# How to Calculate Dimensional Weight in lbs: E-Commerce Shipping

Virginia Miller

Dimensional weight, also known as volumetric weight, is a pricing technique used by shipping carriers to determine shipping costs based on the package's dimensions rather than its actual weight. It is calculated by dividing the package's length, width, and height by a dimensional factor set by the carrier. This pricing method is widely used in the transportation industry, particularly in the e-commerce and logistics sectors, as it helps carriers optimize their space utilization and ensure fair pricing for shippers.

## Calculating Dimensional Weight

To calculate dimensional weight, the first step is to measure the package's length, width, and height accurately. These measurements should be taken in inches or centimeters, depending on the carrier's preference. It's important to round up each measurement to the nearest whole number to ensure accurate calculations. Once you have the rounded-up dimensions, you can apply the formula: (Length x Width x Height) / Dimensional Factor.

### Understanding Dimensional Factors

The dimensional factor, also known as the dimensional divisor or the volumetric divisor, is a constant value set by the shipping carrier. The most commonly used dimensional factors are 139 for domestic shipments within the United States and 166 for international shipments. However, it's essential to note that these factors can vary across different carriers and regions.

### Example Calculation

To illustrate the dimensional weight calculation process, let's consider an example:

Suppose you have a package with the following dimensions: Length: 12 inches (rounded up from 11.5 inches) Width: 8 inches (rounded up from 7.8 inches) Height: 6 inches (rounded up from 5.9 inches)

Using the domestic dimensional factor of 139, the dimensional weight would be calculated as follows:

(12 x 8 x 6) / 139 = 5.19 pounds

If the actual weight of the package is 4 pounds, the billable weight for shipping charges would be based on the dimensional weight of 5.19 pounds since it is greater than the actual weight.

## Importance of Dimensional Weight in E-Commerce

Accurately calculating dimensional weight is crucial for e-commerce businesses to optimize shipping costs and comply with carrier policies. By using dimensional weight pricing, carriers can ensure that they are charging shippers fairly based on the space their packages occupy in transportation vehicles. This pricing method incentivizes efficient packaging and space utilization, which can lead to cost savings for both carriers and shippers.

### Benefits of Optimizing Dimensional Weight

1. Cost savings
2. Environmental impact reduction

## Strategies for Optimizing Dimensional Weight

To optimize dimensional weight and maximize cost savings, e-commerce businesses can implement several strategies:

1. Package optimization
2. Package consolidation
3. Negotiate carrier contracts
4. Implement dimensional weight software
5. Train staff