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Parcels and parcels on a conveyor belt
Parcel from Russia ( Potschta Rossii ) to the United States. Additional services: Recommandé and Paravion .

A package is the name for a small package . It is offered in Germany by Deutsche Post AG and Hermes Logistik Gruppe Deutschland GmbH. In Austria and Switzerland you only have the choice between a large letter or a parcel. The small packet is also available from Royal Mail .

The parcel must be cleared and labeled "Parcel". The Universal Postal Union introduced this genus at its 9th Congress in London in 1929 as Petit paquet ( French = universal postal language ) or Small Packet , after some member states had tested it in advance. The designation "Petit paquet" or, alternatively, Small Packet must also be used for international shipping.

The main difference to the letter, in addition to the admission of the roll form, was the transport by parcel post instead of letter post, which could lead to longer delivery times, especially for international shipping. Nowadays, parcels are usually delivered as part of the letter delivery. When shipping abroad, the parcel had the advantage until 2011 that it could also be sent via the slow and cheaper land or sea route. In contrast to a parcel in Germany, a DHL parcel is not insured or tracked, but low insurance and proof of postage are offered for international shipping for an additional charge. Hermes, on the other hand, offers insurance up to 50 euros for parcel shipping and shipment tracking at no extra charge.


The parcel weighing up to 1 kg was introduced in the Reichspostgebiet on January 1st, 1920 , following the example of other postal administrations. Registered mail , indication of value or cash on delivery were excluded. From July 1, 1928, open and closed parcels were permitted, as letter parcels up to 1 kg or as other parcels up to 2 kg. Parcels of letters had to be suitable for transportation by letter post, other parcels for transportation in sacks. At the end of 1933 the unclear designation “other” was removed, there were now the 2 kg parcel and the 1 kg parcel. Registered mail and the request for a return receipt as well as cash on delivery on parcels were allowed. When the maximum weight for letters was raised to 1 kg in 1938, the letter parcels were dropped. To simplify the parcel distribution service, the Reich was divided into 24 parcel routing areas in 1941 , which were identified by routing numbers. 1951 this division was given up again. Triangular, circular and other shapes that were not permitted for other mail items were permitted. A certificate of posting was available upon request for a fee. In the postal regulations of the German Federal Post Office (DBP), the parcel was one of the letters. It is a relic from this time that a package can still be franked with postage today . Since November 15, 2014 there have been 2 different package formats again: The 1 kg package with a maximum of 30 × 30 × 15 cm was new. On July 1, 2018, it was replaced by a new format with now 35 × 25 × 10 cm, which can now weigh 2 kg again.

Size and weight for DHL parcels

The following applies to shipping within Germany: A rectangular parcel must not exceed the dimensions 60 × 30 × 15 centimeters. For packages in roll form, the upper limit is 90 centimeters in length and 15 centimeters in diameter. The minimum dimensions are 15 × 11 × 1 cm for cuboid and length 15 and diameter 5 cm for roll-shaped packages. The weight must not exceed 2 kg.

The following rule applies to the international shipping of rectangular parcels: The sum of length, width and height must not exceed 90 centimeters, with no side being longer than 60 centimeters. The following rules apply to international shipping of rolls: length no greater than 90 centimeters, length plus twice the diameter no greater than 104 centimeters. The minimum dimensions are - as in domestic German traffic - 15 × 11 × 1 cm for cuboid and length 15 and diameter 5 for roll-shaped packages.

Size and weight for Hermes parcels

The sum of the longest and shortest side must not exceed 37 cm. The weight must not exceed 25 kg.

Plus package

Plus package with Christmas motif 2017

Plus packets consist of packaging (pack set from Deutsche Post) and postage (motif token) and may weigh up to 10 kilograms within Germany.

Liability and shipment tracking for DHL parcels

Post package beschaedigt.png

Since January 1, 2012, liability and shipment tracking are no longer possible with online franking within Germany. For a surcharge of EUR 2.20 (EU) or EUR 3.20 (world), international shipments up to EUR 50 are insured and offer tracking in over 40 countries. The shipment tracking is not available for all countries. Registered mailings of this kind are also possible from abroad if the local post office offers this. Deutsche Post treats such items as registered mail and delivers them against a signature.

Liability and shipment tracking for Hermes parcels

Hermes parcels are insured up to 50 euros at no extra charge. Shipment tracking is possible.

Austrian post

In August 2016, Österreichische Post AG announced that from the beginning of 2017 it would be offering parcels as a domestic form of mail with a weight limit of 2 kg in two variants: one that fits in the post office box and one that can be larger. Easy to handle like a letter, but with shipment tracking.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Royal Mail
  2. a b Concise dictionary of the postal system , 2nd edition from 1953, p. 464
  3. Official Journal 1951, No. 343/1951, p. 373
  4. Archived copy ( Memento from January 1, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  6. Deutsche Post - DHL international parcel with service insurance up to 50 EUR. Retrieved October 5, 2015 .
  7. Post sent “small parcels” domestically from 2017, August 11, 2016, accessed August 11, 2016.

Web links

Wiktionary: Package  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations