Parcel sizes; small and large parcel deliveries

What can and can’t our couriers carry?

A lot of people ask questions about what our vehicles can carry and what’s best for their job, so we’ve pulled this post together as a bit of a guide.

bike courier with large parcel strapped to bag

Cycle messengers will always do their best to help, but try to keep it small and light.


Cycle couriers

You’ll rarely see a messenger without their trademark bag slung over one shoulder, and you should assume that everything you send should be able to fit in here, however, size isn’t the biggest problem for a messenger.


Most discerning push bikes know that being versatile means making more money and so they will come prepared to carry unconventional items. Here are some items which pushbikes regularly carry although at first people might deem them unsuitable:

  • Poster tubes; a pushbike will happily collect a tube up to a metre in length
  • Large envelopes; up to A3 szie, you’ll want to make sure your envelope is suitably stiff if you want to avoid paying extra for a cargo bike
  • Boxes; if they are reasonably light (less than 3kg) you can send things a little larger than a shoe box


Weight is the biggest problem for a cycle courier. If it’s not already obvious why a push bike wouldn’t want to carry your can of paint 5 miles across town, then let me explain: Push bikes make their money by picking up and dropping as many items per mile as they possibly can, so if they can pick up 20 envelopes and drop them periodically, zig-zagging their way to each drop as they make their way through the city: happy days. 

If a push bike courier arrives to find they have to carry a box of paper to the end of their route – anywhere between 5-15 miles of riding that leaves them with an issue: ride the long route to get rid of the heavy item or burn themselves out lugging the heavy item around multiple drops whilst aiming to maximise their earnings.

Top tip: Keep it light, make sure it’s packaged well incase it needs to be strapped to the bag.


Items not to send with a push bike courier:

  • Glass
  • Fragile and delicate items that are not packaged accordingly
  • Heavy items
  • Pastries and cakes; particularly cakes and cupcakes or decorative items
push bike courier bike with rack

Sometimes bicycle couriers have a rack on their bike which is great, but don’t count on it.



Motorcycle couriers

Motorbike couriers have an almost opposite situation to pushbikes. Anything which doesn’t fit nicely in their box could be dangerous, but weight is less important and motorcycle couriers will carry up to 12kg. Also because they have a top box, items like glass and more fragile items are ok, so long as they won’t be damaged by rolling back and forth – Pack things properly!

People often forget that motorcycles lean when they turn and this can cause problems.


Items not to send with a motorcycle courier:

  • Bulky items: bags of clothing, large boxes
  • Pastries and cakes; particularly cakes and cupcakes or decorative items
  • Flowers
  • Fragile and delicate items that are not packaged accordingly
Scooter with fragile delivery on board

Is your package suitable for this vehicle type?

cargo bike courier with large parcel delivery

Cargo bikes are quicker and more reliable through town than a van


Cargo bike couriers

A lot of people still don’t know about the amazing abilities of the cargo bike. They come in several shapes and sizes – all of which can carry weights of up to 75kg. With boxes we suggest up to two beer box or archive box sized items. Items can be suitable up to a metre in length but ideally not more than 60-70cm wide. If you have heavy and large parcel deliveries, and the distance is less than 8 miles then a cargo bike (which unlike vans can weave through traffic) should always be your first choice. Needless to say it’s much better for the environment.

Items not to send with a cargo bike courier:

  • Large flat items that are larger than 1m²
  • Fragile tems that might be susceptible to vibrations (e.g. cakes)
  • Very large or heavy items


Cargo bike courier carrying large parcel delivery, London.

Good example of; A. What a cargo bike courier can carry B. What a cargo bike courier should not have to carry



Van couriers

At the risk of stating the obvious van couriers can and will carry pretty much anything. There are a few things to be mindful of however. Despite having some of the most helpful and willing London couriers, there is a difference between a courier service and a man and van service, so always check in if you have several items of furniture removed from a house or office, as special attention may be required. Also be aware when sending any items that couldn’t easily be lifted by one person or moved on a trolley. If you are sending flowers, make sure that they are either not in water, or that the water is being kept in a safe watertight container. Sadly water can’t be strapped down…


Items not to send with a van courier:

  • Anything that you can send on a greener vehicle type

Parcel size and weight recommendations:

X (cm) Y (cm) Z (cm) Weight (kg)
Push bike 35 25 15 5
Motorcycle 40 30 30 12
Cargo bike 60 50 50 65
Van 300 200 200 200+


Chat to us via our chat window if you’re still unsure about your item, otherwise head here to log in and book whatever you need:


Bike courier with large parcel delivery, should have been booked for van courier

This is a van job. Mario is just very strong.