How To Calculate Dimensional Weight Explained With Relevant Tips

What is dimensional weight? Learn how to calculate dimensional weight and how to stay competitive despite dimensional weight variations.

How To Calculate Dimensional Weight Explained With Relevant Tips

Dimensional weight has been one of the prime factors in shipment pricing calculation. Therefore, whether you order your own or work with any 3PL partner, knowledge in dimensional weight calculation is crucial. Specifically, it is essential to know dimensional weight calculation while selecting the specific boxes to ship the products. 

Dimensional weight, often referred to as DIM weight, is a pricing method for transferring commercial freights, ranging from regular couriers to that postal service. A simple formula for DIM calculation is L x W x H. Considering that available space in a truck often remains confined, DIM considers package density for figuring the shipping rate out. This is why one must calculate DIM despite having a lightweight package. Anyway, all about dimensional weight is explained below for those who want to explore more.       

How to Calculate Dimensional Weight and Stay Competitive Despite DIM Variations

Volumetric weight is an alternative term often used in place of dimensional weight. Those who want to calculate in pounds can divide the result of LXHXW with the DIM divisor. Generally, Freight carriers make use of the bigger one between the actual and volumetric weight to do the calculation of shipping expense. If the packaging is non square, then the longest dimension of either side is considered and rounded up. The analysis of dimensional weight is explained stepwise in the below sections.   


Steps to calculate dimensional weight

  1. First of all, do the measurement of length, breadth, and height upon taking the longest point of either side. Here all the bulges should be considered as these can add extra handling cost if not considered initially.

  1. It is suggested to round up the figure to the closest whole number upon calculating the dimensional weight.  

  1. Next, you should multiply the package dimension to obtain the package's cubic size. 

Ultimately, the cubic size is divided using a dimensional factor, often termed the DIM divisor. Leading carriers assign these DIM divisors. Moreover, these factors are the representation of cubic inches for every pound. Therefore, the dimensional weight can be divided by the package's cubic size (mostly in inches) with a dimensional facto, called the DIM divisor, when calculating in pounds. 

In general, the dimension factor is 139. However, it can be 166, which relies upon the carrier you select, and the destination it needs to be shipped in. For example, FedEx's present DIM divisor for local and global shipment is 139 cubic inches for each pound.

Tips to Stay Competitive Despite DIM Weight Variations

DIM weight calculation is undoubtedly one of the trickiest aspects that every eCommerce owner must clarify to remain competitive in a business scenario. In this context, the following tips can be convenient. 

  1. Bigger boxes are pretty obvious to make DIM weights calculation higher, leading towards making shipping costs higher. Naturally, one must go with the boxes of the smallest possible size. 

  1. One must also ensure about keeping enough space for air filling and different types of dunnages.  

  1. It is always suggested to optimize the mode through which the packaging of items is done for shipping. Having more items indicates nominal shipping cost. 

  1. Upon going with new packaging designs, the items often come up with their respective packaging. Here it would be best to consider both visual appeal and the volume of space consumed as well. Specifically, those associated with an eCommerce business should consider this in which shipping charges are important. 

  1. One must understand that not all modes of shipping get affected to the same extent through changes in DIM weight. Hence, one must consistently take shipping options into account. For example, shipments with an overall weight getting more than 200 pounds could avoid charges of DIM, provided that the overall carton weight is significantly high.   

  1. Your shipping should provide some value. Consumers must ensure that the time of shipping offers them the value they wanted. In general, the customers enjoy the same or maximum next-day shipping. Hence, one should make these calculations sorted before the best result. Otherwise, taking the help of professional service providers can be a good option as well.


Moreover, that's all about dimensional weight explained, which one should know being a business owner. At the same time, one must understand that the shipping charges often vary from one freight carrier to the other, no matter if you go with USPS or FedEx. Moreover, these freight carriers consider the higher number in this context. 

They check whether the actual weight comes higher or the dimensional weight of the packaging comes higher. Ultimately, they bill the bone which they find is higher. Hence, gaining proficiency over the calculation of dimensional weight and keeping it optimal can help one remain competitive.

Next article: You're Probably Overspending on Shipping - Let's Change That

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