuring, so you should double-check the amounts before sending anything of high value via Royal Mail.

If the inclusive compensation value is not enough to cover the value of the package you are sending, then you can purchase extra cover. When sending valuable items, it is important that you purchase the right amount of cover, and package your items carefully. If you use the wrong kind of packaging, or do not wrap your parcel securely, then Royal Mail may refuse to pay out for any damage to the package.


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