What is the Difference Between Canada Post Lettermail and Parcel Shipping?

If you're interested in shipping something and would like to know the differences between Canada Post lettermail and parcel shipping then this blog post is for you.

We've put together this post as a way to familiarize you with the key differences between these two shipping methods.

Our goal is for you to be able to read this post and be able to have an idea of which method to use the next time you need to ship something. 


Here at GT Games, one of our biggest choices to make when shipping something is deciding whether to ship using Canada Post lettermail or parcel shipping. 

To start, the biggest difference between lettermail and parcel mail is the size and dimensions.

Lettermail is used to ship letters and small packages while parcel mail is used to ship small to medium packages and boxes. To ship something as lettermail, it must weigh no more than 500 grams, while for parcel shipping there is a maximum weight of 30 kilograms.

Next are the dimensions. For lettermail the maximum dimensions must be 38 cm x 27 cm x 2cm while parcel shipping allows 2 m x 2m x 2m, a much greater length width and height compared to lettermail. The most important dimension is the height. Lettermail can only be a maximum height of 2 cm, therefore lettermail is only optimal for shipping very thin items.

The biggest downside to parcel shipping is that it is significantly more expensive than lettermail shipping. While shipping letter mail is between $0.92 and $5.30 depending on exact dimensions, parcel shipping starts at $14. While parcel shipping is more pricy, it offers tracking and a shorter estimated shipping time than lettermail.

The biggest plus side to parcel shipping is the large dimensions.

Typically when shipping as a parcel, you would place the item you are  shipping inside a box and seal it up before shipping it off to its destination.

The plus side to this is that you can actually fit multiple items inside one of these boxes. For example, if you are shipping a PS4, alongside a game and two controllers, you can ship all of these items in one parcel rather than having to pay for shipping more than once.

Below we have tallied the main differences between letter mail and parcels.


At GT Games, because we ship a variety of different sized items we often have to look into what the better shipping option would be. 

Luckily, video games are often below the 2cm height requirement allowing them to be shipped via lettermail rather than paying full price for parcel shipping.

Video games typically weigh anywhere from 150 to 300 grams, therefore the total cost to ship a video game anywhere across Canada using letter mail would be roughly $2-3 which is very cheap.

The biggest downside to shipping video games via letter mail is the lack of tracking and that it may take up to twenty days to reach its destination.




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