Shipping and Logistics: Explaining Dimensional Weight

Shipping and Logistics: Explaining Dimensional Weight

  • Avatar photo by Best Inc.
  • 10/08/2020

Are you involved in shipping solutions or e-commerce? If so, here's a quick question for you: What is the mortal enemy of every shipping carrier? Do you know the answer?

Shipping and Logistics Explaining Dimensional Weight

Let's take a look at a few scenarios:

  • A case of perfume bottles made from glass.
  • A cross-country shipping project involving a pet reptile.
  • A massive load of bricks.

Now, what do all of these have in common as far as shipping goes? They are nuisances, yes. But, the answer to the first question we posed is what we are going for here. Spelling bad news for both carriers and sellers alike is… DIM weight, or dimensional weight. To help you diminish the confused head scratching process of shipping and e-commerce, we are going to take a closer look at some dimensional weight basics.

First Things First…

What, exactly, is dimensional weight? DIM weight, volumetric weight, or dimensional weight is used by shipping companies as a pricing technique. They utilize it in an attempt to avoid losing money on lightweight, large shipments. What that means for the person or company wanting something shipped is that two weights now are being dealt with: dimensional and physical.

For example, if you want to ship your beloved grandmother a pillow, it will likely be of a decent size, fluffy, and soft. No problem, right? Here's the thing – carriers are a lot like individuals trying to transport their groceries from the store, to the car, to their residence. Into each bag, they try to cram as much as possible. The same goes for shipping containers and transporters. So, valuable real estate will be taken up by your thoughtful gift to grandma. That means that other packages might have to be shipped on another vehicle, and that doesn't bode well with carriers.

Dimensional Weight Calculation

There are three steps when determining/calculating a package’s dimensional weight:

  • Using the longest point for each side, measure your package’s height, width, and length.
  • To get the cubic size of your package, multiply the measurements.
  • Now, by the DIM factor, divide the cubic size.

What, you may ask, is a DIM factor? To represent a package’s cubic inch per pound, it's set up by the postal carriers. It's just a number. To help you out, here are some of the most used DIM factor numbers:

  • USPS and DHL e-commerce: 166
  • DHL Express, UPS, and FedEx: 139

How to Avoid Dimensional Weight… Can It Be Done?

The easiest answer to that question would be, "Yes… Sort of." In reality, using the following advice, you can, at the very least, reduce DIM:

  • A more advantageous formula may be available with some alternative services. Not all dimensional divisors are alike. Explore what, for your business, is the best fit by examining various available shipping options.
  • As much as possible, make your package smaller. You can reduce shipping costs by maximizing space.

The "Best" Way to Deal with Dimensional Weight

Using the services provided by Best, Inc. is one sure way to make the absolute most of the shipping process, at the lowest price/rate possible. We know all the ins and outs of e-commerce and can be an indispensable partner for your business.

Contact Best Inc. for quotes and to find out how we can best support your e-commerce business.