How to Measure Packages for Shipping

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Shipping companies base their rates on the total cubic inches of each package, the weight and destination. People send packages to friends and family at Christmas, on birthdays or for no particular reason. You can ship items that fit into boxes or mailing tubes for paperwork, calendars and documentation. Some items are unusually shaped and do not fit into a standard box. Taking the correct measurements and calculating the total cubic inches will help determine which agency you can ship through and their prices for services.

Place the package on a flat surface. Measure the longest side of the box from side to side for the length measurement. Write down this measurement on paper with a pen.

Measure the width of the package with a measuring tape. Write down the width on paper.

Measure the height of the package from the bottom to the top. Write this measurement down.

Multiply the width and height by 2 and add this total to the length for the total measurement of your package. For example, if the length is 12 inches, the width is 8 inches and the height is 5 inches, the total measurement is 8 x 2 + 5 x 2 + 12 or 38 inches.